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Everything posted by Nacre

  1. I admit I haven't done a huge amount of research on the development of the Canadian national team in every sport (hence "I am not sure"). But as I said I think the legacy goal for the 2015 games should be to improve the grassroots level of sport in Ontario as opposed to Britain's focus on Olympic medals with its sports funding. Toronto's 2015 games seem to be a good template for other cities to follow in using a mix of existing venues, temporary venues and facilities suitable for local communities. Hopefully other North American cities will make similar bids in a decade or two.
  2. I am not certain that the investment in sporting venues has made an improvement in Canada's medal chances (building a national velodrome yielded 0 out of 60 medals for last year's track cycling world championships, for instance) but I hope that Ontarians at the grassroots level of sport have enjoyed the facilities. That is what really matters with these sporting venues: giving people in the community a chance to get some fitness and make friends through sport.
  3. Actually Russia is a good example, as the fans DID NOT have to be routed all over the country. Russia only picked host cities in the European part of Russia. There were no games in Krasnoyarsk, Yakutsk, Vladivostok and so on. So the distance was about the same as using only the cities on the east coast of the USA + Canada. If they only used New York, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans et al then it would in fact be a lot easier for the national teams and fans. Similarly I hope the ANZAC world cup will group teams so they do not have to fly between Australia and New Zealand during the group stages.
  4. I think it will honestly be pretty horrendous for players and fans. The USSF only cares about stuffing it pockets with cash, so you can expect them to pick hosts by how much money they can make rather than making travel easy for the national teams and fans following their teams. On the flip side I can't wait to hear their explanation for how it is actually environmentally friendly to route a team 10,000 km in the group stage from Montreal to Los Angeles to New York to Houston.
  5. I wish the state legislatures in America were unicameral with proportional representation and preferential voting. I do not think Queensland's Olympic bid is a good idea, but its political system and The Spirit of Queensland train are good models for the rest of the Anglo colonies to learn from.
  6. 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.
  7. "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".
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. For the winter games I think the biggest issue has already been solved: the sliding center. If the IOC will let the host city use a remote site on the same continent it opens up a lot more potential cities. The problem with the games are the capital and security costs, not the event itself. Host cities roughly break even on the operational costs of the games. It's the expensive sports venues that cause so much trouble. The IOC needs to show (not tell) that the era of white elephant stadiums is over. If they can do that in Milan/Cortina then they may be back on the path to popularity with potential hosts.
  22. NBC lost $32 million in 1980 from the Olympics boycott, which is only $100 million in 2020 USD. But that was a different era and I can't find any records of their profitability or total revenue from that era from a quick search. I suspect Quaker is right, and that while it was a huge blow they were able to recover from the games in Los Angeles and Seoul. Today it might be a bigger problem for them with very low profitability for broadcast media.
  23. Yes. There's a reason there were no Olympics during the World Wars. If there are thousands of new infections in Japan, South Korea and Italy by July then global commercial air travel may be cut to a minimum and people will be hard pressed to get to the games in Tokyo anyway. Yet people also need to keep this in context. Roughly 2,400 people have died of coronavirus. That's bad. But >400,000 people die each year from malaria, there are about 36,000 influenza deaths worldwide each year, and there are on average 37,000 traffic fatalities in the USA each year. People don't care about those things because they are "normal", while coronavirus is novel.
  24. I think that they could re-use the one in Richmond. AFAIK the building itself was not reconstructed after the event, only the individual rooms repurposed to turn it into a community center. It should be easy to turn it back into a speed skating oval if the people in Richmond want to do that. The question is whether they want to give up their community center to host the Olympics.
  25. Innsbruck hosted in 1964 and 1976 with an interval of only 12 years, but that was due to Denver refusing to host after being selected. St. Moritz hosted with only a 20 year interval between 1928 and 1948, but that was in another age. In the current environment with the IOC preaching the re-use of existing venues who can say how they would react to Vancouver hosting again so soon after 2010. The other side is much more interesting. Why would Vancouver want to host again? It is a truly herculean effort to host, and you don't gain as much economic or PR benefit from hosting as boosters think. So would Vancouver actually be up for hosting again?
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