America’s Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the self-named savior of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics is taking the battle for the White House to pre-Olympic London.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Romney will attend a private fundraising dinner in London hosted by none other than Bob Diamond, the Barclays boss whose bank has just been fined 290 million Pound Sterling by American authorities. Diamond, who is from Massachusetts, where Romney was the Governor from 2003 to 2007 announced that this year he would forgo his bonus, which was 2.7 million Pounds (3.4 million Euro or US$4.2 million) in 2011.
“The party sets the scene for a fight for the support of the most well-heeled Americans based here”, writes the Telegraph’s Tim Walker, adding that the guests at an still unspecified venue in central London, have been told that they must provide a copy of an American passport. Each guest must pay between 25,000 Dollars and 75,000 Dollars for a seat at the dinner, according to Tim Walker.
Barclays was fined a record 290 million Pounds (approx. 362 million Euro or 451million US$) for repeatedly distorting basic financial data which are used to set interest rates on millions of loans and other transactions around the world. Mortgage holders, credit card users and small businesses may have been charged too much for their loans after one of Britain’s biggest banks admitted systematically rigging financial markets. Bob Diamond, the Barclays chief executive, said he will give up his multi-million-pound bonus over the scandal but, according tom British media, is facing calls to resign amid claims that his bank’s actions posed a threat to the global market system
In a related story, Sebastian Coe has called on everyone in the country to become involved in the London Olympics. “With a month to go, we are ready, and on track,” the chairman of the LOCOG organizing committee said. “We aren’t complacent – every day and every hour
is as vital to us as it is to the athletes in this final countdown. This summer will generate some awe inspiring moments and we hope to create memories that will last a lifetime, so my message is – be part of it. As athletes around the country and around the world are qualifying and being selected for the Games we want the whole country to prepare for an amazing summer. From the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations which continue, to the Torch Relay, the London 2012 Festival and the sporting events at the Games, we want everyone to join in.”
Urging people to to snap up the remaining tickets, Lord Coe continued: “There are hundreds of ways to be part of the Games, wherever you live. From buying a ticket, and there are still some great tickets for both Games and to events in the London 2012 Festival, to watching the sporting events at Live Sites, cheering the Olympic flame as it continues its amazing journey around the country, or celebrating with family and friends at a ‘Super Saturday’ barbecue during the Games.”
While more than seven million tickets for the Olympics have been sold, 20 per cent remain for sale. LOCOG said that momentum is gathering and one million tickets have been sold in the last month alone. One of the biggest problems, however, is that tickets for football matches – which were available to purchase later than other events – are proving hard to shift.
The Sport Intern is a blog produced by Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. The above story is reprinted here with permission of Mr. Huba. He can be contacted directly at ISMG@aol.com.