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Athensfan

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Everything posted by Athensfan

  1. I just came across this and thought it was hysterical. https://twitter.com/adjinntonic/status/1419456186651484166?s=21
  2. My final verdict: Not wonderful, but pleasant. The "gentle and welcoming" tone was achieved. The drones were magical. The pictographs were quirky. The cauldron was serene and beautiful. It is too bad there wasn't a more cohesive, mature artistic vision -- a la Papaioannou (my hero) -- but for pandemic Games delayed by a year, it's not a bad beginning.
  3. I have a feeling that the cauldron lighting may have been devised pre-pandemic. Seemed very cohesive and refined. The Mt. Fuji reference works. The sun flowering into that towering flame. Restrained, but beautiful. More successful than Nagano I think.
  4. Incidentally, my money is on Michael Phelps and Simone Biles together in 2028...
  5. Yeah. It's an odd choice. I mean, it is one big crescendo, so in that sense I get it.
  6. I hear you. At the same time, art isn't easy. Finding ways to represent character, theme and history (even on a smaller scale) when there's a chance the Games might not happen at all or might be entirely virtual, etc. -- it's not a cakewalk. I disagree about the pictograms. I don't think they're AMAZING, but they were quirky, memorable AND specifically Japanese, since they originated them.
  7. C'mon, Baron. You poo-hoo pretty much everybody's ceremonies except for Atlanta. (eyeroll emoji here)
  8. It was definitely unique! And since the pictograms were already designed it didn't take a ton of work.
  9. I don't know. It was a tough call either way. I mean, most of the expenditure had already happened. So cancelling the Games wasn't going to save them much money. It would've cost the IOC a boatload. I think it would've hurt the Olympic brand as well. And there are the athletes to think of.
  10. Bud, Covid has been demoralizing. There was a good chance these ceremonies wouldn't happen at all. The Games have been a money pit and the Japanese aren't getting any return on their investment. Public support is scant. Hardly optimal conditions for creative brilliance. I agree that the ceremonies are lackluster. I won't rewatch them. But in the grand scheme of things, I'm giving Tokyo 2020 a pass. The ENORMOUS financial losses that they have absorbed are mind-boggling. In the grand scheme of things, the ceremonies clearly weren't the top priority. And they shouldn't have been. Frankly, I think simpler ceremonies are going to become the order of the day as the Olympics try to be more cost-conscious. Rio's ceremonies were pretty humble. These absolutely are. Sure, Beijing will ratchet up the spectacle next year, but I think it's very possible that future ceremonies will look more like Tokyo than Sydney/Athens/Beijing/London.
  11. Well, there are a couple things to keep in mind. 1.) No one has EVER had to figure out how to stage a ceremony in such bizarre conditions. A year late, no spectators, social distancing, a world that's unified in its isolation from itself. 2.) For the last two years it really hasn't been clear what the final conditions would be. How do you prepare when you don't know what exactly you're preparing for? When you can't really rehearse? It's not surprising to me that the most successful parts of the ceremony (projections, drones) are technological and could be planned and rehearsed during social isolation. 3.) There has been a great deal of tumult and turnover with the creative leadership for these ceremonies. That compounded the aforementioned problems. In addition to changing circumstances, their was a constantly changing vision and direction. In summary, I don't think it's fair to be super critical of Tokyo 2020. Japan is offering an amazing gift to the world by following through on staging these Games. If the US had been hosting in 2020 I'm not sure we would've handled any of this so well. The IOC should be kissing Japan's feet for a long time to come. Incidentally, I think Japan WILL host again. I'm not sure when. But I think most people -- including Japanese nationals -- will accept that it was the pandemic more than anything else that created their problems.
  12. I'm sure they were told by organizers to wave for tv cameras. "Wave to the world, if not in-person spectators" as it were. If they just walked in staring straight ahead that would be a pretty dismal parade of nations.
  13. I don’t buy the premise of this article. If everything happens quietly, out of the public eye, without any publicly released timetable, then what is there for the media to report? Just a lot of speculation. I foresee a lot of “maybe,” “perhaps,” and “we’ll have to wait and see.” Even after future hosts are decided, we won’t know much about how those decisions were made — apart from what the IOC chooses to make public. It seems to me that the primary reason for cloaking the process in secrecy and abolishing most structure is for the IOC to avoid media scrutiny. No one can comment on low numbers of bids, failed referendums, etc. if none of that information is available. I do agree that this new approach will further erode public trust in the IOC and could benefit totalitarian governments. I also suspect, that the IOC will adopt a “bird in the hand” approach, where as soon as they have strong interest from a semi-reliable partner they will move forward and try to lock in that host as fast as possible. They’re trying desperately to keep the Olympic movement afloat. Perhaps there are enough Olympic junkies to keep Gamesbids on life-support as well. Lord knows, this crowd is content to speculate endlessly despite limited data. But what happens once there is almost NO data? Doesn’t that speculation become an exercise in futility? In words we will hear much more of, “It will be interesting to see what happens....”
  14. This begs the question, why should GamesBids.com continue to exist? BidIndex has been irrelevant for some time. There have been very few bidders in recent years. Now the whole process has changed to something with no set timeline that will be decided mainly behind closed doors. What is there to analyze or discuss? It’s difficult for me to envision any meaningful future for this site.
  15. I’m surprised you all are arguing the merits of the various “bids.” At the moment, they are only “interested parties.” The big question is how many (IF ANY) of them go the distance and make it to a vote. All the remaining “players” could still go down. Erzurum: venue plan? no winter sports tradition. political instability. Stockholm: funding? Calgary: plebiscite? Italy: CONI is reliably unreliable. Italians have withdrawn from the bid process in recent memory. This plan is cobbled together and wobbly. I’m betting at least two of the above go down in flames before a vote. Possibly all four. For me, there’s just no point in debating their respective “merits” when they all seem so uncertain.
  16. Like so many, I've always believed Paris would host 2024. I still do. However, I think the IOC really needs the Games in LA ASAP -- even if they don't realize that. I think it's a bit much to suggest that LA will "save" the Games. But I do think that LA can put forth a dramatically different model and generate much more youth interest and energy than Paris. The IOC has dug itself into a huge hole with three consecutive Games in Asia. Western audience share will decline -- especially among youth. LA, IMO, would do more to rebuild than Paris. Generally speaking, the French are so dramatic about these sorts of things that I fully expect the IOC to give them the Games just because they don't want to deal with the fallout of a Paris loss. Although I have no doubt that Paris Games would be a success, AT THIS TIME I don't think they offer as much benefit to the Olympic Movement (or should I say Olympic Paralysis?) as LA does. But Paris will still get 2024. I don't think it's a sure think that the LA crew will regroup for 2028. These bids take so much energy and drive. Eric Garcetti, Gene Sykes, Casey Wasserstein all have careers and lives. Do they really want to wait 11 years more? Would the USOC even be smart enough to offer LA again? Or would they have another stupid domestic bid? I think the latter is highly plausible. Dallas anyone? There's also a question of Olympic fatigue. Can the people of LA sustain enthusiasm that long? The corporate sponsors? It would be great if the IOC could get both Paris and LA, but I think it's a long-shot. And now that both cities have said they only want 2024, it would be difficult to say, "Surprise! We're giving you 2028 anyway!" The cities would have to be in agreement. And no matter what intimations the IOC might make about 2028, there are no guarantees until that 2028 vote is done -- assuming it gets to a vote. I think it's Paris 2024 no matter what -- even though LA would be better right now for the Olympic Movement. If the IOC is smart, they'll enter into talks about 2028 with the USOC and LA after the Paris victory. Assuming that all parties agree on LA 2028, then the IOC should just ratify this at their next general session. Then they overhaul the whole bid process. But I suspect it won't go down that way. I think there's a good chance that 2028 could be a total mess with only the likes of Doha bidding. I think the majority of the IOC is still in denial about just how untenable the current system actually is.
  17. Well, the IOC isn't FIFA, but it is not a meritocracy. In that respect, I can understand calling it "cooked." The 2016 evaluation report was quite slanted and made it clear that the IOC already favored Rio. For instance, it omitted any mention of crime in Rio and drastically under-represented transportation times. Chicago received negative comments in both those areas. Rio's financing was lauded over Chicago's as well, which seems especially bizarre. The language describing Chicago's bid betrayed the underlying strain between the IOC and the USOC. As soon as Paris entered the race for 2024, we all knew they would win as long as they didn't shoot themselves in the foot. Really, they would have to amputate their own foot in order to lose. That alone shows that the quality of the bid is really not the primary criteria. The IOC's biases are obvious enough for everyone to know how they will vote ahead of time. The voting process seems fair and free of bribery, but it's not about the "best bid" (just ask Almaty). It's about warm feelings and favorites. And in that context I understand Obama's remarks. The timing is unfortunate for LA2024 , but Obama's remarks are really more about his own political legacy and defending himself from detractors than they are about the IOC. The whole 2016 episode was an embarrassment and felt like a major slap in the face to him. If the IOC is not biased, the comments of an outgoing president about disappointing events that happened 7 years ago should not compromise their ability to fairly evaluate the 2024 race.
  18. This. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/08/armour-mens-gymnastics-usa-team-final/88431532/
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