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wingspread last won the day on March 24 2012

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  1. Oooh, nice view. The Olympic Park in the background doesn't look bad either. I've only been to Seoul. Wasn't able to visit the Jamsil Sports Complex (tho I saw the stadium while riding an elevated commuter train), but you can somehow see traces of the 1988 games. One subway station I passed through was Hodori-themed and had directional signs for Olympic venues. The inn I stayed at had a die-cast stadium ashtray in the lobby so I guess that also counts. Would like to visit London, Barcelona, and Munich.
  2. There's no market demand for direct flights to Rio from Asia, so there's no other choice but to do at least multiple connecting flights. This could change during 2014 and 2016, but given the comparatively low SEAsian spectator interest for the WC and SOG I doubt that would happen. For now the most convenient route is Beijing-Sao Paulo (Air China), or Middle East-Sao Paulo via "The Big Three" (Emirates, Qatar, Etihad) home hubs. I'm not sure if including poverty in the narrative would be a good idea. No host country would want to highlight such things.
  3. I just watched a video of Vila Isabel's parade this year. Or at least I tried to watch the whole thing. The video's 1 & 1/2 hours long! That was the first time I watched a Carnaval parade and it left me more confused than wowed. I watched the first 30 minutes and then skipped to random parts (and then a few minutes of some of the other parades) and to me it seemed like I was watching the same thing: cast and costume overload, mind-numbing non-stop music with little variation. Don't get me wrong -- I did find the costumes and floats spectacular, but I was expecting something like a contest of "mini-OCs" with each parade having a more defined narrative and theme. The whole thing just felt more languid than upbeat, more chaotic than choreographed, more exhausting than uplifting. If the Rio 2016 OC will take on a Carnaval parade approach, I fear that the whole thing would be visually nice but mind-numbing overall. Kind of like if Beijing 2008 chose an all-out ancient dynasty-to-dynasty performance theme for its OC with screeching traditional music from start to finish. If the Rio 2016 OC would go along the lines of the Carnaval, I hope the creative team would be able to direct it into a well-paced show with tight narrative and a good balance of push and pull elements. On a side note, has the Sambadrome ever been considered as the ceremonies venue, either by the Rio bid/organizing team or people on GamesBids? It seems like a nice change of venue style for an OC with the cauldron at one end. It won't be conducive to traditional in-the-round stadium theater, but it still has lots of creative potential.
  4. Can we scrap the stadium design contest tho? It's so... skyscrapercity. Like, woo omgaaaahh pretty stadium render best bid evarrrr it deserves to be host city~*~*
  5. Finally, a good song after a decade of blah and downright bad ones. Sultry and retro, although I was hoping Adele would bring a new sound/style/approach to the table without losing the "Bond-ness" of it, something that the last three songs seem to have tried but failed to do so. I've always thought Amy Winehouse could have done a nice Bond song.
  6. No. Not in this century. Probably never. As with all SEAsia cities, weather would be a problem during the June-December period. It doesn't just rain heavily here; half the city sinks in filthy floodwater in just a couple of hours. Plus there's no money, no space, no national commitment to sports, poor public transportation, dysfunctional politics, zero military/police force capability.
  7. Do you think Stockholm can still make a go for it? I keep reading bits here saying that it was the most sensible bid (ergo the most IOC-repellent bid) in the 2004 race. Also: I still believe that the SOGs can and should be scaled down. It's a pity if cities/countries with terrific culture/atmosphere and excellent sporting records cannot host an Olympics just because they are smaller than the typical Olympic host city. Yeah, hosting an SOG will always cost billions and I suspect a city will never be able to recoup the cost in hard cash even in the long term, but intelligent planning can probably mean spending just, say, $4 billion instead of $10 billion. Maybe my point is flawed because I have yet to experience an SOG in person, but as far as physical infrastructure is concerned, the SOG isn't that big for me. Given that most cities already have existing athletics/ceremony-capable stadiums, the biggest new venue for future games would probably be the athletes village. Ideally/Generally/Hypothetically speaking, a potential host city would have around half of the required venues already built prior to the bid. The rest would be half-new/permanent and half-temporary. Heck, they can even just build temporary venues for the rest. As for size constraints, I'll use Singapore as a hypothetical example. I've been there a couple of times and have explored the city/country quite extensively and believe me when I say that they have space for a full-blown SOG. All other obviously SOG-preventive factors disregarded, the city space (including public transport and spectator accommodation) itself is capable of hosting an SOG. Its small size is its advantage.
  8. Well, I just learned that Danny Boyle did not direct the closing ceremony. Which is a relief because I spent the last 18 hours wondering how on earth could he churn out a lazy production like that. Here's a scathing review and analysis of the closing ceremony, which some of you might be interested to read: Not just ****, but dangerous
  9. The best part of the closing ceremony was when it ended. What a hot tranny mess. The 'hot' is only for the Spice Girls, by the way.
  10. Nice photos of the Olympic Park, other venues, competition events, other events, crowd, the atmosphere in London, OC -- basically a bit of everything in this gallery -- by Duncan Rawlinson:
  11. It's not just the architecture. I'm surprised that architecture is even a major factor in picking host city favorites! You can find buildings and supertalls and old stuff and the occasional Starchitect piece in any city anyway. I can't quite put my finger on it, but you know how certain cities have this sparkle or appeal even just by the mention of their name? Arguably you'd want the Olympics to be held in a city with that ~magic~. To be honest I never thought of Chicago as host city material (and not in an I-don't-know-where-but-certainly-not-there-way -- it just didn't cross my mind), but when I found out that they were bidding for 2016, I thought, Heeeey they're right. Why didn't I think of that!
  12. Oops, I apologize for the rather hostile tone of my response. I got carried away with the flag/anthem bit and started imagining what-if scenarios. Sydney's anthem is one of my all-time favorite segments in any OC ever. Even the horses' exit with the hundred fluttering flags gave me chills. I actually have the Julie Anthony mp3 in my iPod and I've managed to memorize the whole thing (better than most Australians -- I even know the entire 2nd verse, haha) because of repeated play. Now back to the cauldron discussion.
  13. Sure, it could've been done better, but the London 2012 cauldron isn't that much of an affront to me. As long as there's a flame burning for the duration of the Games regardless of its location, then I'm good. What I cannot accept is the idea of degrading the host country's flag and anthem during the OC. Come Games-time, it's their show and they can do whatever the hell they please in return for spending billions for the Olympics. Can you imagine the public anger if the IOC required that the host country's flag must be lower or not be raised at all/anthem not be played during the OC in the guise of equality for all participating nations? In relation to all this talk about traditions, I think the Olympics is in need of updating. Obviously the sports line-up needs to be revised (how many of them are there just because of tradition even without a global appeal and participation?), but for me I also want to drop French as a mandatory language and Greek athletes being the first to enter the stadium. Even if I'm an Olympics enthusiast, I find these to be too archaic and lacking in gravitas to merit a spot in the traditions list nowadays. In a broader perspective, I feel that they just end up being a case of veneration without understanding for the general spectator. And of course, most importantly, I hope that the IOC veers away from the mega-billion overblown Games and picks more sensible, sustainable bids. It's wishful thinking right now, but that's one tradition I would gladly welcome and am desperate to see being broken and ended.
  14. A bit more of a desired line-up than a serious, informed prediction: Tokyo 2020, Munich 2022, Paris 2024, USA 2026 At this point it seems that the hosting line-up is pretty much locked for the next fifty years or so. It's just a matter of determining the order of the cities/countries. I mean, it's not like there's going to be a surprise heavyweight contender that's going to pop out of nowhere. It's always been mostly the same old cities wanting hosting rights since the 1990s.
  15. Take out equestrian, modern pentathlon, sailing, and golf. Rugby Union to stay beyond 2016. Also, I don't like the U-23 plus 3 max O-23 squad format for the football men's tournament. They should just allow full national squads for both the men's and women's tournaments. Otherwise, just scrap the whole thing.
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