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plusbrilliantsexploits last won the day on April 15 2015

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About plusbrilliantsexploits

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    Born in Germany, residing in the Netherlands
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    In the context of this forum: Discussing the Olympic Games and the lessons we can learn to preserve and reinvigorate this greatest of sports events.

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  1. Trump's endorsement may very well be the kiss of death for the Los Angeles bid. Surely, the IOC doesn't want to have its brand tarnished by any kind of association with The Donald...
  2. I can totally see the 2030 Asian Games within India's capacity, especially if Modi gets re-elected to a second term as Prime Minister. But the proof is in the pudding, and only if India satisfactorily deals with the big corruption/mismanagement elephant in the room will it be deemed a much more suitable and serious contender for the Summer Olympics. New Delhi remains India's best bet, so any improvements have to be happen in the country's capital - notably on infrastructure, crime (esp against women) and environmental issues.
  3. Completely ignorant here, but couldn't Vancouver host the Commonwealth Games as well?
  4. I will never forget the extinguishing of the flame at Sydney 2000 - especially when the military aircraft "took" the flame with it. Just wow!
  5. It seems that there has been a nuanced shift in terms of remembrance by the IOC. A couple of days ago, I read an article in the Jerusalem Post in which this issue was discussed - basically, Bach seems to have gotten the fact that the IOC cannot just pretend that Munich never happened. Hence, the space of remembrance created in the Olympic Village (which was praised by the widows of the Munich 11, Ankie Spitzer being among them) and maybe this "Saudades" segment. However, the latter may just be a continuation of the section of the "Abide by Me" remembrance section which was musically accompanied by Emeli Sandé during the London 2012 closing ceremony. That said, the IOC regards the Munich 11 as the third rail of international sport: 1. Acknowledging them would be (unjustifiably, but still) be seen as taking sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, replete with threats of boycotts etc. Then again, that would make Middle Eastern countries look like terrorist sympathizers. In this regard, I think Rogge missed a beat at Salt Lake 2002. A segment honouring the Munich 11 could have been placed right in the Salt Lake OC. Who could have seriously resisted in the post-9/11 revulsion against terror? An opportunity missed. 2. Bach is the Avery Brundage of the 21st century - sans the rabid anti-Semitism and fascist sympathies - in his insistence on sport being apolitical. That's bogus and ridiculous. He spoke about a "united Brazil" standing behind the Olympic Games, when it was the exact opposite. He didn't mention doping, didn't chastise Russia and generally took a low profile. It is also interesting that he didn't make himself available for one-on-one interviews - even Rogge made a tour of the TV studios in 2008 and dropped by German TV for a 15-minute sitdown. Yes, much of it was boilerplate, but still better than Bach's self-imposed aloofness from the media. Then again, he seems to have a particular beef with German broadcasters - since they didn't just blindly nod to every one of his initiatives. 3. Dealing with the Munich 11 problem would force the IOC to take a stand on other issues too: what about human rights violations in Darfur? Why isn't Syria excluded from the IOC? Why force Kuwait and (at Sochi) India into Independent Olympic Athlete status over comparable technicalities, whilst failing to kick out Russia and forcing all NOCs to have anti-doping regimen in place and giving unqualified access, at any time, every time, everywhere, to all WADA examiners? The Munich 11 issue is one that is easy to address: It's not as if the IOC personally handed the hand grenades to the Black September terrorists. Much of the planning by West Germany was naive and lacking in security expertise. The only disgraceful thing about the IOC's behaviour at the time was Brundage and his unbelievable comparison with the Rhodesian exclusion from the Games. But the IOC's continued silence is cowardice vis-à-vis the Arab NOCs which would prefer that their disgraceful behaviour (they refused to have their flags lowered on the day of the memorial service, when Germany and the rest of the world were in mourning) remain glossed over as well. Given Mr Bach's own connections into the Middle East (and as an active member of a couple of lobbying organizations etc), this is not really a surprise - yet quite lamentable.
  6. Thanks for sharing your impressions of Rio 2016 (and everything that led up to it) with us - I'm glad you got to enjoy this unique event up-close and am sure that I speak for many when I say that I wish you and your family very well!!
  7. Yeah, that does suck ever so slightly...
  8. The CAS just confirmed that the Russian delegation will NOT go to the Rio Paralympics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/37165427 Looks like good old Tom's spiel about "individual athlete rights" has just been rejected by the highest arbitrary body in sport. So much for Dr Bach's mastery of sports law, then...
  9. Well, Phelps and Bolt were not necessarily the two I was thinking of here - but the most prominent icons, and I do know that German commentators have been expressing doubts about the anti-doping regimen in Jamaica: every single time a Jamaican athlete wins, the journos on the public broadcast channel feel that it's necessary to say "Well, that was rather impressive, but - and I have to mention this and don't intend to spoil the mood here - it is important to bear in mind that Jamaica has been criticized by the WADA for its lax verification of blood and urine samples", only to proceed to pay a hurried lip service to the presumption of innocence. It's the same routine whenever someone seems to have come out of nowhere or pulverizes a long-standing world record. It's become a tiresome and understandable routine at the time. I guess the commentators on our two public broadcasters (which still hold the rights via the EBU) cannot go all out and accuse Bolt, Phelps, Ledecky and Hozszu of doping (thus, biting the hand that feeds your ratings and advertising slots), but they are essentially doing it via the backdoor with a "wink wink, nod nod" style. In other cases, the past of exposed drugs cheats makes such a disclaimer almost necessary - for instance, in the case of the female walking champion from China or many a weightlifter, or Yuliya Efimova etc. Needless to say, that cynicism about sport also contributed to the Hamburg bid's defeat in the referendum and lower ratings than in previous years (rather than the proliferation of private TV networks, which also existed in 1992 and 1996). That, and the moralizing and ignorant way in which German broadcasters frequently tend to cover foreign societies in general. Finally, it's becoming clearer that the cynicism in Germany has become so widespread that many Germans find it hard to immediately accept scientifc explanations for why a certain athlete just has a natural advantage. Funnily enough, I never heard any such accusations being made about German athletes (except for Kathrin Krabbe and her cohort, but that was way back in the 1990s and seen as part of East Germany's sordid legacy of state-authorized doping) and I feel that there is a fair element of moralizing jingoism (not necessarily in a xenophobic fashion, but in a "look at us, we are oh-so-clean and we would never, ever cheat" way) among some of us Germans as well. It also becomes too easy an excuse to justify sub-par performances by Germany in track & field, and swimming.
  10. In principle, I agree with you and you're absolutely right about the presumption of innocence. That said, recent scandals (what not with blood doping/EPO/Fuentes), trends in medicine (gene manipulation to eliminate certain enzymes or expand oxygen supply), frequent revelations of prior heroes being felled by drugs tests many years later and the general corrupt demeanour of the IOC (the Russian doping scandal being the latest instance) and the IFs (IAAF, FIFA only being the most blatant examples of networks of corruption), have contributed to the mood in Germany (as well as the Netherlands) having become one of pragmatic cynicism towards the IOC. The substantive gaps in the anti-doping regimen in many countries which have produced interesting athlete trajectories, right up to sensational world records - many of which have been pulverized in a manner that makes certain achievements suspicious. If you have nothing to hide, then why not invest in and conduct rigorous doping tests to remove all doubt?
  11. Talking of gymnastics - did I miss something or has Romania suddenly vanished off the map for that sport? They used to dominate women's gymnastics for such a long time! Positive surprises: The United Kingdom scoring second. Bit of a satisfying feeling to have two democracies leading the medals table for once - though I'm sure China will pump as much money as possible to retake #2 spot during Tokyo 2020 - especially bearing the historic rivalry with Japan in mind. New Zealand did very well for a country its size and population! Fiji's gold medal was a highlight. Yes, Denmark did really well - and Jamaica's athletes did very well for a nation their size too. Japan's performance bodes well for 2020! Puerto Rico winning its first gold medal was great, even though it was a German player who got defeated in the tennis finals. Canada had an awesome games, if I'm not mistaken - so kudos to all Canadians! Negative surprises and results: India actually regressed to a silver and bronze each (down from its previous medal haul in London by four). However, quite a bit of potential, what with several fourth-place finishes. Much work will need to be done in order for India to become an even average sports nation. Also, what happened to Australia's swimmers?
  12. Totally agree with you on the audience behaviour and the IOC's descent into ever steeper depths of corruption and tone-deafness. Ditto for Germany and a good candidate for 2024 (give me LA or Paris any day - Budapest won't happen and, due to lack of economic stability, neither will Rome). Also agree with you on the asterisk that has to be placed next to athlete performances these days, especially when they involve WRs. Tokyo should be an awesome Olympic Games, precisely organized, with a rich culture (and great food!) on offer and, so it appears, Japan will be a credible contender for the Top 5 next time around. Germany? One day, hopefully, maybe, possibly...let's hope for the best!
  13. Not yet, but as the head of the IAAF, I sincerely doubt that Bach will be able to exclude him forever...El Moutawakel is not gonna be the IOC President. She's Moroccan, Muslim and a woman, three strikes against her in an old boys club still dominated by elderly and middle-aged white males from First World nations. and of a primarily Christian denomination. It's unfair, but the IOC hasn't sufficiently changed in its membership structure to give any reason to prioritize an El Moutawakel candidacy over Coe's. Both were athletes, but Coe has the added power base of the IAAF and has actually organized a stunningly successful Summer Olympics. And whilst she has been a vice president of the IOC, her time as chairwoman of the 2016 Evaluation Commission isn't exactly a strike in her favour. Don't get me wrong - it'd be awesome to see a woman from a Muslim-Arab country be the IOC President, I just don't think that the Committee has become structurally liberal enough to merit such an expectation. I think Lord Coe has proven during his time as London 2012 bid leader that he is able to charm, coax and persuade his way into the hearts and minds of any stakeholder he needs to get what he wants.
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