PARIS (AP) _ Lillehammer might join the Finnish resort of Lahti in a bid to host the 2006 Winter Olympics, organizers of this year’s Lillehammer Winter Games said Sunday.
″Eight people from Lahti were in Lillehammer two weeks ago discussing it,″ said Svend Strand, director of events support at the 1994 Winter Games. ″What we’ve said is we do not want to be organizers, but are willing to make available our facilities.″
Lahti, a resort on Finland’s west coast about 440 miles east of Lillehammer, is interested in using Lillehammer’s bobsled track and Alpine ski facilities.
Finland is a relatively flat country, lacking the mountains to hold most Alpine events. Bobsled tracks are extremely expensive and run deficits even when they are rented out for competitions and training after an Olympics.
If a Lahti Olympic Organizing Committee were formed, it would have to pay for modernizing any sites used in Norway, Strand said.
″They would have to update, because we built up the sites with additional housing ... that are now gone,″ he said. ″Our discussions were that they would have to pay the additional costs.″
Lahti is a popular resort that frequently is the site of cross-country and ski jumping competitions.
A proposal to use Lillehammer facilities ″is in line with the idea of the IOC that the Games need not be limited to one city,″ Tor Aune, Lillehammer’s former press chief, said.
BEIJING (AP) - At a stadium awash with laser lights and enlivened with mass gymnastic dances, the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled began Sunday with more than 2,000 athletes from 42 countries.
The games, which the government has used to spotlight efforts to improve the lives of the nation’s disabled, were launched with a lavish ceremony and the lighting of a flame from a torch lit last week at the Great Wall.
Among the many officials attending the opening ceremony was Deng Pufang, a paraplegic who is the son of China’s senior leader Deng Xiaoping.
During the weeks leading up to the Games, Chinese authorities held several events intended to publicize efforts to help the nation’s 50 million disabled, who have benefitted greatly from Deng Pufang’s visibility and influence.
In the past 10 years, China has established a foundation to aid the disabled with rehabilitation programs, education, sports, employment and other activities; enacted a law to protect the handicapped, and established policies to encourage businesses to give them jobs.
Among the disabled missing at the Games was discus thrower Fang Zheng. Friends said Fang was sent home after organizers realized his legs had been amputated after they were crushed by a tank during pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989. Games organizers have denied any knowledge of Fang’s case.
TOKYO (AP) - Ralph Bryant hit his 32nd home run, tops in the Japanese League this season, as the Kintetsu Buffaloes lost to the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-3 Sunday.
Kevin Reimer homered in the first inning, his 23rd of the year, as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks defeated the Chiba Lotte Marines 2-1 in 11 innings.
FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) - Japan beat Brazil 13-15, 11-15, 15-5, 15-6, 15-12 Sunday in the women’s volleyball World Grand Prix.
Japan finished the preliminary round with an 8-1 record and advanced into the final round at Shanghai, beginning Friday.
Brazil, which is 7-2, also reached the final round.
Meanwhile, Russia defeated Italy 12-15, 15-7, 15-10, 11-15, 15-10 for its fourth victory against five defeats. Italy was 2-7.
GOTEMBA, Japan (AP) - Andrew Scott of Britain drove a Lola T93-50 from the pole position to victory in the sixth leg of the 10-race All Japan F-3000 Championship Sunday.
Scott sped 45 laps around the 2.77-mile Fuji International Speedway in 59 minutes, 29.384 seconds, an average speed of 125.619 mph.
Scott finished more than four seconds ahead of runner-up Mauro Martini of Italy, who drove a Lola T94-50 and was timed in 59:33.785.
American Ross Cheever, driving a Reynard 94D, placed seventh in 59:54.554.
HONG KONG (AP) - Jansher Khan of Pakistan, the world’s No. 1 squash player, beat Scotland’s Peter Nicol 15-7, 15-10, 15-6 Sunday to win the Cathay Pacific Unisys squash open for the sixth time.
Khan took only 44 minutes to avenge his defeat to Nicol at the Leekes Classic in Wales in February - Khan’s only loss this year.
″So now you all know who is the king,″ Khan said.
Khan will defend his World Open title at Barcelona this month. A victory for Khan would equal compatriot Jahangir Khan’s record six titles.
NEUSS, Germany (AP) - Soccer player Juergen Klinsmann, who scored five goals in the World Cup, has been chosen player of the year by German sports journalists.
Klinsmann received 211 of 772 votes cast. He also won the award in 1988.
Second in the poll was national team captain Lothar Matthaeus with 117 votes.