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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. 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.
  18. Tied with the Ode to Joy from Barcelona in the number ten slot among all time favorite ceremony moments. But I digress. Funny thing: I remember national anthems being played, bu no national flags being raised during OC until I believe Atlanta. Went back to national anthems only until SLC and they've been doing flag railings ever since, but the poles had until Beijing some distance from the Olympic flag pole to keep its supreme position. I'm for the moment of national pride, but not so close to the Olympic flag pole. Should be on opposite ends of the stadium. Oh, on topic... Everyone knows my views by now. On to Sochi, what say?
  19. You win an Internet from me, sir. Seriously, the concept that London has come up with I like, especially with having the teams play a role in the creation of the cauldron. The EXECUTION is flawed. Was just watching a clip from NBC where you cannot even see the cauldron from the Orbit. So, basically, you want to see the flame? Pony up for the ceremonies or the athletics, otherwise you're better off watching your local television carrier, cause you are not getting any closer. I hate to say it, but is is rapidly becoming the poorest display of the flame I've seen thus so far and the previous title holder was Albertville. That flame had a half dozen cauldrons scattered around the region and we had at least one flame out at one of the venues, but at least the public could see the darn thing. They did, they said the flame was transferred from the cauldron to a miner's lamp before the flame was extinguished and the cauldron moved in the article. So, technically, it's still the same flame that lit the cauldron at the OC. That they had to do this in the first place is, along with the visibility of the cauldron, the bone that is sticking my craw at the moment.
  20. Look on the bright side - now the IOC can say "We did it in London" when the Rio cauldron is locked away in its stadium except for the ceremonies and the football final. In four years time, if someone does not post a picture of that cauldron alone in the stadium with the words "I get so lonely..." posted underneath, I for one will be very surprised.
  21. I tend to agree with the public who are disappointed that, short of a ceremony or athletics ticket, you cannot see the cauldron in person. That, honestly, seems to be the only failure in the imagination of the cauldron. That and it not visibly moving to its final spot during TE ceremony.
  22. I have to admit, I'm ready to cash in my chips too and admit they got us. I have no clue where the cauldron will be and honestly, the revelation at this point might as well be a spoiler. With that, I'm out. See you guys (and gals) Saturday morning after the American East Coast transmission of the OC is complete and we'll debrief then.
  23. Was just coming to post about the Olympic Ceremonies Database posts on YouTube. Great mix of footage from what I've seen so far. I HOPE it stays up, but I would not count on int. Grab them while you can!
  24. Interesting thoughts in the former cauldron. I wonder... Does anyone know if the cauldron from Wembley could be moved to the Olympic Stadium? If so, a symbolic cauldron for the 08 Games and the Wembley Cauldron from the 48 Games would add something to the show for the final lighting of the cauldron.
  25. Does not have to do with the cauldron, but what are those three rings between the spotlights on the roof? Gotta give the organizing team credit, we're getting close to zero hour and none of us really have a solid clue.
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