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Everything posted by Athensfan

  1. I don't think LA belongs in the "trying too hard category." They express interest every time the U.S. solicits candidates internally, but the IOC hasn't seen an LA bid since 1984. I sort of think that even 2028 might be too soon for another LA Games -- probably 2032 at the earliest, but we'll see. I definitely would not count the city out. I agree w/ Brekkie Boy's assessment of New York's infrequent bidding as an asset. I would even go farther and say that spacing out the bids is an asset not only for any city, but any country. Take Germany, for example. Apart from Leipzig, they've laid pretty low and now Munich is generating a lot of buzz. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the "IT'S OUR TIME" card is potentially the most powerful card a a bid can play. (Of course technical insufficiency -- not inferiority -- would render it moot, but that's another story.) The U.S. has had to bid without that card for several times running now and it definitely translates into a sisyphustian battle.
  2. FYI, your points are totally reasonable. I do think that if the U.S. waits until they can honestly say to prospective bidders that the time is RIPE for another American SOG, that will attract interest -- even possibly from Chicago. The Chicago loss is still fresh right now. And although your points about Chicago's bidding history are well taken, they are not automatically an indication of the future. If Chicago can feel extremely confident about the race -- not only the bid itself, but the timing and the USOC's relationship with the IOC -- I think another bid is possible. I also think the IOC would be extremely inclined to try to reward a Chicago bid assuming it is timed well. I admit there are a lot of if's there, but I don't think it's totally out of the realm of possibility. I still think that some option among those big four will work out. Even if it came down to NYC and LA (who says they will bid every time the U.S. decides to try) -- that's not a shabby pair of candidates. I still think it makes more sense to wait than put all the eggs in Reno's basket. If the USOC can come up with a more compelling host, perhaps the argument for 2022 would carry more weight with me. Not with Reno, though.
  3. Of course, all this is assuming you're correct.... In your opinion Chicago won't bid for 50 years, but you can't know that for certain. In your opinion LA won't come up with the cash and SF won't come up with something workable, but again you can't possibly know this.Once these cities realize that the U.S. isn't going to have to worry about the "it's too soon for another American Games" complaint, they'll be much more willing to foot the bill. A winter hosting will just revive that "it's too soon" mindset in the IOC and the U.S. will more than likely lose more money on ill-timed summer bids. The 2024 vote is in 2017. The 2028 vote is in 2021. That's seven and eleven years away respectively. You're claiming remarkable prophetic abilities. You're also betraying some pessimism. I cannot imagine that the economy will not have noticeably rebounded by then. Assuming the bid is timed well, I don't see money being the problem. It's just a matter of being very intentional about waiting long enough and timing it to work with continental rotation. If the U.S. does that, they will win.
  4. Totally fair question, FYI. I guess I have faith that at least one of those big four (NY, LA, SF, Chicago) will step up to the plate once they realize the time has come and the IOC is willing to come back to the U.S. As for other potential candidates, I'm a little suspicious of all of them. I suppose the most viable would be one of Texas' various options, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami. I've never really bought the idea of Minneapolis and although I love Seattle, the geography poses major logistical challenges and the ultra-green mindset isn't going to jump at the major projects a Seattle Games would require. I don't really see Honolulu as a possibility. I do believe that one of those big four will come through by 2028 at the latest and my personal preference would be to wait. If others feel that is too much of a gamble or too long to wait, I see their point of view, I just don't share it. I suspect that no matter what, the next American SOG will take place in one of the big four -- the question is when. The 2020's or the 2040's? I think the USOC has a surprising amount of control over that timeframe. A successful winter bid will mean the SOG will wait until the 40's. The absence of a winter hosting will mean the SOG will most likely happen in the 20's. If these timeframes are effectively communicated to the powers that be in the various cities, I am confident that the USOC will succeed in eliciting at least one top-drawer bid from the big four.
  5. NY20?? -- I like your post -- noting the positives while acknowledging the challenges. I lived in NYC for a while and its not the first place I imagine the Games. However, if the USOC put forward another NYC bid, I'd absolutely support it. I think New York Games could be successful, but as you mentioned there are a lot of hurdles to climb over. Then again, what potential host doesn't have those? I guess there are just some other cities that I'd be more excited about.
  6. You're not a one-note record about Reno? I'm not changing my opinion and you're not changing yours. I'm not "stuck on a certain slant" any more than you are. Incidentally, this bid is titled NYC 2024 or 2028. What's so bad about discussing NYC amid a variety of other potential U.S. bids for Summer Games? If you're that committed to 2022 then what are you doing in this thread in the first place? As for Chicago, HOW DO YOU KNOW? I agree the loss stings. I agree they're upset. There's NO POSSIBLE way we can know if/when they will bid again. Even if they don't, I'd still prefer SF, NYC, LA or some other SOG to a Reno 2022. There's nothing wrong with that opinion. I believe in Chicago's potential, but I am absolutely not carrying a torch for them. Regarding your question "What are we supposed to do in the meantime?" This seems like a classic example of American impatience. Other countries don't freak out if they don't constantly have a bid in the works. Why should we? Is that a reason to bid? To feed an obsessive Olympic addiction? Somehow I think we'll survive....
  7. This is just a bizarre remark, Baron. For starters, what "other forces," pray tell, do your psychic abilities tell you will be influencing the 2024 and 2028 races? At this point, all we have to go on are a very partial view of the continental rotation picture, basic requirements for hosting and past IOC preferences (which really aren't an indication of much). I've given plenty of solid arguments for my preferences regarding American candidates. I don't merely say, "I like this city and I don't like that one." I explain why. If you disagree, fine. But quit the eye rolling. I've always felt like Chicago was the next great host. There are plenty reasons for saying so (which I will only recap for the umpteenth time if you request that I do so). Evidently the USOC agreed on the potential, but the IOC said "not in 2016". Many have argued that NYC doesn't "need" the Games and this is true. I don't know if the Olympic spotlight would make much difference to a city that already shines so brightly. Personally, I think NYC is so big and so fascinating that I fear an Olympics would get lost in the city. Plus, as others have noted, there's extremely vocal local opposition. SF is a great city, but Bay Area politics are notoriously cumbersome. Even you must admit this, Baron. If by some miracle they manage to work together to hash out a plan, then great. I just think that's unlikely based on what we've seen. LA doesn't look like the typical host cities of recent memory. But LA is changing and improving and there's no telling where things might be in a few years. I'm not saying it's a shoo-in, but I do think it's wrong to count it out. A very positive Olympic legacy (perhaps the MOST positive), and huge love of the Games coupled with a will to bring them back... Those are big plusses to be dismissed so casually. Plus it's a cultural smorgasbord, an international tourist destination and the home of Hollywood. An LA Games would only be viable if A.) sufficient time passes -- could even be into the 30's B.)If transportation is radically improved and travel times are workable. Surely, Baron, while you sing the praises of Reno as America's next Olympic city, you will permit me to at least comment on the possibility of returning to LA at some future date.... As for expressing "personal opinions" -- the IOC makes their decisions based on "personal opinions." If tackiness turns me off or spread out venues turns somebody else off, chances are there are some IOC members who will be similarly affected. I would argue that my posts are pretty factually based, but even if the weren't, "vibes" aren't totally irrelevant here.
  8. First, 3 points is not totally infinitesimal. Second, I just disagree about her skating skills, choreography and presentation -- they were older and heavier, not better and stronger.
  9. I still think that Chicago would be the best host for the next U.S. Summer Games -- provided there's anybody who wants to spearhead a bid. It's a truly fantastic city and the world hasn't really discovered it yet. It wouldn't surprise me if New York bid again either, but the idea is much less exciting to me. I would not rule out L.A. It's true that it poses some logistical challenges, but there is also such a STRONG love of the Games in LA and nothing but positive memories. The mass trasportation is improving. It's very cosmopolitan and has a huge sporting tradition. San Francisco seems like a nice idea, but I can't imagine it surviving the bureaucracy. The thing is that we need to wait for a lot of time to pass. What will happen to the infrastructure and economy in these cities? More importantly will strong, charismatic leadership emerge to spearhead a bid. I believe the people leading and organizing the bid are even more important than the qualifications of the city itself.
  10. LOVED the opening w/ the cauldron joke. Absolutely wonderful. LOVED the finale w/ hockey table, moose, beavers, etc. HATED O'Hara. Not only tasteless, she was flat and totally un-funny. Not crazy about Shatner or Fox either. One of the best handover teasers ever from Sochi, but it left me feeling nervous about whether Russia will actually welcome the world or just focus on self-aggrandizement. (the Plushenko-ization of a nation?) I was shocked that here in LA we got no "farewell from Vancouver." No closing credits. No final montage. One minute it was inflatable beavers. Then it was a commericial. Then the Marriage Ref. After two weeks of programming NBC doesn't give us any kind of final send-off? VERY strange.
  11. With respect, every single reason you gave is addressed in the technical elements score where Nagasu deservedly outscored Rochette. You are mistaken about the GOE. Although Rochette's levels were higher, Nagasu's GOE was better and therefore she got the higher marks for technical elements(remember Rochette's 2 step outs?). The protocols will confirm this. The only place where Rochette scored higher than Nagasu was in the Program Components which are the equivalent of the old artistic mark and, incidentally, totally subjective. Regarding the short program score, yes Rochette should've been scored higher than Nagasu and she was. (I still question the point differential a little bit.) It's mainly Rochette's LP Program Component score that seemed inflated. Admittedly, Nagasu is new to the world stage and she will have more opportunities. Considering the circumstances, Rochette's skate was nothing short of miraculous and that is absolutely worthy of commendation.
  12. I am astonished at what Joannie Rochette was able to do. What incredible strength! Truly an Olympic performance for the history books. I know I am risking great disapproval, but I have to say that solely on the basis of merit, I believe Mirai Nagasu deserved bronze. Mirai outscored Joannie technically, but the judges awarded Joannie 8 more points for program components. I do not want to diminish Joannie's magnificent accomplishment, but I believe Mirai's skate was artistically superior and deserved much higher program component scores. In my opinion, Nagasu skated with more speed, energy, attack and charisma. Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this competition, I do not expect to hear too many voices second this opinion, but I suspect I'm not the only one who holds it. Heartfelt congratulations to Joannie. Mirai, we are confident of WONDERFUL things in the future.
  13. I totally agree with this analysis. The music choice, choreography and costumes were totally wrong for Belbin and Agosto. I think their skills are stronger than four years ago, but the whole package is weaker. Virtue/Moir and Davis/White were way ahead of the pack. Both pairs have astonishing strengths and I think there would have been an argument to be made for either one getting the gold. Kudos to both. Don't begrudge either of them anything. Really didn't like Domnina and Shabalin. Didn't like OD or FD. Wasn't crazy about Belbin and Agosto either. Probably preferred the Americans slightly, but the difference was so minute that I wasn't going to pitch a fit over it. On the whole the judging has been very solid for all the figure skating. I was a bit surprised that Miki Ando landed in fourth. Her program components are weak, her jumps were awkward. 4th, 5th and 6th are all very close, but I was still surprised. If Yu Na doesn't win the gold, I'll be stunned. I was also very impressed w/ Mao Asada -- the best I've ever seen her skate. She doesn't have the musicality and artistry of Kim, but she maximized everything she does have. Astonishing that Rochette could perform so beautifully. Don't know if she'll be able to repeat it in the long program, but I don't think anyone cares. EVERYBODY is pulling for her and wanting her to succeed. I don't think anyone will care if her skate results in a medal or not. Personally, I love Mirai Nagasu. It was too bad she didn't pull off the triple-triple in the short, but I still loved the program. If she nails everything and gets full credit, and if the others struggle, she might sneak onto the podium. The reason I say this about Nagasu and not Flatt is that Nagasu has the potential to create "magic" and Flatt never really seems to. Flatt is solid, reliable, but uninspiring. Yes, she knows how to rack up points and, as Sandra Bezic says, "there's no box for magic on the judging protocals." Still, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Nagasu finished ahead. Getting irritated w/ Elvis Stojko. Don't agree with anything he's saying. He needs to find a new career. This figure skating journalism isn't suited to him at all. Ugh.
  14. Really irritated with some of the naysayers (Elvis Stojko). For heaven's sake -- look at something other than the quad. Yes, he did a quad. I'm sorry that's not a gold medal by default. His choreography was bizarre and he's lucky he scored as well as he did in the Program Components. There's no way Plushenko and Lysacek should have been tied in that area. Lysacek was OBVIOUSLY stronger. As for the jumps, Evan landed 12, most of which were in the second half of the program. Plushenko landed 11 (including the lauded quad), most of them in the first half of the program. Plushenko was noticeably awkward on multiple jumps. Stojko claims that this means young skaters will say "We don't have to do jumps. All we have to do is spins and fancy footwork." That's garbage and it's really minimizing what Lysacek has accomplished. Lysacek won on Technical Elements -- not Program Components (where he should have been scored higher as well). This wasn't a triumph of "dancing" over athleticism. Stojko was a jumper lacking in artistry. It's no surprise that he would side with Plushenko. The truth is, all the athletes know the rules before they structure their programs. Plushenko could have moved a jump or two to the second half of his program and that would have made the difference. He chose not to. He knew what he was risking. As for the choreography, I maintain that he should count himself lucky he wasn't marked down for ridiculous gyrating hips. Here's the link to Stojko's obnoxious editorial: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/figure_skating/news?slug=es-thoughts021810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
  15. I thought it was probably the best rendition of the Olympic anthem I've heard. It was as good as the anthem in Singapore was bad. Cool hair too.
  16. I have to say that I think this new scoring system is an improvement. It may be complicated, but it does a good job of trying to evaluate every aspect of a program as carefully as possible. It is MUCH less subjective than the old system. Most importantly -- the right athletes are winning the medals. I've felt that way throughout the GP season and through the Olympics as well. THRILLED that Lysacek won. Somewhat disappointed that he skated so carefully. Would have preferred to see a little more fire and freedom. A little surprised they gave him a level 4 on his circular step sequence. It's been a 3 all year. Then again they awarded Plushenko a level 3 where previously he's gotten a 2. Plushenko was definitely not his best either. It was clear that whoever won, the margin of victory would be small. Personally, I believe Lysacek totally deserves his gold. Glad for Johnny Weir's personal victory, but it's true that the transitions and choreography were nowhere near the complexity of the other skaters. I think his placing was pretty fair, though I think his performance/execution score and his skating skills should have been higher.
  17. I think we have to consider the source on both sides of this issue. Dick Pound and the IOC aren't going to say anything negative, even if they're thinking it. The British papers are notoriously abrasive and incendiary so of course they will make everything look as bleak as possible. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. No VANOC can't control the weather. However, the cauldron has been a mess, there could have been more safety precautions at the luge track, some of the bussing issues are disappointing, the ice at Richmond oval should never have had so many problems, the biathalon scoring mistake was avoidable -- these things aren't good, but they are far from a travesty. I don't doubt that everyone is having a wonderful time. It's the Olympics! How could you not? I was incredibly ill when I was in Athens and I was determined to enjoy myself. Sick or not, it turned out to be one of the highlights of my life. So the fact that people are enjoying themselves doesn't say a whole lot except that there have been no horrifically bad missteps -- which I think is true. We will have to see how the coming days unfold. My impression is that Vancouver has done a respectable job, but that it there have been some weaknesses. Granted, the weather seems to somehow magnify the shortcomings.
  18. I absolutely agree that Vancouver has experienced more than their share of bad luck. However, not everything is beyond VANOC's control. Take just one example: the cauldron. The two cauldrons were a bizarre concept to begin with. The design within BC Place did seem overly ambitious and was a bit strange looking under the best of circumstances. It was too bad that Catriona LeMay Doan couldn't take Gretzky's place in lighting the outdoor cauldron. Would've been a nice way to make up for the disappointment of the malfunction. Then VANOC decides they have to fence off the outdoor cauldron so nobody can get anywhere near it. NBC was just saying that the cauldron is very difficult to see if you're not in the broadcast center. Poorly conceived all the way around. Too bad, considering the flame is such an icon of the Games.
  19. Vancouver is serving as a reminder that winning the right to host the Games is a mixed blessing. The Games attract international attention. Some of that attention will result in glory for the host nation, however, some of that attention may also result in embarrassment. There is no way to predict what issues may arise shortly before or during the Games. Think of the disgraced sprinters in Athens, terrorism in Munich, boycotts in Moscow and LA, weather and luge tragedy in Vancouver. There are also the flaws that show up in the organization and planning, such as transportation in Atlanta, various operational snafus in Vancouver, human rights abuses in China and gross cost overruns in Montreal. We all know that the Games bring honor and prestige to the host. We should not forget that they also bring great expense, varying degrees of dissension, the risk of embarrassment for the organizers, and various challenges that may be all but impossible to foresee or predict. How many bid cities conveniently forget these realities as they make their appeals to the IOC?
  20. I don't think Vancouver is "cursed." I also don't think that the media is out to get Canada. At least here in the U.S. NBC's coverage has been very flattering. In my opinion NBC could have made some harsher observations if they wished to. It does seem that Vancouver is experiencing more than their fair share of challenges. Many of these challenges were out of the organizers' control and people recognize that. Transportation was a concern with Vancouver from the time they bid and it does seem like some of those concerns were justified and VANOC could have planned a bit better. It also seems like there was a better way to address the concessions troubles. The weather and the protests are clearly beyond VANOC's control. Perhaps wiser decisions could have been made regarding the cauldron and the luger, but there was no reason why they should have expected things to go as badly as they did.
  21. Cauldron really laid an egg. The second outdoor cauldron seemed like a sad afterthought. Very sorry for Vancouver. I'm sure it isn't what they hoped for. Maybe future hosts need to consider scaling back a bit and going with something a little more sure-fire (pun intended).
  22. On the positive side... First of all, congratulations to Vancouver for having the courage to budget one tenth of what Beijing spent. I mean that sincerely. I have great respect for commitment to quality on a budget. I liked the quick video homage to the previous hosts following the countdown and the snowboarder was fun if not quite as spectacular as some other ceremonies' introductions of the Olympic rings. I thought the poem was the best part of the "entertainment." Well written. Well delivered. Surprisingly potent. I like the way the entertainment segment concluded in modern-day Vancouver with a well-articulated vision of modern-day Canada. The projections were a beautiful, relatively low cost means of radically transforming the space and making strong visual statements. The whales were extremely effective on tv. Enjoyed the snow. On the negative side... The first nations introductions in the beginning seemed prolonged and a little bit dull. The ice sculpture greetings left me totally cold. The entertainment section was very poorly conceived. I'm not at all impressed by Mr. Atkins. Unlike Beijing, this ceremony did not follow a clear progression of thought. It seemed like a very loose collage of vaguely interesting impressions. Content does not cost money. It just requires time and forethought. In my opinion, that careful planning was obviously missing. Instead, there was a mishmash of seasons and geography. I thought the autumn section was by far the weakest. The floating canoe, the tapping, the maple leaves. Nothing seemed to hold these disparate elements together. The prairie squares that followed were visually odd as well. The sloppy superficiality of the bulk of the entertainment paled miserably in comparison to the strength of the concluding poem. Cauldron delays and malfunctions have already been noted by others. Agree w/ the statement that Atkins is 0 for 2. Really not impressed. Very, very sorry for Vancouver. A noticeable embarrassment. Even if the cauldron had worked perfectly, it was strange. Especially w/ the secondary, outdoor cauldron. The sound seemed very questionable -- even on tv. Much of the filler music was rather bland and unimaginative. I got the strong feeling that the ceremony was much more effective on tv than in person. One significant failing seemed to be the scale. The ceremony often seemed to rely on a single individual or a small number of performers. I can't imagine that this read very well inside BC Place. In summary.... I think the ceremonies fall somewhere between a B- and a C+. This ceremony is just further evidence that the type of product delivered by Atkins and the "turn-key" collage approach to ceremonies will never achieve more than semi-slick mediocrity. It will never deliver a distinctive yet unified artistic vision. It will never communicate with real power. In my opinion, the greatest success of Beijing was the strength and integrity of the concept. Vancouver did not follow suit. I hope future hosts will take note.
  23. Depends where you live. I've lived in the U.K. and there it is all about gold. In the U.S. it never has been. This is not just because of China's gold medal haul in 2008. For as long as I can remember, U.S. networks have arranged the medal table according to total medals. I may be mistaken on this (I'm sure someone will let me know if I am) but it seems to me that 2008 is the first time there's been such a noticeable difference between total gold medals and total medals of any color. More often than not, it seems the two go together or if they go to different nations the margin is slimmer than it was in 2008. The U.S. is nowhere near as strong in the WOGs anyway and, as near as I can tell, nobody's predicting anything close to a chart-topping haul in Vancouver.
  24. El Moutawakel will be president someday. It's just a question of when. She's very experienced, obviously very well-liked and she's a woman from a Muslim nation. What more could you want?
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