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Kenadian

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Posts posted by Kenadian

  1. My point is more to the idea of cutting out the athletes from the ceremony. I don't think it can be done and I don't think it is fair to cut that part out just for some more POW and kids dancing in silly costumes.

    Yeah, the parade can get long. But London showed that it can be handled better than in the past. The 2012 parade moved by at a good pace, in my mind.

    Basically, I'm content with the formula as it is. A good narrative, a good flow, some wow moments here and there, a parade and the pomp and protocol. That's all you need. What I don't like is when they try to hard to cheese it up - like getting celebrities to carry the Olympic flag, weird interpretations of national anthems, or awkward acts that don't seem to fit.

    The ceremony should be about the host country telling their story and how they fit into the world and the value of sport and Olympism. I often feel that sport gets left out of the equation. Winter ceremonies seem to do that much better. Summer ceremonies are all about 'look at how awesome our country is'.

  2. This could be very interesting. Poland is a few paces ahead of Ukraine as far as winter medal performance (14 medals in total, with 6 of those won in Vancouver).

    It seems both countries are beaming from their hosting of Euro 2012 and a bit hungry for more.

    By all accounts, I've heard Krakow is a wonderful and historic city. But I believe I've read that downhill events (the bane of many Olympic Winter host hopefuls) might have to be held across the border in Slovakia.

  3. I don't think the size of a ceremonies stadium is much of a factor anyway. The key issues would be Ukraine's rather weak winter sporting tradition (with 5 medals in 5 Winter Games, it would have the poorest medal record of a previous host since Yugoslavia hosted the 1984 Winter Games without ever having won a winter medal before hosting) and the size and quality of their downhill resort. I don't know much about the Carpathian Mountains so overall I think Lviv or any Ukraine bid is a dark horse.

  4. It didn't take London over 60 years to land the games again simply because between 1948 and 2012, they only put in one bid. And they won it...in the wake of three failed British bids from smaller, lesser known cities (Birmingham 1992, Manchester 1996 and 2000). Is there a lesson here?

    Timing, appeal, narrative, stature, commitment, experience, legacy, prestige, trust, ability, infrastructure, leadership. These all have an impact on winning a bid.

    • Like 1
  5. Olympic boycotts don't accomplish anything for those that boycott. Ask the 1976 African Olympians. They are just a footnote of history. Ask the 1980 US Olympic team. Many worked and sacrificed for years only to make the team and not go. Ask the 1984 Soviet bloc teams. All that training for nyet.

    But as for the Soviet athletes of 1980 and the US athletes of 1984...yep, the boycott was a hit. Hey, Canada certainly benefited from the 1984 boycott - 10 gold, 44 medals total.

    A long and sustained boycott of a product, company or service can make an impact, but refusing to take part in a two week celebration doesn't accomplish anything.

  6. But you know the cycle. The Olympics come to a close, we get the silly season of 'which athletes have you never met' and 'why Tulsa 2024 is the best bid ever', then we get the 'what ifs' and 'what nexts' and a number of threads about Minneapolis, Toronto and Paris, followed by a couple of competitions, and then the real bid season heats up and we're all focused on that. Although this bid cycle...not the most intense we've seen...so maybe we'll get a few more threads about 'which fictional athlete should light the Olympic cauldron' or 'which historic figure, living or dead, would make the best IOC president". Let the Games begin.

    • Like 2
  7. Shanghai makes sense as the next Chinese summer games. But I don't see it happening for about 30 years. There are other places to go.

    As for the winter games, not sure about China. Harbin seems the most 'logical' but the distance to the mountain resort is always going to be an issue. The city isn't the first to have this trouble and it won't be the last. In many respects, the winter games have greater limitations. They have outgrown the small resort towns but there aren't a lot of big cities nestled in snowcapped mountains and IOC can't allow too many Squaw Valleys and Sochis with a complete set of winter facilities being built from scratch. In the future, the IOC will have to make some concessions and Harbin could benefit from that.

    • Like 1
  8. I've wonder why 2012 attracted so many of the big name cities...is there something about the year 2012, it being the XXX Olympiad, or that they sensed that following Beijing required a BIG name?

    I think 1976 was as much Canada's as 2008 was China. As if the IOC wouldn't award the Olympics to peace loving Canada when confronted with the two bully-boys causing global bipolarity elbowing each other to ask for the IOC to take sides. They were able to put off the inevitable by four years.

    I dunno...Moscow was often cited as the favourite going into the race and they were ahead of Montreal by 3 votes after the first ballot. Montreal picked up all of LA's votes in the next round and won. And Moscow breezed by LA for 1980. But I guess Canada looked like a safe middle choice, or benefited from Cold War politics. And with Europe hosting with Munich in 1972, geopolitics may have held a role, too. Of course, much of the victory is attributed to Mayor Jean Drapeau and the city's smashing success with Expo '67.

  9. 2012 was the ultimate.

    But I think 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 were all intense and interesting races.

    1992 - a third games for Paris or Samaranch's hometown?

    1996 - is Athens ready? Or shall we go to an Anglo-metropolis? Um, or Belgrade, i guess?

    2000 - can we trust China?

    2004 - Athens vindication? African safari? Roman holiday? A South American tango? This was a diverse race.

    I also think 1976 would have been interesting. The world's two superpowers - the Kremlin vs. Hollywood - going head to head and the losing to Canada.

    • Like 1
  10. A sad day and the passing of an era, as well. She always seemed to be such a cheery and vivacious character. Whether winning an Olympic gold medal, carrying the Olympic torch in Newfoundland to begin the 1988 relay or in Parliament for the 2010 relay or in her role at the Vancouver ceremonies carrying the Olympic flag, she always had that little smile and twinkle in her eye. Rest in peace, Barbara Ann.

  11. Beijing's hosting was inevitable and for their 2008 bid, all the stars aligned. They still had to have a strong bid to succeed. Toronto had a great bid. Paris, too. But they didn't have the narrative that Beijing had and the Chinese and their IOC supporters made sure that whatever questions and doubts there were for 2000, they were answered or alleviated.

    They had already lost to Sydney for 2000. But just as Moscow's bid for 1976 went down to Montreal, and Rio had failures for 2004 and 2012, not every time a big shiny 'New Frontier' star comes into play does it succeed. Sometimes there are doubts about breaking this New Frontier and the geopolitics of the previous hosting location sometimes has a role. The next one we'll see is happening now with Istanbul's bid for 2020. It could get through as the weaker bid if it has the narrative, but if the IOC has doubts, we're probably talking Tokyo 2020.

    To win, you need to have a good enough technical bid and the trust of enough of the IOC plus a good, compelling story and reason to host because there is both political and emotional aspects involved, otherwise, the Olympic hosts would be chosen solely by the scores of the evaluation and executive committees.

  12. I would have been fine with most of the eventual winners in the past, but there might be a few exceptions...

    1956 - I likely would have supported Buenos Aires, and even though Melbourne was considered ill-prepared a year or so prior to the Games, Argentina underwent a revolt in the mid-1950s that would have been more difficult to work around, so the Olympic Movement made the right choice.

    1972 - As a Canadian, I likely would have supported Montreal, but with Mexico just 4 years earlier and Expo '67 a year away (the Games were awarded in 1966), I would have known it just wasn't their time. From my understanding of that cycle, Munich's bid was pretty solid, and despite the tragic terrorist attack that forever marred these Games in history's page, Munich did an excellent job of organizing them.

    Since I first started following Olympic bids in around 1988, this is my history of support...

    1994 - Sofia, Bulgaria. Thought it would be 'exotic', but in the end Lillehammer was the right choice. But I only knew of the choices a few days before the IOC voted in Seoul.

    1996 - In my first real closely followed contest, I supported Toronto, but would have liked them to go to Athens.

    1998 - Ostersund.

    2000 - Sydney all the way!

    2002 - Quebec City to an extent, but I figured the mountain was going to kill them. I expected Salt Lake to win.

    2004 - Although I expected Athens to win, I was a big fan of the Cape Town bid.

    2006 - None really.

    2008 - I expected Beijing to walk away with it, but as a Canadian and a Vancouverite, I was a bit torn and half heartedly supported Toronto knowing that a TO win would end the 2010 Winter bid in my backyard.

    2010 - Vancouver all the way!

    2012 - I supported Paris, but London was my second choice.

    2014 - Salzburg supporter.

    2016 - I supported Rio, but I did like Chicago's bid.

    2018 - Munich supporter.

    2020 - I support Istanbul, then Tokyo.

  13. China, Korea and Japan are the sports leaders in the region, but a lot of Asian countries will have to work on their Olympic performance to get up to snuff. In 23 Olympiads, India is still only 4 medals ahead of what Michael Phelps has. Iran, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Indonesia and Azerbaijan are all ahead of India on overall medal counts, but most of them would have too many issues to overcome to land the Games, although Tehran did contemplate a bid for 1984, but that was before the Islamic Revolution.

  14. Japan hosted the first Olympic Games in Asia with Tokyo 1964 (after resigning the 1940 Games due to the war). And Tokyo is again a candidate for the Summer Games of 2020.

    Korea then hosted with Seoul 1988.

    And China had its turn with Beijing 2008.

    Japan broke the Olympic Winter Games Asian frontier with Sapporo 1972 (although, again having resigned the 1940 Winter Games due to war), hosted again with Nagano 1998. And Korea will follow with the third in PyeongChang 2018

    What other 'new frontier' Asian city/country could you see realistically hosting the Olympics in the not-too-distant future?

    Bangkok, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were non-finalized applicants for the 2008 Summer Games and Doha, Qatar and Baku, Azerbaijan were non-finalized applicants for the Summer Games of 2016 and 2020. Harbin, China was a non-finalized applicant for the 2010 Winter Games and Almaty, Kazakhstan and Borjomi, Georgia were non-finalized applicants for the 2014 Winter Games.

    Istanbul, Turkey is a current candidate for 2020 and previous applicant and candidate for the Summer Games between 2000-2012. And Sochi, Russia will host the 2014 Winter Games. But both cities are on the frontiers of Europe, so that's up for for debate as to how fully 'Asian' or 'European' they are. So let's consider it holistically, and ponder what other realistic Olympic host options there are in the world's most expansive and most populous continent.

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