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Nortel for the Long Jump?

11:50 AM -- There are so many things to worry about following yesterday's news that Nortel Networks Ltd. has sought protection from its creditors. (See Nortel Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Spooky Nortel Anagram, and Should Nortel Be Sold for Parts?)

Customers, jobs, partners, R&D commitments, the Nortel brand, the Olympic Games... The list of things to deal with is long and daunting.

Er, hold on -- the Olympic Games? The London 2012 Olympic Games?

Oh yeah... (See Nortel Wins Olympics Race.)

Well, that needs to be addressed immediately, obviously.

So here's Nortel's statement, which has been credited to Mario DiMascio, VP, Enterprise Business, Northern Region (Europe): “I’m sure you will have heard about Nortel’s decision to restructure its business operations," –- yep, we heard –- "and will have questions about how this might affect our involvement with LOCOG and London 2012."

Yes, we have questions.

Our first question is -– what on Earth is LOCOG?

We let Google answer that one: It's London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited (LOCOG), which is in charge of staging the Olympics in London in 2012.

The follow-up question is: Will Nortel make it to the Games? Or might it fall at an early hurdle? (Geddit??)

"Let me take the opportunity to reassure you that our commitment to the Games as a Tier 1 local sponsor and official Network Infrastructure Provider remains unchanged as does our commitment to all our customers," writes DiMascio.

"The solutions we are providing for the London 2012 Olympic Games are among the most demanding communications environments in the world. Nortel was selected because of our expertise in building highly reliable carrier and mission critical enterprise networks. We are very proud to have won these high-profile contracts and are looking forward to demonstrating the quality, reliability and flexibility of our networking solution on a global stage. The Olympic Games is the ultimate demonstration of Nortel’s capabilities and the value we can drive for businesses."

"And we're pretty good at track and field," he didn't add.

Right. And, if we remember correctly, Nortel will be calling on its previous experience of providing the communications infrastructure for a major sporting event to give the London games the level of service it needs, yes?

Well, that's according to Nortel CEO Mike "Zed Man" Zafirovski, who was quoted in Nortel's original release about its involvement with London 2012 as saying the following: "The network infrastructure is fundamental to the [London] Games and critical to the delivery of its communications services. Fresh from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, our team will be experienced in providing the level of passion, support and expertise required to help deliver the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012.”

Ah...

But fret not, slalom lovers. Nortel says it'll still be on the piste in Vancouver next year, according to this Bloomberg report.

Phew!!

— Ray Le Maistre, Sports Editor and Decathlon Hopeful, Light Reading

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