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Julian C

Environmental destruction at Pyeongchang2018 - it's what happens at Winter Games

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Yet again the Winter Olympics is causing havoc with the environment http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/16/olympic-organisers-destroy-sacred-south-korean-forest-to-create-ski-run. The IOC claims to uphold the environment as its Third Dimension! Same happened at Vancouver and Sochi and is also happening at Beijing2022 http://www.nature.com/news/chinese-biologists-lead-outcry-over-winter-olympics-ski-site-1.18174?from=timeline&isappinstalled=0

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Yet again the Winter Olympics is causing havoc with the environment http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/16/olympic-organisers-destroy-sacred-south-korean-forest-to-create-ski-run. The IOC claims to uphold the environment as its Third Dimension! Same happened at Vancouver and Sochi and is also happening at Beijing2022 http://www.nature.com/news/chinese-biologists-lead-outcry-over-winter-olympics-ski-site-1.18174?from=timeline&isappinstalled=0

I'm started to think that with the ANOC World Beach Games coming next year maybe IOC needs to stop funding the winter games and replace it with temporary venues-based beach games in the future...

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"The forest is also of huge historical significance, having been designated a royal forbidden mountain during the Chosun dynasty in the early 15th century, with some of the land used to grow ginseng exclusively for the king.

The ginseng was grown as medicine for the king to ensure his longevity, and even today professional enthusiasts gather ginseng there, Youn said. So you can see why the area is of great cultural importance.

...you have to be kidding?

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...you have to be kidding?

A premium member makes such a comment?

Gauchos have historical significance in Argentina... you've got to be kidding!

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Speaking of environmental damage in general and not on the situation in Korea particularly. . .

In fairness to both sides, the open areas of ski runs are actually good for deer species and many forest birds such as owls. Few species require a single habitat type, and most like deer use different habitats for feeding (open meadows for grass) than they do for shelter (wooded areas.) So if handled well opening up some areas in a forest can actually be beneficial. The problem is that this is not all that happens. First the ski resort is developed. Then come the vacation homes, golf courses, shopping areas, etc.

That's the reason Denver voted against hosting in 1976. And Seattle and Portland have their ski resorts in strongly protected forests where the locals will fight tooth and nail against expansion of roads and the clearing of further land for villages, ski jumps, etc. And to be honest I don't see anything wrong with that. Whistler is my least favorite place to snowboard in this region because it's too heavily developed. Many people go there and don't even ski at all.

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...you have to be kidding?

A premium member makes such a comment?

Gauchos have historical significance in Argentina... you've got to be kidding!

Okay, let me guess... you're not actually a fan of the Olympics. You see it as one of the world's greatest social problems or disasters. That's fine, whatever gets you caring.

You should know, though, that you're posting on a board composed mainly of Olympic fans, so don't expect too warm a welcome. Most people here are likely to be more engaged and excited by the launch of a new Olympic mascot, a new pin set or the latest new lavish architectural plan for a venue than investigative reporting unmasking the environmental and social depredations of the Five Rings.

Yeah, we're also aware of the downsides of the games. We know that the average IOC member is likely not to be a paragon of enlightened humanity. We know there's often collateral damage along the way to an opening ceremony. Some of us are more personally concerned about some of the negative aspects than others. Some care deeply. Some have sympathy for certain issues more than others. Some reserve their outrage depending on the who the perpetrator is at any particular time. Some of us just accept things as they are, or indulge in gallows humour over the issues - the Korean primeval forests were a particular meme we played with a lot during the 2018 bid campaigns. It's not that we don't care (well, maybe some don't even). But, hey, at heart we're mostly Olympic Fan Boys and Girls, so our sympathies are probably quite opposed to yours. Just try to keep that in mind if you're planning a crusade to educate us to the errors of our passions.

Edited by Sir Rols
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You should know, though, that you're posting on a board composed mainly of Olympic fans, so don't expect too warm a welcome. Most people here are likely to be more engaged and excited by the launch of a new Olympic mascot, a new pin set or the latest new lavish architectural plan for a venue than investigative reporting unmasking the environmental and social depredations of the Five Rings.

I actually think most people here are reasonably balanced and see both the positive and the negative aspects of the Olympics. Certainly people should be free to post their concerns about aspects of the games here.

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I actually think most people here are reasonably balanced and see both the positive and the negative aspects of the Olympics. Certainly people should be free to post their concerns about aspects of the games here.

Of course. And they are free to post. And they do.

But the likes of NOlympics and their ilk are, by the very nature of this site, always going to struggle to gain much traction here, and likely going to be treated more sceptically than they're used to if they try. And they've indeed tried.

Let's face it. Most of us here love the games. Most of us here also would be more than open to reforms and more responsible ways of thinking about how to stage them, but I don't think you'd find many who consider them to be blight that should be eradicated.

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Who cares whether we get traction here! The Winter Olympics 2022 was rejected by every European City which was originally bidding. Ended up with two dictatorships bidding and being won by Beijing which will use artificial snow for the Games! In both Pyeongchang and Beijing they are cutting down valuable forests. Be as proud of the Games as you like. It's an appalling record of hypocrisy given the Third Dimension claim.

For the Summer Games 2024 all three cities where there might have been a referendum or was a referendum the Games was rejected. Now only cities which refuse to hold a referendum are in the running.

As a survivor of London 2012 I can assure you the damage is not 'collateral', it is intrinsic. Just about every claim for London was a lie, sport participation among the target age group 16 to 15 year olds went down, obesity went up (after all sponsors are two of the worst food companies in the world, Mcdonalds and Coca Cola), no economic benefits, decline in tourism instead of a rise, it did not create the largest new urban green park in Europe for 150 years as claimed, local businesses suffered, local companies could not bid for contracts for the Games, the main stadium is now a football stadium while the national athletics stadium at Crystal Palace is falling apart, the cost was well over £12billion (remember original budget was £2.34billion) as many costs are not declared (every authority in the UK was spending money), false claims about new transport links built for the Games (they were going to be built anyway), the Games removed almost 5000 local jobs (before the Olympics the area was described as a wasteland, now the authorities say it was a 'hive of activity') and has not helped East Londoners. This is about property development, the sport is long gone.

Olympics bidding is about lying. You may love the Olympics but you should be aware that the Olympics is no longer as loved as you like to think. As with FIFA it's time for change.

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the Olympics is no longer as loved as you like to think

The catch is, the loveability of the Olympics is not relevant. What matters is the long-term effect of Olympic-related business.

You state, for example, that in London, new transport links "were going to be built anyway"- but the difference the Olympics make is that infrastructure projects which are "going to be built" can't suddenly be put on the back burner (like the improvement of rail links between the cities of northern England) if they are needed to make the Olympics possible- as Rio is currently finding. In London, many small employers were kicked off the Olympic Park site because they were doing work that could just as easily be performed in Northampton or Wolverhampton- thus allowing Canary Wharf to spread its wings by increasing the amount of new upmarket housing along the DLR, complete with enhanced shopping and leisure facilities.

Winter Olympics follow the same logic, but of course they require mountain facilities, which are irrelevant to urban development. Therefore the main long-term incentive for Winter Olympics has to be the development of major new upmarket winter sport facilities. The Winter Olympics are a far less attractive proposition to areas where the winter sport facilities are already of high quality, because their net effect is likely to be simply making those facilities slightly overcrowded.

The host country has to look at those long-term effects because, as you point out, in the short term it will be paying high costs. On the other hand, there will be multinational businesses, not necessarily linked in any special way to the host country, which will do very nicely out of TV exposure, merchandising etc. None of this is good for the environment, but for those in the right positions, it's great for the annual accounts.

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As a survivor of London 2012 I

Survivor? Oh for effs sake. You belittle people with real suffering with such histrionics.

If you actually knew this site, you'd see people who both love the Olympics, but rail against the worst aspects of the bids and process.

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Olympics bidding is about lying. You may love the Olympics but you should be aware that the Olympics is no longer as loved as you like to think. As with FIFA it's time for change.

If you're going to talk about being a "survivor" of the Olympics and then compare the IOC to FIFA, remember the number of workers in Qatar that are very literally giving their lives for the 2022 World Cup to be held there. You're absolutely correct on the claims with the Olympics about natural resources being cut down and people being evicted from your homes and that's not a small deal. But that's different from people dying as a result of these events.

You talk about the only cities being in the running for 2024 are those who didn't hold a referendum. Well, 2 of those cities are London and Paris. Not in countries that are dictatorships. Not cities that have to make huge concessions to host the games. It is possible to responsibly host an Olympics (although it would help for the IOC to start being more accommodating to work with the host cities rather than make a long list of demands).

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You talk about the only cities being in the running for 2024 are those who didn't hold a referendum. Well, 2 of those cities are London and Paris.

Autocorrect for Lo...s Angeles and Paris?

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oh dear! rattling some peoples' cages. 'Survivor'? Of course you are quite right to point to Qatar, although the same is happening in Rio. I did lose my home to London2012 and had to relocate. To repeat, the Olympics is about lying. The very first time London2012 came to our estate they lied telling us that our homes would be demolished even if the Olympics didn't come to London. But when we asked under Freedom of Information for details of this plan (they actually had a diagram on what the 'plan' involved) we were told by the same organisation that there was no plan! This was confirmed at the compulsory purchase inquiry by the masterplanner. The lies just accumulated from then on.

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