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Posts posted by Kenadian

  1. They're a stupid idea, but are they in trouble?

    They're for 14-18 year olds...because waiting until you are 19 to get into the regular "Old" Olympics is too long? Aren't most gymnasts in that age group anyway?

    You know what being 14 to 18 is called? Being a teenager. A time of zits, gangly bodies, awkward self awareness and goofy sex.

  2. Unfortunately, I had a lot of things going on in my professional life last week, so I haven't been able to watch as much as I had hoped, but from what I'm seeing, these are quite beautiful Games and the Russians have done a pretty good job of packaging and presenting them.

    I don't think anyone would or should expect the atmosphere to be anything like what you saw on the streets of Vancouver or London. Sochi is smaller and the Russians aren't like that.

    But once again, the Olympic Games show that while the stories for seven years are all about expenses and security and organization and legacy, for two shining and wonderful weeks, the athletes push that all aside and give us an even better story!

    • Like 1

  3. Ah, well Atlanta also had a glitch. The wick didn't light properly and didn't zip up the line as fast as it should have. They even cut the music for a bit. I kinda blame Ali for that. He lit the top of the wick and I think it should have been lit from the bottom. And perhaps the wick should have been a bit further up the line. Ali having to bend over like that was also a bit awkward. Then again, Atlanta's cauldron was a hot mess, so maybe it was fitting.

  4. Vague memories of Sarajevo but HUGE first memories of Los Angeles 1984. The Soviet-bloc boycott meant Canada kicked ass. And my family watched for two weeks, wrapped in Canadian flags and cheering on our 10 gold medalists. It was also the first time my parents allowed me to stay up passed midnight.

    Interest in the bidding process began around 1990 in the fight for the 1996 Centennial Games. I had first learned of the bidding process while watching the opening ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Games. When the Norwegian team entered the stadium, the CBC's Brian Williams talked about Lillehammer winning the bid for the 1994 Games. Also during the Seoul Games, Toronto was ramping up their bid for the Centennial Games and of course the media went into a frenzy about what Ben Johnson story meant for the bid. I still have the special Time feature from 1990 about the six cities bidding for the Games. I remember loving Atlanta's bid logo because at the time I was in to swishy, streaky logos, but not really giving them much consideration. I figured it would be an Athens victory with maybe Toronto or Melbourne being the winner. Imagine if we had Gamesbids back then!

  5. The fact is that any nation has dark aspects to its history. Mexico City certainly did not highlight the Spanish destruction of Aztec culture and the deaths of ten million Native Americans. Neither did the Atlanta games touch on the issue of slavery. Nor did LA offer a segment on the plight of Native Americans in the USA. Montreal did not put a spotlight on the separatist movement taking on steam in Quebec in 1976. I don't think nations have to do such things. The games, when correctly presented, are designed to bring people together and most of them have done just that. It's cool when nations celebrate themselves to the world as Canada did in 1988 and 2010 and as Russia is doing right now. It only gets out of hand and becomes obscene when the games are turned into a jingoistic expression of superiority as happened in 1936. Russia is not doing that. What I see is a sea of proud Russians celebrating their culture, their history, their first true Olympic games* and their athletes.

    *I don't count Moscow in 1980 as a true Olympic event because, rightly or wrongly, have of the world did not participate. I don't know what happened in Moscow that year but those games certainly did not link peoples together and only added to global tensions.

    The opening ceremonies of the Games of Mexico and Montreal didn't focus on anything except the athletes and protocol segments. A few dances, yes, but prior to boycotted* Moscow 1980 (the Games you don't 'count', which happened to attract more athletes and countries than in all the Games that preceded the Rome Olympics some 20 years earlier), there was little more to the Olympic opener than a march of athletes, a few speeches, and the Olympic flag and flame.

    *It was Jimmy Carter who spoiled the Moscow Games.

  6. I don't think it will ever happen. Not in my lifetime, anyway. And while I see the benefits, I prefer things the way they are. The variety gives us both a cultural experience and, when done right, allows a city to benefit in a once-in-a-generation kind of thing. Barcelona reaped huge benefits as a tourist destination. Vancouver got a wealth of new transportation links. London got a revitalized East End. And even Montreal benefited from 1976 with new venues and sports facilities all around the city that are still in use today (and I'm not talking about the Olympic park).

    Certainly, a permanent host would forever change the way we experience the Olympic Games. Ceremonies would have to be global in nature or focus on the history of the movement, and not the culture of the host country. Branding and Look of the Games would either not be as varied or could even become just one permanent look/brand/mascot. And sponsors would probably demand more visibility at the Games and in the venues, not just around the Games. We might even see a permanent split of the Games with the Olympic Games held in the summer months in Athens and the revived Nordic Games held in the winter months in Oslo. And of course, Gamesbids would lose its central purpose. ;)

    But with a permanent host city, the tricky parts could be worked out. The Olympic Village could be used as a resort for tourists or student dormitories in the four years between Games. The stadiums and venues would need to be well built and well maintained but funding could or should come from the IOC and its partners alone and not the host country.

    But again, I don't see it happening. Not when countries are willing to shell out that kind of money. And all you need are two or three of them to want the Games to get a good race on. You don't really need a dozen or more competitors when there's only one prize.

  7. I fully expect the 2014 Games to run very smoothly. The Russians will make that happen. But come on...the Games were forced up on them by the man in Moscow. At around 350,000 people, it's a sub-tropical summer resort city with a population around the size of Halifax, Nova Scotia or Bakersfield, California or Canberra, Australia that now suddenly has a cluster of expensive, large and very fancy sporting venues. Do any of those other cities have such a massive need for those kind of venues? Is the culture of Sochi so that they will be attracting big sporting and concert activities in the future after years and years of never having that? And to top it all off, they're all located in a cluster some 30 km from the centre of Sochi and just 1 or 2 km from the border of a not always so friendly neighbour. If Montreal's Big O is a white elephant with 20+ years of hosting the MLB Expos and CFL Allouettes in a city of 3 million and with not one but two Metro stations attached to the stadium only 10 kms from the city centre, then what will the future hold for Sochi's venues?

    • Like 1

  8. "Do you think the LA cauldron will be bigger and better than the one used in 1932?"

    "I hope Bruce Jenner lights the flame. His face is the ideal image of the All-American man."

    "First Moscow and now Sarajevo? Are all future Olympics going to be in Commie countries?"

    "The Winter Olympics are just too small for a city like Calgary."

    "Olympics in China? World Cup in South Africa? Never!"

  9. The men's downhill requires a vertical drop of 800 meters (or about 2600 feet). Elevation, for the most part, is irrelevant. You can have big tall mountains but only part of it can be skied. Grouse Mountain here in Vancouver, for example, has an elevation over 1200 meters but its vertical drop (essentially the distance from the top of the most skiable area to the bottom of the skiable area) is only 350 meters.

    Interestingly, the Vancouver Sun today featured an article that claims climate change in the future will cut the list of host city potentials. The study claims only 6 of 19 past Olympic hosts will be able to stage the Games in the future.


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