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The 2014 Olympic Winter Games Bid – Where and What to Watch

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On Wednesday, July 4, the International Olympic Committee will be electing their host city for the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

While it’s not for everyone – watching the event can be very interesting and contain many surprises. Election day consists of the final presentations from each of the bidding cities; press conferences following each presentation and then finally the voting process which is done by electronic secret ballot. The election is won once a bid achieves 50% plus one of the cast votes, otherwise additional ballots are cast after dropping the lowest bid from the last round. Unless there is a tie for last on the first ballot (which would result in a tie-breaking ballot) there can only be two rounds with the three cities involved in the 2014 race.

Then the entire two-year campaign culminates in a final tense, emotion-filled moment when the IOC president opens the envelope and reads the name of the winner. Typically the room fills with an outburst of joy among the winning bid team members and supporters.

The presentations will be the most important 1-hour in each of the bids’ campaigns because it will the final opportunity to engrain images and words about the bid in the captive IOC members’ minds – messages and emotions that will remain when its time to cast their ballots. So, expect the bids to go all out and pack their presentations with heart-wrenching appeals for support and heart-pumping surprises conveyed by famous icons from sports and politics.

The presentations will make a difference, and the bid teams know this to be the case so they will be ready.

Before the last election for the 2012 Olympic Games, the presentation by London was clearly without equal among the competition. The stories and imagery stirred up emotions that certainly swayed a few votes – perhaps enough to give London a 4 vote victory over Paris. Or perhaps it was Paris’ lackluster performance that was the catalyst for a London victory. We’ll never know for sure, but current and future bids must consider all possibilities as they prepare their presentations for their one big shot.

This time it seems the Sochi presentation has the most promise. Many are looking forward to hearing words from high-profile Russian President Vladimir Putin – there are even rumours that former Soviet leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mikhail Gorbachev might make a riveting appearance. And perhaps we’ll find out why the Russian team has set up an ice rink that they brought to Guatemala in the world’s largest airplane; maybe Russian Olympic figure skater Evgeni Plushenko will show us why.

Salzburg and PyeongChang will almost certainly have surprises of their own to offer the observing IOC members.

Depending where you are, you may be able to catch some of the action on television – this will certainly be the case if you are viewing in Austria, Russia or South Korea. Otherwise you may only be able to watch the final announcement on a major news network.

Everyone will be able to see a live Webcast of the presentations, the voting and the final announcement on the Olympic.org Website. If you log into the World Championship Sports Network at wcsn.com, you’ll be able to see a live Webcast of the final announcement. Write or read comments about this article

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