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Everything posted by Kenadian

  1. I see your point, but Almaty is not really that close to Pakistan & Afghanistan. There's a buffer of Uzbekistan, Krygyzstan, and Tajikistan and all their mountains and steppes in between. North Korea is a bigger threat to Pyeongchang than Afghanistan is to Almaty. And let's not get into Sochi...oy! Almaty is as far away from Kabul as Vancouver is to Tijuana and you didn't see Quatchi mugged by a cartel gangster.
  2. This is the strangest bid of the lot and will create an amusing little situation for the IOC.
  3. If Lviv wants to host the Winter Olympics, they have to take the South Korean approach and look at this as long term goal. I don't see them being as successful as the Koreans, though - likely to be cut before the Candidate Phase. A number of reasons...lack of experience, weak infrastructure, a heavy investment requirement, too many competitors, and limited Winter Olympic heritage/might. As an independent country, Ukraine has only participated in 5 Winter Olympics (1994-2010) and they have only won 5 medals - only one of those gold and not one of them from the two recent Games hosted in North America. They've got their work cut out for them.
  4. Shortlists are pretty technical, and so the cut off point might be hard to pinpoint this early. I think Oslo is an easy pass to the Candidate phase. To me, Beijing is a strange bid (if you don't like the trend of bigger cities hosting the Winter Games, you're gonna HATE this bid), but most of it will depend on their snow region and how developed it is. Iffy. Almaty should get a pass to the next phase. They have some experience now and the IOC will want some insurance in case anyone pulls a Berne 2010. Likely to make the list. Stockholm's weakness is the distance to Are. Sweden kinda has all the dream situations the IOC would want for a Winter Olympics - the climate, some wealthy global companies to sponsor it, pristine and picturesque, huge winter culture, efficient and well organized, one of the most successful Olympic countries, and great infrastructure. If it weren't for a 600 km stretch of lakes, land and trees between Stockholm and Are, this would be a slam dunk. For me, Stockholm's chances are iffy and depend on the mood and view of the IOC on that one issue. I expect Lviv to be cut because it will require too much construction in a country that doesn't have all that big of a Winter Games tradition. And the Polish/Slovak bid will likely be rejected because the IOC has never been fond of binational bids. Now...of course, looking back on the list, two risky factors that I kinda of alluded to in the Almaty line - the bid bailers. Switzerland has done it before and if anyone here is going to do it, it would be their northern cousins in Scandinavia. So the IOC is likely to go with a minimum of three candidates (and possibly four) just to make sure a bail doesn't box them into a corner.
  5. Yes, there are some sports that appear more central to the Olympics than others, but the mistake with not 'equating' sports like equestrian and sailing with alpine skiing is the 'I' you are talking - that's projecting your personal opinion into the debate. The only 'I' that is relevant is the IOC and sometimes they can be surprisingly flexible (equestrian in Hong Kong, Rio's ceremonies stadium, Albertville's spread out plan) and other times not (Doha's heat, the February timeline for the Winter Games). Anyway, to put my own 'I' into this, I would like to see Sweden as a Winter Olympic host some day, but like Quebec, Finland, the Netherlands, and a few other wintery lands, I know that mountains are a problem and the growing size of the Games compounds this (a reason why small sized Ostersund won't work anymore). But for now, this is Sweden's proposal. And timing is everything in Olympic cycles. If I were an IOC member facing this rather strange list of applicants, I would accept it going into the candidate phase. But if it were a case of going up against Salt Lake, Oslo, Torino, Munich and Vancouver, I would probably cut it.
  6. Well, the numbers for Alpine are similar to equestrian or sailing at the Summer Games... Alpine Skiing for Vancouver 2010 @ Whistler Creekside 309 athletes in 10 events 10 days of competition Equestrian in Hong Kong @ Beijing 2008 200 horses in 6 events 12 days of competition Sailing @ London 2012 around the Isle of Portland 380 athletes in 10 events 13 days of competition And Are is a regular stop on FIS World Cup circuits...something a few of the other bidders cannot put in their application forms.
  7. The WOGs were also traditionally held in places like Lake Placid, which has a population almost equivalent to the number of athletes competing in Sochi, and other tiny towns. That just won't happen now. The Winter Games are too big for them to support and sustain. Starting with Calgary in 1988, we've seen the trend of large central city supported by a more distant ski resort. With the limited number of potential Winter hosts (and that is a reality...only a very few places can actually host them) a bid like this one was inevitable. It will certainly be a litmus test for future Olympic Winter bids.
  8. Just look at it for fun. We don't know what the 'magic number' will be. The IOC could say to Stockholm that the distance is too far. They could say no binational bids to Krakow. They could tell Beijing and Lviv their mountains aren't up to snuff. And then we're down to Oslo and Almaty. And we all remember what happened in the 2006 race!
  9. No odder than Olympic banners in Hong Kong, the Olympic flame burning in Kingston, Ontario, Moscow being featured heavily in the Sochi Games or all of Korea cheering on the 2018 Games. When the Olympic torch ran across Canada back in 2010, there were Vancouver 2010 banners, mittens and branding in Newfoundland, Toronto and Calgary - way further than the 600 km away were talking about here. A country quickly galvanizes behind the Olympics once the torch touches down. And Sweden is a country of 10 million. If successful, it will be a big national event for them. Yep, the bid has a problem. But at least the mountains are in their own country. Unlike the Helsinki 2006 or Krakow 2022 bids. But is it just me, or does anyone else find it extremely funny that in a cycle that includes unproven Ukraine, barely known Almaty, a last second electoral ditch by Munich, a binational Polish/Slovak bid, another bid from both Beijing and Norway, that SWEDEN of all places appears to have stirred up the most controversy in this race?
  10. Oh, and by the way...I was at Whistler Creekside to watch the women's downhill for the Vancouver Games. There were maybe a few thousand people standing at the bottom of the hill who mostly got to watch the last few seconds of each run. While it is a premiere event at the Winter Games, it really is one of those 'made for TV' kind of events. In fact, most of us could only see the athletes on the big TV screens.
  11. Yes, they were the summer games. But those decisions were made by the same body. And again, my final point is that this is the IOC's decision to make. Stockholm might just get cut. But...the list of applicants isn't the strongest. So the IOC might be willing to consider different options. Do you see the Winter Games going back to back in Asia with Almaty or Beijing? Will they go to a dual country host situation as proposed by Krakow and their Slovak neighbours? Will they go to another relatively unknown place like Lviv? Or will they just return to Oslo and Norway? Time will tell, but while I don't think Stockholm is a slam dunk by any standard, the Swedes do have a lot going for them. And the IOC did entertain ideas like Quebec City 2002 and Helsinki 2006, both of which had the same problem Stockholm faces. Of course, they ditched them for more compact bids from Salt Lake and Torino, but those were also pretty strong bids from wealthy countries with rich winter sport traditions, and the IOC could also do the same thing here and ditch Stockholm for 2022 and go next door for Oslo 2022. But until that happens, I'm willing to keep an open mind on this bid and see what the Swedes come up with and how the IOC reacts.
  12. We're pretty early in this, but the Swedes are currently only proposing 8 alpine events for Are. Not half the games as some seem to be suggesting. I know that could change. Everything changes in Olympic circles. And yes, 600 km is a big distance. But Munich to Kiel is 900 km. Atlanta to Miami is 1000 km. Beijing to Hong Kong is 2000 km. Los Angeles to Boston is 5000 km. And let's not even try to calculate Melbourne to Stockholm. There are plenty of cases in the summer games where a few Olympic sporting events have been held far outside the main Olympic city - football, sailing, equestrian. A compact Olympics isn't always possible. This would certainly be the furthest Alpine events have been from the rest of the Olympic events and maybe a bit strange for the 300 odd competitors, but it won't end the Olympic Movement as we know it. So, I think we should wait and see what Sweden proposes in full. And then the IOC can decide if having one sport contended 600 km away from the main cite is too much.
  13. I think Munich's demise is good news for the Swedes. The distance to Are will be the biggest problem for them, but pretty much all of the other potential bidders have problems that are just as big.
  14. Ah thanks...but wouldn't the roof blow up when the cauldron is lit? Just kidding! (memories of Yellow/Orange/Wacko Vest). All the renders I saw of the stadium didn't have the completely enclosed roof, but then again, I'm not paying as much attention to Sochi 2014 as I have previous Olympic Games.
  15. Honestly...I think SA would be better off going for the CWGs than the OGs. It is an easier win and would only ultimately strengthen a future Olympic bid. I know...I know...I know...I was only a casual observer and a tourist, but I did visit South Africa last year, and I honestly don't think they are ready for the Olympics. Lovely country. But big issues! And don't bring up FIFA in 2010. They very often prove themselves to be reckless and irresponsible. (Qatar 2022? REALLY?) And they often seem to just want to show the IOC up on geography. The IOC, however, knows they need to be more prudent. When rich and powerful countries spend fortunes on the Olympics - Montreal's 30 year debt, Greece's financial collapse, Beijing's 8 billion, rumours of Sochi's 50 billion price tag and Rio's cost overruns as examples - and still have challenges, is it wise to burden a country and a continent with enormous problems with such a trivial thing as the Olympics? No. It is actually immoral to do that. So...let the 2024, 2028, 2032 Olympics go to rich places and when the Africans can afford it, then they can host. Or...the IOC has to cut the Games down to 1970s levels. And we know that ain't happenin' anytime soon!
  16. I can't read German, but I never felt Munich's bid for 2018 was a 'mistake'. They had a lot going for them. But...it just wasn't their time. The Koreans had worked very very very hard for almost 10 years to plead their case and improve their bid. And while I was critical of their bid in the past, they did what was required of them and 2018 was just their time. The IOC couldn't say 'no' to that.
  17. OK...I also looked at the Sochi 2014 thread on Skyscrapercity and see that black metal mesh covering the stadium. It does look out of place, though. And kind of unnecessary.
  18. I had to look that up. The report doesn't mention Tchaikovsky. http://library.la84.org/6oic/OfficialReports/1980/or1980v2pt1.pdf From page 294... "Before the eyes of the amazed spectators a pathway connecting the field with the Bowl of the Olympic Flame took shape above the heads of athletes in the East Stands. Sergei Belov ran up along it to the Bowl and lit the Olympic Flame. Thousands of pigeons soared skywards, to the strains of the "Ode to Sport", written for the Opening Ceremony by Soviet composer Eduard Artemyev.."
  19. Am I missing something? I don't see anything anywhere that says Fisht Olympic Stadium has a fully enclosed roof. It looks to me more like a smaller Stadium Australia or Olympic at OAKA in Athens in form than the old BC Place design. Two arches the cover the stands with openings on either end. The roof above those two arches is also translucent and quite high up. A cauldron at either end of the stadium would be easily visible from within.
  20. Are you sure of that? Skip to the 21:00 minute mark: http://youtu.be/7ErdCb9rIbY Moscow 1980 Opening Ceremony For Sochi, I highly doubt an indoor/outdoor style cauldron. That was just something that had to be done for Vancouver 2010 because of the old stadium roof.
  21. And with its buildup, suspense, flourish of joy and drama, the finale to Stravinsky's Firebird Suite certainly sounds like the kind of music you would use for lighting the Olympic flame. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW4PuJYRIHI If that is the case, then Russian-composed music would have been used at that pivotal moment for at least at three or four Olympic Games. 2002 - Salt Lake City, Shostakovich's 5th Symphony 2004 - Athens, Shostakovich's Pirogov Suite And I'm sure a Russian composed the piece used for Moscow 1980, but it was probably specially written for the event...I don't recognize it as anything classic.
  22. In Olympic votes, opposition is generally louder than support.
  23. I think at one point, Quebec City was going to propose hosting the downhill events at the 1988 facility in Alberta, nearly 4000 kilometers away! Stockholm is at a disadvantage here, but I'm fairly confident the IOC will let them through to the candidate phase, although they might grumble a bit about the distance.
  24. I didn't think the stadium was domed...big awnings like the Beijing Birds Nest, but open on both sides facing the sea and the mountains.
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