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Everything posted by mattperiolat

  1. Speaking of, Canadian coverage of Sydney 2000 has an interesting wrinkle. In the middle of the Games, Pierre Trudeau died. I know at least the CBC broke into its coverage with the news and it cast a pall over maybe the last week of the Games.
  2. The IOC has not been conducting above board business with bids for quite some time. We know of a past history of bribes to bring the Games to certain cities, most famously SLC. That money doesn’t just disappear. Plus, the IOC does make money off sponsorship and has done so for decades. So, even if bid bribes are a thing of the past, you can still make money of cities that have no business bidding, but the IOC will gladly take the money, please and thank you. It’s not FIFA, thank goodness, but it’s scummy as all hell. The excess really is more about the excessive spending cities like Athens, Beijing and Sochi did to host. The IOC loves a legacy program and some infrastructure reform and new venues make sense since the profile of the city changes thanks to the Games. But we have now reached a point where it’s out of hand. Granted, the IOC is not making any organizing committee spend the money on the plans, but they are less likely to win the Games without the big plan. IOC will make money off the Games anyway, what do they care what happens when the Games leave town? Not their problem, didn’t make the town do it... except they kind of did in the bidding process. The Games and the IOC are in a bad place. You’d have to be deaf, dumb and stupid to not see that now. I’m just damned if I know how to fix it.
  3. I was talking more about cities who have to pay money up front to even present an application, then pay again if accepted as a candidate. Those cities will never see a return on the investment, sucked up into IOC coffers. This is why I grow cynical about the bid process and start to find myself agreeing more and more with critics of the IOC. I love the idea of the Games, how it can inspire, but I’m starting to see more and more the price for the party. Athens, Beijing, Sochi and Rio are just the big examples of the excess.
  4. Oh, that’s frightening. That a sports team has the pull to try and get the person in charge of the town they are in replaced to get what they want. I’d like to see the Games back in Canada and a new stadium for the Flames. But seeing dirty pool being played and having seen the IOC involved in stuff like this before... really hoping Sion gives us something compelling because I dread a long term stay in Asia for the Olympic movement. What happens when Asia is finally bled dry financially?
  5. Length isn’t a concern to me, it always evens out at three hours plus. But the conditions are another matter. You can not compare Albertville where it was in the 40s and no snow and SLC with similar conditions to PC where we already have snow on the ground and colder temps. I do think the organizers will work it out, but voicing worry at least proves it’s on our mind. As with all past hosts, they have time, but if this is not addressed by the beginning of January, I will start being a bit more forceful with the concern.
  6. 65 countries in Albertville, I think 69 or 70 in Lillehammer. Was even smaller before the Jamaican wave in Calgary. Seems almost quaint now and it was only twenty years ago! Upshot is it will be a minimum of three hours. I have yet to see an Opening or Closing Ceremony go less than three in all the years I’ve been watching. Bigger concern now is, for the first time in a while, it will feel like a Winter Games being outdoors in the snow. Haven’t seen that since Lillehammer. The organizers had better be ready for the true enemy of any Winter Games - the weather.
  7. 120 minutes only? That seems... short, even by WOG standards. Unless the teams are really small, it’s still going to take at least an hour for the Parade of Nations alone. As for comparisons to Seoul, I’m honestly not certain. I remember the Opening Ceremonies were only a small part of a much larger show that started in the Han and made its way to the stadium. It was really impressive, but not very well communicated what it all meant to US audiences, I’m sorry to say. I really don’t think that will be encores for PC. For one, Korea has done this before. No need to go quite as big for the second Olympics, even if it is their first Winter Games. Second, it’s going to be at least cold. I don’t think they will want to do the big show for hours on end. I could be wrong, but keep in streamlined, you got two weeks to party.
  8. Oh, the memories of Athens. No fewer than four, sometimes five VCRs running, trying to get it all. To this day, I’ve not had a chance to review all the tape, there was SO much. And I was working at the time. But significant - Athens was really the first time NBC took what they had learned from the Triplecast misfire and have enough networks to support it all the coverage. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to see air rifle, sailing, rowing heats all on television without US athletes. It was, at the time, revolutionary. For all it’s faults, that was really where the idea of complete Olympic coverage, relatively unbiased, was realized here in the States.
  9. Honestly, I think it’s good both for Calgary and the IOC to bid. They have been talking about replacing the Saddledome pretty frequently for the last few years, an Olympic bid may be the push needed. Conversely, it is an absolutely awful idea for the Olympics to get set in Asia for four cycles, three straight Winter Games. Nothing against Sapporo personally, it’s just bad for the Olympics in general. The problem right now is speculation. Sion is a maybe, so is Calgary. Sapporo will bid, no firm word from SLC. The IOC has got to encourage more bids or the Olympics will go over the Niagra of no one interested in the show and the barrel already has holes drilled in it from Beijing, Sochi and Rio. We could begin a massive discussion on required IOC reform, but for now, it is critical that the IOC do something to offset the cost of awarding the Games and stop fleecing bidders, period.
  10. Question - will this location be used only for the ceremonies or would it also be used as a medal plaza during the Games? I know past hosts have waited until the evening to award medals, except for marquee sports, wondering what PC's plan is in that regard.
  11. My top ten Olympic opening ceremony moments (subject to change every two years): 10. Ode to Joy from Barcelona 1992. One child's voice out of the darkness, joined by opera legends, then the pyro, all scored by Beethoven. I'm a sucker for classical music and dramatics and this is it in spades. Barcelona closed the night on a high with this one. 9. The Entrance of the Flag and Olympic Hymn from Lillehammer 1994. I'm not sure why, but this rendition of the Hymn set the standard early and in terms of simple purity, I haven't seen it equaled. The lead vocalist would go on to do background vocals for Titanic, but her hear with a choir of children is so... I hate to use the word innocent, but it is. What we wish the Games could always be - something for the young, the pure, the beauty, to inspire a future as well as celebrate the moment. 8. Movable Type from Beijing 2008. Beijing never topped this. I'm serious, of all the moments over the entire games, this was the high water mark for me. The rythem of the moment, the characters changing as the Chines culture advanced and the final reveal of it being completely done by PEOPLE and not a machine? Take a bow, Beijing, the medal is yours. 7. Athens to Athens from Athens 2004. That's what I've unofficially christened the moment, but I've always been an advocate that the roll call of cities from Athens to the present city should be a part of any opening ceremony, same with Chamonix to the present. It's important to show the chain that goes back and that the city, good or ill, is a part of something larger now. But this one was special, covering a 104 year wait, complete with the stumbles for World War I and II. Again, the audience reaction for the last tape break and the call "2004... ATHENS" as the pyro goes off is fantastic. 6. Cauldron lighting from Barcelona 1992. Even knowing well in advance about the arrow, it's still amazing to see and you still hold your breath to see if Robello can pull it off. The roar in the stadium as the gas ignights still makes me pump my fist. 5. Cauldron lighting from Sydney 2000. The ultimate hidden cauldron trick and it nearly bit them. Still, the image of Freeman setting the water alight, then the cauldron rising around her is just breathtaking to this day. Technically, I argue it's never been equaled. 4. The Temple of Zeus from Atlanta 1996. Sometimes simple stuff just works magnificently. The shadow lantern/Grecian urn is just an amazing trick and I'm actually surprised not to have seen it attempted again as time has gone on. Guess LCD screens and other visual effects have stolen the thunder. 3. Heroes Live Forver from Sydney 2000. I'm a sucker for the song honestly and watching the long screen roll down from the South stand with the atheletes projected on to it, then becoming the peace dove and finally the Rings as it came over the atheletes is still a epic image in my mind. 2. Cauldron lighting in SLC 2002. The United States really honestly needed that moment, for sports to transcend politics and the pain of 9/11 that lingered. The 1980 US hockey team did nicely one last time. 1. Ali in Atlanta 1996. Honestly, if you stretched, the whole long haul between the tribute to Dr. King out to Celine Dion singing Power of the Dream is just amazing, but that one single moment with Ali stepping from the shadows and holding the flame... tears.
  12. Well, that's about par for the course for Nigeria these Olympics. Look at the nightmare they had even getting to Brazil. But they still had the best football match of the Games so far. Only criticism I have so far is how stark the staging looks. Granted, I've been spoiled by past Games, especially London, in terms of staging, which may explain it. That and the stadium needs to be converted back to a football pitch posthaste.
  13. Neither will the U.S. or Switzerland. Fairly certain that if any teams from either country qualify for WC events, their odds of any calls going their way are small. Honestly, and maybe I'm overstating, but between the corruption in FIFA and the issues the IOC is having with getting viable hosts thanks to issues of their own making, what is out there in terms of international sporting events for us to even consider worth our time anymore?
  14. That Munich will not be bidding is a bitter, bitter disappointment for me. This is twice now that the projected front runner for a Games (Rome for 2020, now Munich in 2022) have not even been at the starting gate. It is such a shame mainly since I am not sure when the stars will align for Munich or any German city to get a better shot. Well, as I said some time ago, I have no problem shifting my support to the Oslo bid now since I would love to see the Games back under the Northern Lights and to bask in the warm glow of Norweigan hospitality. It is sooner than I thought the opportunity would come, but it is an opportunity none the less.
  15. OK, if we are blue skying and the Russians apparently have rubles to burn, is there a chance the roof or a portion of the temp roof a Fischt Stadium could open and the flame 'fly' to the outdoor cauldron? Technically, it would be more difficult than anything that has been attempted and they are running out of rehearsal and plan b planning time, but Russia wants to wow us all, that would fit the bill.
  16. That's not the cauldron, Baron. That's the antenna outside the Palau San-Jordi some distance from the stadium. The Barcelona cauldron is still attached to the north side of Monjuic Stadium.
  17. Although I support a Munich bid (IF the November referendum passes), it is nice to see a healthy field developing. So far, it's Almaty, Barcelona and now Oslo, waiting on Munich, Krakow and if the US pitches a bid or not. Good for Oslo!
  18. And the story is going to get pushed off the headlines in Norway as the prime minister just announced his intention to resign.
  19. Any word on returns yet on the referendum?
  20. Seems like the petals are wrapped around a burner still as they are returned. Is there an intention that the petals could be reconnected to a gas line and re-ignited later? If so, it's a cool idea that all the nations who were in London will have their own personal Olympic flame to light when an Olympics comes around again. And I for one disagree with 2013 being a "boring" year. Do not forget about the vote in July for 2020.
  21. No offense, but I did not say that it would, nor, as Baron said, a diplomat. That being said, taking part in the Games as an athlete gives you a unique experience and understanding of the Games. If you apply yourself, there is no reason you cannot parley that into something more. Coe, Rogge, Prince Albert, Jean Claude Kiley and others are all examples of that. I was really just marveling over that while we have had former athletes in the head slot, no medalists, as yet. Just think its interesting.
  22. Interesting... Does that mean Bach could be the first Olympic medalist to be IOC President? I know of only two other Olympians to be IOC President - Rogge and Brundage, neither of whom medaled. Be interesting to see if this is the start of a trend for the IOC, less a country club, more self governance by athletes who participated in the Games and learned how to represent their sports and the Olympic movement.
  23. You don't know that. Toronto finished second behind Beijing for 2008, so one assumes the bid is a good one. In practicality, we won't know until a US city (New York, LA, Chicago) goes head to head with Toronto. Then we can judge what the bidding cycle may look like. As I said, I'm a firm supporter of Chicago, but I want a fair fight and if that means Toronto gets in and could potentially beat Chicago, so be it. At least we would lose to a worthy competitor.
  24. Well, no offense, but you really cannot celebrate a gold medal won on a laboratory over the track. Good that the cheat got caught though. It's also a damn but inevitable shame that London lost its clean record for medalists during the Games.
  25. If I may say something here... I think Toronto would do very well as an Olympics host. I actually thought (politics aside) they had a decent shot at beating Beijing. But, that's life. Here's my problem: if push comes to shove and it's Chicago va. Toronto, I have to side with Chicago. It's nothing personal, it's just my city, my dream to see the Games there. That being said, I'd be the first to shake hands and wish Toronto well if they win. I would hope the same respect and curtosey would be shown if Chicago would beat Toronto. Truth is, the bid plans and shockingly similar and I think either city would convey the same atmosphere of undiscovered gems in North America. Both cities COULD host. Only one CAN host.
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