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  1. Lviv is clearly out of the running due to recent Ukrainian turmoil. Beijing may be the best possible host due to the amount of resources the Chinese government would throw at the Games, but it will surely lose due to the 2018/2020 games being in Asia. That leaves Almaty, Krakow, and Oslo to duke it out. Oslo seems like the most stable host. The trick for Oslo will be seeing if local support for the games picks up following the excellent Norwegian performance in Sochi. If it doesn't, then I'm not sure that bid has much hope; the government might not even lend its support. Should that occur, then it's either Almaty or Krakow and I think that decision will come down to bid quality.
  2. I disagree that future bids aren't on the mind of IOC voters when deciding who hosts the next Olympics, as do many people on this forum judging by recent conversation. There were a number of people this last go-round who thought that people might vote against Madrid (or to a lesser extent Istanbul) to put Europe in a better place for a 2024 Games. So if Toronto is bidding in 2032 and North America hasn't hosted in 36 years, I don't think they're necessarily going to give it to Toronto just because North America is "due." And yes, I have been to Mexico. I've worked there, thankyouverymuch. From that, I'll say that 1) Mexico City is very different (re: more secure) than the rest of Mexico (which I don't believe any city other than the capital could physically host... I laugh at the idea of Guadalajara) and 2) my point was that the danger of the cartels could diminish in the next twenty or thirty years, just like it wasn't as big an issue twenty years ago. I think this is extremely likely. If Toronto doesn't win in 2024/28 (and I don't think it can, really), then I see the Canadian NOC saying, "Oh well. Let's stick to the Winter Games, which we're particularly suited to athletically and which our populace really connects with."
  3. Those sunglasses smilies are actually "B )". And re: Montreal, I mean that it was the bid city rather than Toronto. Montreal is much more unique culturally, even within its own country!
  4. Let's think about this "Can the US host twice in ten(-ish) years?" question in other terms: As it stands now, North America will go at least 28 years without hosting a Summer Olympics. The longest it's ever gone without hosting them is 36 years (1932-1968), a pretty exceptional era during which time two Olympics were canceled. I think it's pretty likely that they will be back in North America by 2032 or at the very least 2036 and I imagine that most of us would agree with that assessment. So who will be hosting that edition of the Games? If the US doesn't host the WOG in 2026, I think it's the US, hands-down. That's a long time for the country that contributes the most money to the IOC, that tops the medal count (depending on how you look at it, obviously), and that has the most soft power in the world to not have hosted. However, if the US does host the WOG in 2026... (and here's where people will disagree with me until they're blue in the face, because that seems to be the M.O. around here) I still think that it'll be the US. Why? Many posters keep making the same two assumptions on here: a) If a North American host is not the U.S., they'll have to go with Canada because Mexico is not capable of hosting the games. I'm not sure either assumption is correct. A) What would be the IOC's interest in going to Toronto? Recent host cities have all had something extremely unique culturally to offer: Athens and London being firm parts of the Western tradition, Beijing/Rio being "new" and exotic, Tokyo being both the world's largest city and of the very singular, Japanese tradition. Toronto is a lovely city in a very stable country, which is indeed something the IOC values, but I'm not convinced that it has that special spark that screams "I'd be an exciting host." For example, what would the opening ceremonies look like? I worry that they'd have the same Native American/First Nations theme that Atlanta, Salt Lake, and Vancouver all had (and I'd bet Calgary though I didn't watch those Olympics). Put another way, why do you think Canada went with Montreal in 1976? My point here is this: if the IOC gets around to North America on the unofficial rotation and the options are Toronto, giving America two games within 10 years, or waiting a few more years for the US to host, I'm not convinced that they'll go with the Canadian option. I can't see Mexico being awarded the Games at the moment due to the drug cartels, but this is only a transient problem (ten years ago, it wasn't nearly as big an issue) and I think it's highly likely that they'll become a capable and exciting host sometime in the next 20-30 years. I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Mexico hosted a SOG before Canada.
  5. Mr. Bernham, a few points: 1) I take issue with the idea that nobody remembers the LA games. The games are twelve years older than the Atlanta games and the media has advanced light years ahead in recent years so maybe people don't remember them as vividly as the more recent 96 games (particularly the young'uns on this board who grew up in the 90s/early 00s), but it's not like people shrugged off another games in LA because they were occurring in one of the country's largest cities. 2) I don't see in the slightest how Atlanta was a new modern city in 1996. 3) To get the games, people have to want to come to the host city. Try to tell an IOC member from Europe that Austin would make a better host city than New York because its "newer" and see how they laugh at you. Also tell them that they should go to Austin in the July/August heat and see what they say. And re: people saying two pages back that the US should only bid when they know they can win: good luck waiting for a surefire winner. There is always competition for these bids and it's a crapshoot to predict what will be the factor that determines the host city (who'd have known four years ago that Madrid/Spain would be tanking economically, Turkey would be politically unstable, and Japan would almost have a nuclear meltdown?). If the US can find a good bidder, I still say that they should bid. It may lose and that would stink, but it takes some risk to win the Games.
  6. You bring up a point that shouldn't be understated: it's ok for the US to bid in 2024 or 2028 and lose. If USOC really wants to win, a city might have to lose once in order to win the games. And that's just fine. Re: DC: 1) Our national capital-- and no offense to it, I've lived there previously and love it-- has nowhere near the exciting personality of recent host cities. It's viewed as rather sterile by many, both at home and abroad. In fact, it was designed that way. 2) I'm not sure the idea is that popular among locals and I have a feeling it especially won't be popular within Congress, which would have to approve any federal spending that the District uses on the endeavor.
  7. Thanks for such a detailed post. One thing: I didn't mean in the least that corporate sponsors tied to a bid would help it succeed. If anything, I think the IOC views Atlanta games as the corporate games. I did mean, though, that major US companies that fund the Olympics could put pressure for the IOC to support an American bid-- any American bid. Just look at the past four years: we went from the IOC spiting the US to the US having had a reasonable chance to beat Tokyo for the games if it had bid. At some point, the IOC could become just as desperate for an American games as they are for an African games. And re: Durban, it's interesting you say that the US needs a compelling city to win, but South Africa just needs a capable one. It's probably true, but to me choosing between Durban and Cape Town is like choosing between Tampa and San Francisco. One is sunny and spacious but bland; one has space issues and a rainy June but much more internationally appealing (name is certainly not the only thing CT has over Durban... have you been there?). Which would you rather have host?
  8. Sorry to make you rehash old points. I'm pretty new here. Your points about the logistics of Durban being better than those of Cape Town are well-taken. I've been to CT in June-July and the weather is indeed chilly and rainy, not to mention that the city is very compact with little room for growth in the city center. But at some point, I just think that this is a cultural event and you want a city that excites folks. If Durban gets the games, it will purely be for the reason that the IOC wants an African games and Durban was the easiest city on the continent to host it in. Cape Town, if they could swing it, is scenic, well-developed, and (trust me) still an African city.
  9. The US didn't impress the world? Not sure about that one. There were some definite problems, but it was a good games. And I'd submit that Atlanta's Opening Ceremony paved the way for the spectacles that followed in Sydney, Beijing, and London. I'm also not sure what you mean by "we got the biggest games of the twentieth century" (the 100th anniversary?), but I'd say in response that the IOC rarely does what it "should" do. If it did, Europe wouldn't be hosting a games every 8-12 years. At some point, politics and commerce will bring the games back to the US and I think it will happen sooner rather than later.
  10. If you're suggesting Rome 2024 / South Africa 2028 (or the reverse), I'll only believe that the US goes 36 years without a Summer Olympics when I see it.
  11. From my vantage point, the next three games will be hosted in Europe, North America, and a new frontier such as South Africa or Istanbul. The big question is: in what order? Considering how the IOC has never gone more than 12 years without a European games, Europe does seem most likely for 2024. But we have to consider what "Europe" would mean: Paris, who seems to not want them at the moment? Madrid/Istanbul, who've failed multiple times, who are possibly unwanted altogether, and/or who might give up? Berlin, who might not bid if Munich wins 2022? St Petersburg, eight years after Sochi? Really, Rome seems like the best Euro bet but they haven't exactly done well in recent bids. So if the bids don't line up, maybe a European SOG in 2024 isn't as much of a slam dunk as we think. Then there's "South Africa," which seems to be code for Durban. I remain skeptical that the IOC would give the games to that particular South African city. Cape Town is swankier and one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the world. It's also better known worldwide, which adds a little comfort to ease the fear of the first African Olympics. With a few minor exceptions (Atlanta comes to mind-- no offense Atlantans-- and some of the early hosts before there was as much interest in the Games), the SOG have always been held in major world cities. Durban just doesn't seem to be on that level, if you ask me. And as for North America, there really only seem to be a few options: Toronto, which would be 14 years after Vancouver, or major US cities that Europeans enjoy visiting (NY, LA, SF definitely; I remain skeptical on Chicago and wonder if Dallas--if it pulls the Wild West card-- could be intriguing enough). If the USOC could convince one of those premier US cities to bid, then I think that they and corporate sponsors might be able to strongarm the IOC because, at some point, US-based sponsors will surely insist on another American games. So what happens first? I think it comes down to whether Europe or the US has a bigger name bid. Whichever continent loses will probably get 2028 purely due to time lapse since its last SOG. That means that South Africa might have to wait...
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