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    Naomi Kawase had more material than she knew what to do with after being commissioned by the International Olympic Committee almost four years ago to make a documentary about the Tokyo Olympics. She wound up making two films looking at the Games themselves and also looking at the behind-the-scenes trouble. Each film is two hours long. Much was linked to the unprecedented one-year postponement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She says in an interview with The Associated Press “that I never wavered” once she had her two-film structure.

      The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a decision next week about whether to allow women to compete in Nordic combined at the 2026 Games. The sport has been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924. It is also the only Olympic sport without women. There is the possibility that the sport is dropped entirely, according to athletes and advocates. Five-time Olympian Billy Demong says the IOC's solution for gender equity may be to take men out of the program for 2026.

        A small group of protesters gathered in central Tokyo and in the northern city of Sapporo to oppose Japan’s overtures to hold the 2030 Winter Olympics. About 50 people gathered in each locale holding “No Olympics” banners and trying to make their case to a passing public. Sapporo is considered among the favorites to land the 2030 Games along with Salt Lake City and Vancouver. All three cities have held previous Winter Olympics. Last week, Sapporo’s city legislature rejected a proposal to hold a city-wide referendum on the issue. Cities that have held public votes have usually turned down the proposal.

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