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Alan in Montréal

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Everything posted by Alan in Montréal

  1. Lake Placid is too far from Toronto. I can't ever see this happening. Montreal/Lake Place? Yes. It's a bit more than an hour away. But Toronto/Lake Placid? Laughable.
  2. I can't ever see Toronto supporting a bid financially in the future. Those days are over, and people are now realizing that the two week spotlight and delight at hosting isn't worth the 7 years of pre-Games construction and usual cost overruns. Take a look at all of the failed referenda in Europe. The public isn't buying the propaganda any longer.
  3. Not looking good for Toronto 2024. Now that the PanAm glow is over, economic realities are kicking in. I agree that 2024 is not the time for a bid. There's just no way the IOC will say no to LA and give the Games to Toronto -- too soon after Vancouver 2010 and LA appears to have a solid bid. 2024 is going to Europe, most likely anyway. Budget committee says 'meh' to Olympic bid (Source: Toronto Star, Monday, August 31, 2015.) Not a single member of the city’s powerful budget committee is endorsing Toronto entering the race to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Toronto has only a slim chance of submitting a winning bid, and even if the cash-strapped city is selected, the Olympics could prove to be financial boondoggle for years to come, councillors said after the committee met Monday to begin discussions on the city’s 2016 budget. Several councillors said an outright no to a bid, while budget chief Gary Crawford and Councillor James Pasternak said they’d only consider Toronto advancing a bid if the cost — estimated at between $50 million and $60 million — is paid for by the private sector. Toronto is under pressure if it wants to try to secure the 2024 Olympics, an idea that appeared to gain traction after the success of the recent Pan Am Games, the largest sporting event in Canadian history. Los Angeles is poised to enter the contest — its city council is expected to vote Tuesday — and is considered a frontrunner. LA2024 has already released a copy of its bid. Paris is also considered to have an edge over Hamburg, Budapest and Rome. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose the host city in 2017. If Toronto wants to submit a bid, Mayor John Tory and the Canadian Olympic Committee must say so in a letter to the IOC by Sept. 15. “We are now in the process of analyzing how the (Pan Am) Games went, collecting information on the Olympic bid process, and consulting members of council, the business community, the public and both levels of government,” Keerthana Kamalavasan, spokesperson for the mayor’s office, wrote in email. Crawford (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest) said that after the Pan Am Games ended, he was inclined to “ride the wave” and support Toronto pursuing the 2024 Olympics. “But I’m starting to look at the fiscal realities, the cost of all that, and the fact that Los Angeles has actually put in a bid,” he said. “I’m not saying no to it at this point, but I’m sort of cautiously stepping back a little bit to wait and see.” Councillor John Campbell (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre) has no appetite for a bid for the Olympics, which have proven to be “losing financial endeavors” in other cities. “As a fiscally responsible person I’m very opposed to the idea of going for the Olympics,” said Campbell, vice-chair of the budget committee. Even if Tory submits the letter, he will still need council’s approval to move forward. Campbell doesn’t think that support exists. Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) says there is no way city officials have the time to gear up for a 2024 bid. But she understands the enthusiasm in some circles. “Whether you win or lose, preparing a bid is a business and you make money being the guy who gets to prepare the bid,” she said. “A whole bunch of consultants make money and a whole bunch of retired dignitaries, and retired CEOs, get to have fun with this project and play around with big amounts of public money.” Councillor Justin Di Ciano (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) is also “leaning against” a bid. “I’ve yet to see a city that comes out better. It’s a heavy burden for a city to deal with — look at cost overruns and security. I’d rather spend a billion on transit than on security.” Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough-Southwest) is also opposed to a bid, a spokesman in her office said Monday. Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) said that while Toronto “performed very well” during Pan Am, he’s skeptical about the long-term benefits of an Olympics bid. In January 2014, councillors voted against bidding for the 2024 Games after considering a consultants’ feasibility report that warned of “significant costs and risks” associated with a bid to host an Olympic Games. Toronto finished third behind Atlanta and Athens for the 1996 Summer Games and second to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Montreal hosted the Summer Games in 1976, and the Winter Olympics were held in Calgary and Vancouver, in 1988 and 2010 respectively.
  4. The fact that Beijing is an unsuitable host for these Winter Games doesn't mean that I'm commenting on Almaty. But having said that, Almaty would have been viewed as the IOC breaking new ground in an country and area not known for being Olympic hosts. When the IOC says "change" they mean "more of the same".
  5. It's a sad day when the International Olympic Committee cannot even clear one of the lowest bars for choosing the host city for the Winter Games: snow. Beijing has no snow, and that’s just one of the serious problems with having the city host the Olympics — againClick the link above to read the editorial.
  6. After Beijing won the 2022 Winter Games, I'd say "Agenda 2020" is a joke and Toronto shouldn't waste its time or money with a 2024 bid.
  7. So this is the new IOC? With the new process and new standards? Yeah. Right. Money wins again. What a surprise.
  8. Gosh. They spend $billions to host -- partially to focus attention on Rio, and end up focusing attention on what appears to be a complete lack of concern for the health of their own citizens, the health of the athletes and spectators, and the environment. The IOC needs to stop worrying about their image and act immediately to tell Rio that they need to find an alternate site now, otherwise the open water sports will be pulled and moved to another city. Disgusting.
  9. Times are different. We're in a pre-election phase right now and the Conservatives could use a promise to fund an Expo in Toronto to buy votes. I still think an Expo would be a better investment for Toronto simply because the focus on the city lasts half a year and the security concerns are much smaller. No need to shuffle people around and Expos do attract a much larger tourism market than an Olympics does.
  10. And then there's this, from the Toronto Star: Toronto still discussing possible Expo 2025 bid The article indicates that the cost of staging Expo 2025 is much larger than the Olympics. I don't quite get that. Experts suggest that Expo would be a better bid for Toronto, attracting as many as 40,000,000 visitors to the event, which lasts 6 months. The payoff is greater and the chances of a successful bid are much higher. I tend to agree on this one. Expos have really brought change to host cities, such as Vancouver, Montreal and now, Milan.
  11. Toronto Sun: "We're Dumber than Boston" "Now, long before the final bill is in — the Parapan Ams haven’t even started — many who stand to gain political prestige or jobs from a Toronto Olympic bid are yapping that we only have until Sept. 15 to tell the International Olympic Committee if we’re interested in staging the 2024 Summer Games. We’re being spun, people. If that’s true, why didn’t we start debating Toronto’s sixth bid for the summer Olympics — following failures in 1960, 1964, 1976, 1996 and 2008 — months ago?" Click the link for the complete article.
  12. Good points, FYI. I'll have to research more before posting in future. I still think Toronto will take itself out of the running. The City may end up indicating it's intention to bid with a letter to the IOC by September 15th, but could withdraw before January 2016 when the proposal is due. The media has reported that this would be a viable strategy because it permits Toronto to keep the door open, then take then next 4 months to make a final decision.
  13. Hard to make a case to return to Europe after London 2012 - that will put the Games back there just 2 Games after London. I think the IOC may have issues with the USOC's handling of the 2024 bids. Having said this, I'm 95% convinced that once the "glow" from the PanAms has disappeared in a few weeks, the reality of governments spending at least $4billion -- minimum -- for a 2024 Games may kill the bid. Today's poll in the Toronto Star shows support at about 61% -- and that poll was taken 48 hours after the PanAms closed. Give it a few weeks and see if the support is still there. I don't think it is.
  14. Support for Toronto 2024 bid just over 60 percent as the PanAms close: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/panamgames/2015/07/28/majority-of-torontonians-support-olympic-bid-poll.html
  15. This could open a door for Toronto. Their very successful PanAms have shown the IOC that the city is capable of pulling it together, overcoming transportation issues, and organizing a Games where venues were built along the lines of what the IOC is looking for in future bids -- sustainable and affordable, and an openness to venues which are not all in one location.
  16. And this list of demands on Norway didn't help, nor are they helping the IOC's reputation now: They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee. Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation. A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members' rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge ...) The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours “extra late” and the minibars must stock Coke products. The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives. The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport. During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge. IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel. Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times. The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.
  17. Great time lapse video which chronicles preparations for the ceremonies, including rehearsals, and the actual opening and closing ceremonies, with medal celebrations in between, at BC Place Stadium from Nov 2009 to Feb 2010, in less than 6 minutes.
  18. When you look back at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, it has become clear that all of the whining from some of the media (specifically the British and Russian media) were really whining. Vancouver 2010 was successful despite the weather challenges (and this will happen in Sochi too! There are palm trees in the city), and in the end, the Games went well and the facilities were first-class. Contrast this with what is happening in New Delhi. You can relive the Games in Vancouver here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6HMvTrs5DE
  19. This story deserves lots of coverage. It shows that with proper planning and a realistic approach, Olympic venues can indeed become legacies. Perhaps some would have suggested that the Oval should be kept as is to provide a training facility for the locals and to maintain the "memories' of the Games, but this is a much better idea, because it makes the facility useful to a large number of taxpayers and has multiple purposes. Good for you Vancouver/Richmond. Nice to see federal tax dollars properly spent.
  20. ...Except that it's a safe assumption that they have raised these concerns months in advance to the New Delhi committee only to be told "don't worry - it will all be fine and we will have it fixed on time." That is the exact reaction that Games organizing committee members are saying even now, when they are not blaming the teams for being too "picky" about the conditions of the village. I mean really - what's wrong with dog crap on a bed. Geez! In my opinion, the much bigger issue is going to be security. We have all read about the Aussie journalist who was able to march into the stadium yesterday with a suitcase full of suspicious items completely unchecked. We've now also heard that for weeks, the Athlete's Village has been reasonably open, with most of the room doors unlocked. These Games are under a very serious security threat ,and as far as I'm concerned, the venues and village will come second to the deplorable state of security for the athletes if these Games are scrapped, which I believe in fairness to the safety of the teams and officials, they may have to be.
  21. And the bad press continues to roll in. Even the head of the CWG indicates that the situation is a mess... "The Commonwealth Games Federation president, Michael Fennell, described the whole two-week event as "seriously compromised". "It is quite simple: we have to hope for a miracle. Otherwise we are facing national disgrace," said Boria Majumdar, an Indian sports historian and author of Sellotape Legacy: Delhi and the Commonwealth Games. "The glare of the world's cameras is upon us." "Government officials are investigating allegations that safety certificates for some buildings were falsified to cover up the use of cheaper sub-standard materials." http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/sep/21/commonwealth-games-collapse-bridge-delhi
  22. I'm not so sure. A highly-favourited Aussie athlete has left the Games indicating that she just felt unsafe. Several major national teams are expressing concerns, mostly around living conditions that are "unfit for human habitation" and also, on perhaps an even more important aspect, a perceived lack of proper security in terms of terrorism threats. And with the most recent bridge collapse at the stadium site, it's not looking very good. There's also some kind of viral outbreak now in the city. Personally, I think the Games could be postponed for these reasons. But if England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are publicly saying that they may leave for some of these reasons, there is a major problem! I don't think there is time to resolve it. We've heard of concerns about lack of preparation for major Games like this before (Athens, for example) but never have the major teams banded together and indicated they may just leave if they are not fixed. Not having suitable accommodations for he athletes, without basic electricity and plumbing, is pretty darned pathetic just 2 weeks before the Games. How awful. And they've spent in excess of $2 billion on these Games. India. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewsX
  23. As I recall, the 1976 Games venues were ready on time, as was the Olympic Village. There was a lot of cosmetic clean-up at the end just before the opening. However, in India, there is a much bigger problem. The Games Village is simply not ready -- wiring and plumbing have to be connected, and the athletes are already arriving. There's a report in today's Toronto Star that the Commonwealth Games could in fact be canceled. India has had 7 years to prepare. This is pathetic. Toronto Star article below... Could next month’s Commonwealth Games be cancelled?
  24. And from today's Toronto Star, quotes from the athletes: The Canadian athletes were gobsmacked by the turnout. Some of the athletes rode in antique cars or convertibles, while others were on floats. They were high fiving the fans, signing tons of autographs and taking pictures of the crowd and themselves in order to preserve the moment. "I rode with Scott Niedermayer and and I said 'This is as close to a Stanley Cup parade as it's going to get for us (the women's team),'" said women's team captain Hayley Wickenheiser. "You just don't expect to see six, seven rows of people lining the streets like we had. But you realize the impact Vancouver had on all of Canada." Niedermayer, a member of four Stanley Cup winners, was duly impressed. "It's the best parade I've ever been a part of," he said. "We didn't really have a parade in Anaheim; we had a rally. And in New Jersey, we just had rallies and a short parade." Olympic bobsleigh bronze medalist Lyndon Rush got emotional seeing the reception teammate Shelley-Ann Brown of Pickering, a silver medalist, got from some admirers. "I saw this group of what looked like young Jamaican girls and they were standing in a group and when they saw Shelly Ann come, they went insane," said Rush. "And they ran after the float. I was like tearing up. When you see these young Jamaican girls identifying with a winter athlete, obviously a role model — and there couldn't be a better role model than Shelly Ann — I think that that's awesome. I was touched by it." Moguls skier Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau provided a neat take on the spectacle. "Here we see the television spectators who came down to the street and told us how much we made them vibrate and live great emotion." They got to live it for another day. Full article: Canada's Olympians feel the love at Montreal parade
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