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Nacre last won the day on February 17

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  1. And this is why Los Angeles has been so successful. It has bid again, and again, and again with plans that make sense for Los Angeles rather than the sports federations.
  2. "The Plague" is my favorite book by Camus, and a good read that mirrors a lot of what is happening in the world today. It's actually set in Algeria, though, as Camus was a "pied-noir".
  3. I think there are several things that make surfing easier for Paris to move than rowing or kayaking. Surfing is not a permanent member of the Olympics, but an optional addition Paris has selected. So surfing will bend over backwards to make it as easy as possible to host. In contrast the sports that are established members of the games tend to make it difficult for the hosts in order to get their way on venues. Just getting them to accept a natural body of water instead of an artificial whitewater center or rowing lake is a hard sell, much less accepting cuts in the number of athletes and officials. Moreover politics rather than cost was a major motivator as much of the French Pacific wants to become independent. This is a way for the French to show that Tahiti, Bora Bora, New Caledonia, and so on benefit by being a part of France. Tahiti would never have been selected if it were an independent country. Finally the athletes wanted to surf in Tahiti rather than Metropolitan France. The athletes for the standard Olympic sports probably do not have the same preference.
  4. The Paris metro area does have a world class velodrome. The aquatics center is a problem for most cities because competition venues are pretty terrible as community pools. The issue is the roof height: an indoor facility needs a very high roof clearance to fit >15,000 seats into the building. But that adds significantly to the construction and maintenance cost of the aquatics center. Thus the unique inwardly sloping roof used in 2012 in London. Unfortunately while London's solution to the problem helped improve the long term maintenance costs it increased the initial capital costs: the 2012 aquatics center cost roughly $511 million in Australian dollars. Their sports teams would not be able to consistently fill such a stadium. A quick google search yield the following 2018 average attendance of Brisbane's teams: Brisbane Broncos: 30,297 Brisbane Lions: 18,406 Queensland Roar: 13,534 Queensland Reds: 12,101 It is not commercially sound to burden teams averaging 10,000-30,000 spectators per match with the upkeep of a 60,000 seat stadium.
  5. I am thinking of the organizers and the volunteers rather than the IOC and federations. Volunteers have to shuttle and escort the officials around during the games and usually have to make arrangements for their own travel and lodging. And the organizers have to provide the transportation. So for example by putting the rowing in Charlotte the LA organizing committee would need to provide private jets to move people between LA and Charlotte, volunteers would be on the hook for lots of extra hotel and travel expenses plus even longer working hours than normal, and so on. Spreading things out also adds significantly to costs. I can't imagine that hiring a fleet of charter jets to move people between LA and North Carolina would end up being cheaper than spending the money to create a natural whitewater course in a river in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Los Angeles.
  6. The issue with a permanent host is that it is a large burden on the host city to host a single time much less dozens of times. The issue with a spread out plan is transportation. For soccer/association football in North America, I've heard a number of fans calling the coronavirus shutdown an "opportunity to move to the European calendar" which plays through the winter and breaks for the summer. Yet when asked point blank if they would sit out in 13F/-10 C temperatures for a January game in Montreal or Minneapolis the answer is "hell no". It's easy to campaign for sacrifices to be made by other people.
  7. This is in many ways worse than the Great Depression. 1) Life still sent on during the 1930's despite the high unemployment. People went on vacations, restaurants were open, films were produced and people went out to cinemas, and so on. And during the world wars while many traditional business closed, there was massive demand for labor in the war effort and GDP actually grew worldwide during the war and in the post-war "golden age of capitalism". Voluntarily shutting down over a quarter of the economy is an unprecedented event in human history. 2) Political rancor is likely going to get worse as we have to choose between saving the lives of the elderly and infirm vs saving the economic future of the young and healthy.
  8. Nationalists generally love the Olympics as a venue for national competition. I doubt Trump would actually want to boycott the Olympics. Carter was a very different sort of president. Blaming China for a disease that has killed thousands of their people is simply stupid. Should the French hate America because phylloxera came from America and destroys European grapes?
  9. It does not happen in the mens game because there are already plenty of high revenue competitions and leagues for mens football, while women's club football loses lots of money. (IIRC Everton is the only top tier women's football club in Europe that runs at a profit.) The women's world cup is the only time the sport takes in lots of money, and thus generates income for female players. The problem with boosting women's sport is that professional sports are bad for the world. It is the mens side of sport that is irrationally supported: it gets too much support. Mens football (and cricket, rugby, baseball, basketball, handball, etc) has lots of support and money because it is an "us vs them" fight that appeals to the worst part of human nature. We root for "our" blues to defeat "their" reds. Male professional athletes get paid millions of pounds/dollars/etc because they are warriors of civic or community nationalism. Conversely female athletes earn approximately the same amount of money that musicians, artists, and other culture workers earn, because women's club football is not seen as an aspect of civic or community nationalism. If we were to make a logical decision to assign people revenue based on their contributions to society, then male footballers would be paid less rather than female footballers earning more.
  10. My personal idea for solving this is to create "volunteer housing". Build housing with low rent that is contingent upon the resident volunteering in the community. (Coaching youth sports, tending to city gardens, litter cleanup teams, etc.) That solves the problems of social housing stigma, free riders, people subletting or renting on airbnb, and speculative housing investment.
  11. Warning: rant ahead. The problem is that the very act of building lots of nice condos leads to gentrification and higher prices. This is what happened in London after the 2012 Olympics, for example. https://www.huckmag.com/perspectives/reportage-2/the-battle-to-save-east-london-is-this-finally-the-end/ Vancouver is expensive because it has a thriving economy and is a place where people want to live. Price = Demand / Supply. Housing isn't exactly cheap in Paris or Tokyo either. People who want cheap housing should consider moving to Detroit. I have a cousin who bought a mansion in Detroit for $50,000. The Canadian economy is more dependent on commodities exports than the economies of the USA or EU, and thus have less ability to stimulate demand for their own products. (Australia is similar, but their exports are a bit less volatile.) So I think it will be harder for Canada to recover than the US or EU. I could be wrong, though.
  12. The problem wasn't the Canadian government's support, but rather the local government support in Calgary. Unfortunately the Canadian economy has taken a beating recently, so the national government may not be as supportive of a bid in the near future.
  13. It could be much worse than that. During the 1930's commerce still went on. My great grandfather even expanded his jewelry business during the Great Depression as people still got married and bought wedding and engagement rings. I spent a day last week volunteering at a food bank, and I saw first hand how many immunocompromised people there are in my community. The elderly, the obese and diabetic, people with cancer, et al make up a very large minority of the USA and Europe. But the cost of protecting these people may break the economies of the Western world. On the flip side you could sell the Olympics as a stimulus for the Italian economy and a way to provide some employment.
  14. The problem for Seattle is transportation more than venues. Raising taxes to cut down parts of a national forest to expand the highway to Crystal Mountain is politically radioactive in left-libertarian Washington State. Seattle/Washington State is a good example of a place that is better suited to host individual sports championships than the Olympics. Potentially a lot. Milan hosts a lot of major annual events like its fashion week (one of the big four along with Paris, New York and London) and l'Artigiano in Fiera which is supposedly the largest annual artisan exhibition in the world. A new exhibition space should get a fair amount of use in one of the fashion and arts capitals of the world. But I think an ice skating venue would likely be able to survive in Milan as a permanent ice rink with modest government subsidy. Keep in mind that Milan is a larger city than Athens or Amsterdam.
  15. They certainly aren't cheap, but ski jumps don't require artificial refrigeration (unless Qatar wants to build one) and huge support infrastructure. You also only need a pair of $500 skis to go ski jumping compared to $50,000 for a bobsled. Speed skating ovals are relatively easy to operate as public ice skating venues and can even be easily converted to other uses as at Vancouver. A $100,000 per annum government subsidy for a public ice skating venue isn't a crazy use of public money. I am certainly not suggesting that building facilities for ice skating or skiing is cheap. But I personally wouldn't mind paying tax dollars to rebuild the Bakke Hill ski jump at Leavenworth in Washington State even without an Olympic bid, whereas I would be seriously annoyed if my state built a bobsledding track with public money. There are private commercial ski jumps in New Hampshire and Michigan that operate without any connection to an Olympic bid. Unfortunately I kind of agree, which is why I said "if". But I certainly think there's at least a chance that the Italian plan will work out OK financially. Milan is a lot bigger than Gangneung and Italians are more interested in winter sports than Koreans.
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