sports diplomacy

At the time these lines were being written, a very important basketball event was taking place in Turkey: the 2010 World Championship held by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The tournament ended on Sunday, but as a basketball fan I will still say that, despite the outcome, there were two winners: Greece and Turkey.

...a very important basketball event is taking place in Turkey: the 2010 World Championship held by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA)...This event could be the opportunity Greece and Turkey need to get closer to each other, not in terms of high-level politics, but in terms of initiatives coming from below, from the grassroots.

Taiwan's sports diplomacy is in full swing! That's as the country recently completed construction on a national tennis center in Saint Lucia. Republic of China Ambassador to Saint Lucia Tom Chou said that the purpose of building the tennis center is to make tennis a national pastime in Taiwan's Caribbean ally.

US and Iran faced off at the World Basketball Championships here on Wednesday night, electrifying Iranian fans and offering a rare opportunity for people of the two arch-enemy nations to meet face to face. It was the latest instance of sports diplomacy first used by both sides in the late 1990s to ease US-Iran hostility.

Cheerleaders donned black leggings and white T-shirts for a world championship basketball match between Iran and the United States in Istanbul on Wednesday to respect cultural sensitivities...Patrick Baumann, secretary-general of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), said "special arrangements" had been made with the dancers' dress on Wednesday.

India's decision to host the Commonwealth Games seems to have become less popular in the country for its reported oganisational failures in the run-up to the Games. Staging the Games will not help much to advance its soft power.

Coaches and players often travel the globe -- Asia, Africa, Europe -- this time of year to spread the NBA gospel, promoting basketball camps that attract adoring youngsters eager to learn the game. Rarely do they find anything as diverse and far-reaching as they do in the little hamlet of Zofingen, Switzerland, which becomes a very popular basketball melting pot for two weeks every summer.

August 13, 2010

The country that gave the world table tennis is aiming to be one of the sport's superpowers...In London, local table tennis promoters are making fresh attempts to bring this overlooked sport back into the mainstream.