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Posts posted by BTHarner

  1. 14 hours ago, Olympian2004 said:

    That sure was a nice read, so thank you for the heads-up, @BTHarner! I will provide the direct link to the article for all fellow members who don't use (or like to use) Facebook:


    I think it is always wonderful to get such behind-the-scenes impressions - and it is a nice touch that they used all the announcers (bar the French one for the Paralympic ceremonies, of course) for all four ceremonies and thus created a more familiar feeling. I believe many other Olympic and Paralympic hosts switched announcers between the different ceremonies. Furthermore, the announcers were quite pleasing to listen to, something one can't say about all the announcers in Olympic history (thinking about the shrieking English announcer in at the Torino 2006 "A-LYMPIC" Games :D).

    What would be really great would be to see a documentary about the turmoil surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony.
    But that is probably a unrealistic wish, since that wouldn't put the organisers in a flattering spotlight. ;)

    In any case, I still miss my daily shot of Tokyo 2020, even one month after the Paralympics ended and even despite the difficulties those Games had to face. I am still doubtful whether I will be able to enjoy Beijing 2022 just as much.

    Totally agree about the Torino lady, here is hoping the 2026 organizers reject her resume. 

    I can't let go of these Games, given how so many were determined to see that they wouldn't take place. I'm watching the replays on the Olympic website. I started the day after the Paralympics ended and I am currently on day two. I might get finished by July 2024.

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  2. The Paralympics weren't "imposed" on Atlanta in 1996 either. ACOG wanted nothing to do with them, so an independent group bid for and were awarded the Games. ACOG would offer token financial support, but little else. In fact, I read that when the Paralympians moved into the village they found their beds devoid of linen because ACOG had gathered them up after the Olympics and left the beds bare. I generally defend ACOG, but that just blew my mind that they couldn't let them borrow the bedsheets for a few weeks.

    Did Billy Payne ever see this report? Don't know. I've seen two different stories about how he got the idea to pursue the Games. One was the desire to replicate the satisfaction he felt after raising the funds and building a new church sanctuary and the other was that he saw an article in the local paper about Nashville's interest in the Games and it was a case of if Nashville can do it, why not Atlanta?

  3. So glad to hear from you again. Your post resonated with me since my wife also received a cancer diagnosis back in February and it has weighed heavily on me ever since. I applaud you for being so open with your own struggles and hope that you are able to have the compassion and support that you need.

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  4. Thomas Bach, Olympic Champion, Fencing 1976, is a little tyrant who has relegated the members who are not part of his inner circle to the point that their only meaningful duties are the presenting of medals (well in Tokyo, they just get to stand around and watch the athletes present the medals to themselves). This new host selection process takes away their voting duties (of course they get to vote on the chosen city. I will be curious to see if any vote against Brisbane this week, knowing that doing so will result in them becoming pariahs within the Movement). There is no longer any healthy debate on any issues, they just rubber stamp any recommendations that he and his cronies propose. There is little to no democracy in Prince Bachiavelli's world.

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  5. I'd feel a lot better if the Japanese government had been a little more aggressive with its vaccine rollout and that the public that is footing the bill for a lot of it would actually get to enjoy it in person. I couldn't stand sports without spectators during the past year with the lack of atmosphere and the lame attempt to liven it up with recorded crowd noise. Frankly, it was depressing and did more to remind me of the situation than make me forget it. That being said, I only have so many Olympics left and I'm not going to skip one just because of this.

    As far as the Games, I just hope all the IOC pronouncements about a 85% vaccination rate among participants is true and that all these playbooks actually work, just to show that this can be pulled off so we can go forward and plan accordingly. 

  6. A dream come true. The thought of the USA hosting a World Cup would have been laughable a decade earlier after the collapse of the North American Soccer League. FIFA was willing to take a chance on some virgin territory and it worked out quite well. The rule changes implemented after Italia 90 made for the most entertaining World Cup in several decades. I was able to attend one match, Saudi Arabia vs Morocco at Giants Stadium, probably the least regarded of the group stage matches and it was simply fantastic. I can't wait to do it again in 2026.

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  7. I agree when it is said that none of the recent Games have been a mess, many have had organizational and operational challenges, but they all pulled it off in the end. Tokyo will be a success in both areas, but I fear that all the circumstances, albeit out of their control, will leave an empty feeling once they have concluded. Perhaps, emptiness is a small price to pay in the larger scheme of things.

  8. 20 hours ago, stryker said:

    Interesting. Come to think of it, I think I remember reading about Cobb County and a law related to homosexuality that led to them losing out on the Olympics. I always found it interesting that Atlanta insisted on two venues for volleyball when most host cities now hold it entirely in one venue. I guess this had to do with sharing events with the surrounding suburbs? So was rhythmic gymnastics always set for Stageman Coliseum at the University of Georgia?

    They added a second volleyball venue because this was when the women's tournament expanded to 12 teams. IIRC Beijing is the only other city to use two volleyball venues.

    As for the rhythmic gymnastics, and this is coming from my reading at a newspaper archive website, a venue was yet to be determined when the volleyball was relocated at the end of July 1994. The related articles mention UGA hosting the volleyball as well as the soccer semifinals and finals, but made no mention of the rhythmic gymnastics.

  9. On 7/7/2021 at 9:27 PM, stryker said:

    Atlanta gets a bad rap when it comes to the Olympics. They weren't perfect but they didn't bankrupt a country like Athens or Rio. Looking back, Atlanta was under scrutiny from the moment it was awarded the Games, with the famed comment about the Olympic flame being lit with Coca Cola. 

    Legacy wise, only the Stone Mountain Tennis Center was a mistake (I imagine if Atlanta could do it over again, temporary courts would have been used). as the climate in Atlanta isn't really desirable for an ATP event. The Georgia Dome served its purpose, sadly it (along with the TWA Dome in St. Louis) were constructed right before sports teams started placing a premium on luxury suites for more revenue. Stadiums like the Georgia Dome were out of date much earlier than intended because of this. Fulton County Stadium and the Omni got nice send offs. Georgia Tech came out with the natatorium being converted to a recreation center along with the Alexander Memorial Coliseum receiving a much needed renovation. Morehouse College benefited from the newly constructed Forbes Arena. Then there's the Georgia International Horse Park. Atlanta for the most part avoided the white elephants that plagued future hosts (Athens, Beijing, Sochi, Pyeongchang, Rio, and Tokyo). 

    I remember Cobb County was supposed to host some events but they were moved due to some controversial legislation. Anybody remember what events were set for Cobb County and where along with what the controversial law was?

    Cobb County was slated to host volleyball preliminaries at The Cobb Galleria. The county passed a resolution basically stating that homosexuality was not compatible the the county's values. ACOG then relocated that portion of the volleyball competition to the University of Georgia.

    Atlanta had its issues (Dick Pound never misses an opportunity to trash it, perhaps his wife being cited for jaywalking might have something to do with it). IBM thought pre-testing the results system was a waste of time. The out-of-town bus drivers lacked to enough training to get familiar with the area (GPS would have helped, but that was a few years off). The unique touch to the parade of nations, having them some down the ramp, was a wonderful idea, but poorly executed. Most notably, the decision to allow people to enter Centennial Park without passing through security is something I still can't wrap my head around. You also had the flea market on steroids outside Centennial Park, which can be pinned on Mayor Campbell and his cronies trying to make a few bucks off the Games, ACOG also contributed to the commercialization gluttony by selling sponsorships for almost every category possible in an attempt to raise the funds necessary to meet their revenue goals, but they did succeed, ending up with a small surplus.

    Otherwise, these Games were the greatest competitions up to that time. The venues have or had served the city well. Centennial Park are revitalized an area once run-down. Atlanta's misfortune is perhaps amplified by the fact that is came between Barcelona and Sydney, two Games held in the highest of esteem. It was my only in-person Olympic experience, so there is no way I can be objective about it. It was a wonderful time and I met wonderful people. Thank you Olympan2005 for starting this retrospective thread, it's bringing back some wonderful memories.


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  10. It's been a fun tournament, with the exception of those sad and uncertain moments after Christian Eriksen's collapse. I never cared for the Pan-European hosting concept, but it might have been for the best to have some distance between the venues. The action on the pitch was scintillating and nerve-wracking with the number of knockout matches requiring extra-time or penalties bearing testament to just how narrow the gap is between these teams. A person with only a passing interest would probably be surprised that Italy and England have only one Euro title between them.

    Thanks to all the teams and players for giving us a wonderful month of football, a much needed diversion from today's realities. I'm going to hate to see it end.


  11. It's certainly not my place to belittle anybody's concerns, but this is our new reality and it will never completely go away. We can't, however, live in a perpetual state of fear and paralysis. This may go well or it may not. If it goes well, it could broaden our horizons and show the world how to better cope with life as it stands. If we don't try, we might as well cancel the Olympics and other multi-sport events for the foreseeable future. 

  12. As I've said elsewhere the recent number of new daily cases in Japan is roughly the same as here in Pennsylvania, and we have  a tenth of the population of Japan. I would love to have Japan's percentage and it just seems ridiculous that people want to call this off when I see what is going on here and elsewhere in our country.

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  13. Could it be better? Certainly. Still better than London or Sochi. Based on the results, it looks as if I didn't need to stuff the ballot box to keep that other option from winning. Though more colorful, something just looked off about it, Then I actually read what it was supposed to be and I found out it was a video game joystick which would allow all of us to play and that just came off as tacky.

  14. All we are seeing here are bold pronouncements by public figures that only serve to inflate their sense of self-importance. Do they know what boycotts really accomplish? Absolutely nothing. Jimmy Carter gave the Soviets one month to get out of Afghanistan  They eventually withdrew...two administrations later and not because of anything of our doing. We heard all this noise in 2008 when delusional people actually thought they could get China to improve their human rights record. They didn't and, by some accounts, they have gotten even worse. They, however. really don't care what anybody thinks and and it is just preposterous for anyone to think they can force the Chinese hand. They can, and will, do as they please and we'll probably see this whole thing repeated in 20 to 30 years, maybe even sooner.

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