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Nacre last won the day on May 9

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  1. London 2012: £2 billion original budget, £9 billion final budget Sochi 2014: $12 billion original budget, $51 billion + Crimea final budget Rio 2016: $2.7 billion original budget, $13+ billion final budget Pyeongchang 2018: $8 billion original budget, $13 billion final budget Tokyo 2020*: $7 billion original budget, $30 billion final budget The $2.6 billion will likely turn into $10-$11 billion. (Also, London 2012 looks surprisingly reasonable in hindsight. Rio was a little cheaper after currency conversion and inflation, but London got more for their money.)
  2. The effect is the same, whatever the semantics. If the minimum capacity of a venue used to be X seats and the IOC allows X-5,000 seats, then there are 5,000 fewer seats available. So 5,000 fewer people will be able to attend that would have normally attended. What I am asking is who those 5,000 people will be. Will the IOC cut the seating allocated to sponsors, or athletes, of the media, or volunteers, or fans? There are ways to make this work. They can get the media to cover the games remotely. They can simply cut the perks for athletes, sponsors and volunteers. And they can sell less tickets to fans. But if the IOC is going to accept smaller venues, then they ARE going to have to make cuts.
  3. For me the concern is that they've reduced the requirements before figuring out how to manage the reductions. This is like planning a budget with reduced rent expense before you've actually found a cheaper apartment. It's not bad; I very much want it to happen and think it is a change for the better. But how exactly will it work? If the games have reduced seating capacity, who will lose out on those seats? Will fans no longer be allowed to attend in person? Will the IOC stop providing sponsors, media, etc with seats? Will volunteers and athletes no longer get to attend events? This same issue arises with reduced numbers of hotels.
  4. There's no reason why they can't make it as easy as possible, though. They can make groups out of nearby cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, or Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. Seattle is just too isolated from other American bid cities. Paris to Berlin is only half the distance of Denver to Seattle, for example. It's a shame, though, because I think it's a pretty ideal host city for events like this. You can easily walk to the stadium from a hotel downtown, there's lots of public transit options to the stadium for an American city (tram lines, commuter rail and regional rail), and partying in Pioneer Square before or after a game is pretty great. Minneapolis would be another great host city and it's a pity it won't make the list.
  5. Only about 50% of the tickets are supposed to be allocated to local fans (although for this world cup it will be more like 60%), with the other half going to international supporters. Visiting fans are supposed to be able to follow their team during the group stages. So "evenly spreading out" teams like Germany means visiting German fans would have to travel something insane like New York-Los Angeles-Philadelphia-Santa Clara/SF. I understand that many Americans don't care whether visiting fans are miserable, of course. But I think if we are trying to be good hosts then we ought to care about the visiting fans.
  6. It should be the opposite. In a sane world they would choose group stage cities that are easy to transit between. Without Vancouver, there's no other host city within 500 miles of Seattle. So they would be better off with another city in Texas, California or New York.
  7. This is all extremely worrisome, at least to me. People celebrated at the start of WW1 and the American Civil War, and current jingoism and anti-Russian sentiment (IE demanding that all Russians living in the west denounce Putin or lose their jobs) seems very similar. We are staring at the possibility of 10+ years of insurgency in Ukraine and possible nuclear war, with the potential for over a million deaths even if there are no nukes launched. Half a million Ukrainians are already refugees and it is only the first week of the war. Russia, a country where the average citizen already lives in poverty and spends the majority of their paycheck on food, is going to face economic ruin worse than their economic disasters of the early 1990's. Russia has to be sanctioned to drain their ability to sustain a military campaign and the Ukrainians resupplied with weapons, but the west absolutely has to give Putin a face-saving way out of this.
  8. I think the only way to get rid of him is for a cabal in the kremlin to decide it's in Russia's interest for him to have a sudden heart attack. Megalomaniacs don't let go of power willingly, and sanctions have never led to regime change. Not in Cuba, or North Korea, or Iran, or Venezuela. The common people of Russia are going to go hungry, but the man ruling them will stay on his throne enjoying caviar and Russian champagne.
  9. 2022's answer to the Friends of New Germany. You would think the progress of the fighting would make them question their position, though. If liberalization makes a country weak and disunited, how do we explain a "degenerate" west-leaning and very much united Ukraine fighting very well against a less liberalized state with a nationalist neo-imperialist ideology (whose soldiers seem strangely uninterested in dying for the sake of a new Russian Empire)?
  10. The USD being the world's main trading currency also causes economic issues in the USA too (by artificially inducing greater consumption and reduced production). But I mostly agree with that. The weird thing is that China has profited immensely from the American school of economics and having an artificially weak yuan. So why would they want to make the yuan the global trading currency if it means strangling their industrial economy just like the USA has during the era of the inflated dollar, or British industrial decline in the era of pounds sterling being the world's trading currency?
  11. The problem is that Putin's basis of pseudo-legitimacy was that he restored order and strength to Russia after the economic and military collapse of the post-Soviet state in the 1990's. Now 1) the ruble will be turned into toilet paper on Monday, and 2) Russia is being humiliated on the battlefield. He may not survive this literally, much less politically. Putin could care less about not being able to host sporting championships. The game he has to play now is avoiding a palace coup.
  12. Not just Europe, but even other authoritarian states like Kazakhstan have refused to help Putin. He is totally alone. I really hope that the West gives him a viable route out of this mess. A cornered and desperate tyrant with a button allowing him to nuke the world is a lot different than a cornered tyrant in a bunker with a pistol.
  13. The West can provide the weapons, ammunition, electronics, fuel, medical supplies, etc that Ukraine needs to resist. This whole thing reminds me so much of the 1930's. The Versailles Treaty was unfair to Germany, but that did not justify the German response and Germany was ultimately fooled by its own insane propaganda. Post-Soviet Russia's security needs have not been taken seriously by NATO, but that doesn't justify invading Ukraine and I think that Putin and the Russian nationalists have clearly fallen for their own lies about NATO taking apart the Russosphere against the will of its people. Ukrainians clearly have no desire to be a part of a new Russian Empire; it's not NATO pushing itself into Eastern Europe but rather Eastern Europeans wanting the freedoms and prosperity of the West.
  14. There is a lot more variance in gold medals than there is in total medals. The total medal count shows that Canadian athletes are still very good at winter sports. If anything, I think it shows that upgrades to training facilities in either Calgary or Vancouver could turn many bronzes and silvers into more gold medals for Canada.
  15. One small problem with this in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine: Russia has already been sanctioned, with Russian athletes competing for the Russian Olympic Committee instead of the Russian state. In general terms I think it would be a good idea, though.
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