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2014 Shortlist


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I agree, I think Sochi is the dark horse in this race. PyeongChang, Sofia and Salzburg are the givens, and of the rest, Sochi to me stands out _ especially as Russia is, along with Sweden, one of the last of the winter sports powers not to have hosted a WOG yet.

The interesting thing in this race will be the affect of having so many former Soviet or east Bloc candidates (Sochi, Almaty, Borjomi, Sofia). On the one hand, it's easy to say that this group would split their natural base support bloc, with the risk that one of the better bids _ Sofia or Sochi _ could bow out early in an upset. But then again, as they fall by the wayside, we could see one of them zoom ahead to snatch a come from behind win.

Yes, I think this is the first time so many ex-socialist bids are in the race for Olympics, which of course could be a minus for them, but on the other hand the IOC could decide to give the Games to this countries as being new locations, so that one of those 4 cities can win

We all know the last "dark horse" that nearly won last time around.

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I agree, I think Sochi is the dark horse in this race. PyeongChang, Sofia and Salzburg are the givens, and of the rest, Sochi to me stands out _ especially as Russia is, along with Sweden, one of the last of the winter sports powers not to have hosted a WOG yet.

The interesting thing in this race will be the affect of having so many former Soviet or east Bloc candidates (Sochi, Almaty, Borjomi, Sofia). On the one hand, it's easy to say that this group would split their natural base support bloc, with the risk that one of the better bids _ Sofia or Sochi _ could bow out early in an upset. But then again, as they fall by the wayside, we could see one of them zoom ahead to snatch a come from behind win.

Yes, I think this is the first time so many ex-socialist bids are in the race for Olympics, which of course could be a minus for them, but on the other hand the IOC could decide to give the Games to this countries as being new locations, so that one of those 4 cities can win

We all know the last "dark horse" that nearly won last time around.

And that Dark Horse is now starting as hot favourite. How times change!

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I believe the IOC will pick 3 cities, and I'll break the streak...here are my picks

Salzburg

Sochi

Sofia

While it would send a shock wave around GamesBids, it would not surprise me if PyeongChang did not make the cut.  I don't think the Executive and Evaluation Committees were as excited about the bid the last time as the rest of the IOC and I think they want to throw the Russians and Eastern Europeans a bone.

But this early on, I'm predicting the Austrians will triumph in the end.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Other than the "observer program" for the 7 applicant cities, the final step in phase one of the whole 2014 Winter Olympics bidding process is here. After that, the BidIndex numbers and the June shortlist.
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Peongchang

Sochi

Salzburg

Sofia

Peongchang has to be the early favorite since losing to Vancouver by 3 votes, however we know that being the odds on favorite doesn't mean they will get the games. However in terms of a very ambitious bid, I think Sochi could surprise alot of people.

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I too think Sochi is the dark horse in this race and could come very close to snatching it.

A few plusses for the Russians:

a) they've never had a winter games - like Korea - but they do have a large winter sports contingent.

B) their bid, from what I've seen of it, seems to put emphasis on legacy for the area, and we know how much the IOC like legacy.

c) Russia, whilst _technically_ in Europe, is huge and is basically its own continent. So Sochi might be a good city to go to if the IOC want the games in a European location but don't want to look like they're favouring the Europeans by giving them too many games.

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I too think Sochi is the dark horse in this race and could come very close to snatching it.

A few plusses for the Russians:

a) they've never had a winter games - like Korea - but they do have a large winter sports contingent.

B) their bid, from what I've seen of it, seems to put emphasis on legacy for the area, and we know how much the IOC like legacy.

c) Russia, whilst _technically_ in Europe, is huge and is basically its own continent. So Sochi might be a good city to go to if the IOC want the games in a European location but don't want to look like they're favouring the Europeans by giving them too many games.

Another possible positive for Sochi is the 2012 bid by Moscow - Torino and Vancouver both won the Winter Games after one of their counterparts lost out for the Summer Olympics.

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Another possible positive for Sochi is the 2012 bid by Moscow - Torino and Vancouver both won the Winter Games after one of their counterparts lost out for the Summer Olympics.

The same argument can be used for Jaca, because Madrid also lost out for the 2012 Summer Olympics .

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Another possible positive for Sochi is the 2012 bid by Moscow - Torino and Vancouver both won the Winter Games after one of their counterparts lost out for the Summer Olympics.

The same argument can be used for Jaca, because Madrid also lost out for the 2012 Summer Olympics .

Indeed it can. It may help Jaca get onto the shortlist, who knows?

I'd be interested to see the plans coming out of Sochi in the coming months though. For some strange reason, I'm seeing a Sochi/Salzburg showdown, with PC out in 3rd place.

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Another possible positive for Sochi is the 2012 bid by Moscow - Torino and Vancouver both won the Winter Games after one of their counterparts lost out for the Summer Olympics.

The same argument can be used for Jaca, because Madrid also lost out for the 2012 Summer Olympics .

True. :)

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I have now read the seven bid books.

So here is my take on that.

My favorite bid in Salzburg, from a technical and organizational standpoint. The proposal is sleek and well organized. The Austrians would deliver strong 'classical' Olympic Games, with some spectacular venues such as the Olympic Stadium over the river. The fact that it is probably their last bid before some time makes it so, that I wish they could win.

I still think however that PyeongChang will win, because their bid has no obvious flaw and Asia is a much more attractive growth market for winter sports than old Europe. The only risks for the South Koreans is that their lobbying can become obnoxious at times - see the Olympic Congress vote - , the shaky situation of South Korea in the Olympic movement and that the IOC could decide to wait 2018 in order to give China a shot at organizing the first Winter Olympics in continental Asia, in Harbin (Winter Universiade host) or Changchun (Winter Asian Games host). The opening ceremony at the ski jumping venue is a great idea. They will probably get votes from a lot of European IOC members, hoping for 2018.

The surprise for me is the Sochi bid, which is nice and compact. I guess the Russians are putting a lot of energy in it, and the promotion is of very good quality and professional (much better than Moscow 2012 for instance). A strong, promising candidate for the future.

The big disappointment for me is Jaca. I would love to see the Games in the Pyrenees, but I fear it won't be this time. The plan is worse than 2010, from my standpoint, with a lot of events in Zaragoza far away from Jaca, a bit like Torino, but worse. The fact that the opening and closing Ceremonies will not be in the bid city, against the Olympic Charter rules, does not help either.

Almaty and Borjomi are obvious choices for the cut. Their plans are virtual, with little previous experience, few existing facilities and a huge geopolitical risk.

Sofia is your average bid, acceptable, but nothing to be enthusiastic about.

My guess: Salzburg, PyeongChang, Sochi, Sofia - the three 'S' against Korea.

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The big disappointment for me is Jaca. I would love to see the Games in the Pyrenees, but I fear it won't be this time. The plan is worse than 2010, from my standpoint, with a lot of events in Zaragoza far away from Jaca, a bit like Torino, but worse. The fact that the opening and closing Ceremonies will not be in the bid city, against the Olympic Charter rules, does not help either.

I can accept and understand that you don't like Jaca's bid, but please dont' lie about it. 2010 bid plan was much worse than 2014 bid plan.

Infrastructures, lodgings and sport equipment were the blackest points of Jaca in their candidacy for the 2010.

The weak points of the previous candidacies (acomodation, transort, infrastructures...) are now the most solid points of the 2014 bid, thanks to the inclusion of Zaragoza like complementary city and to the remarkable development of the communications experimented by the north of Aragón.

Jaca has lot of possibilities of passing the shortlist, so don't be so sure that Jaca is the worst bid ever presented. :P

A Games in the Pyrenees are possible.

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Reading the books, now:

Salzburg

Sochi

Almaty

PyeongChang

Sofia

Jaca

Borjomi

Cut off at either PyeongChang (first 4) or Sofia (first 5).  I had a huge explanation going, if anyone wants to know, but it got too long and I don't want to take up the whole page with just my post.

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 I had a huge explanation going, if anyone wants to know, but it got too long and I don't want to take up the whole page with just my post.

Please, do tell. That's what we're here for after all, to put our theories forward and to discuss them. I haven't actually read any of the books, so I'd love to hear the impressions of those that have.

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I can't understood why Jaca is so down in the lists. In this forum Jaca's bid is very discredited.

I am a fan of Jaca 2014, maybe fot that reason I can't see the "mistakes" of the bid. I would like that anybody tells me some reasons, being objective.

I have reads the bidbooks and I don't reckon that Jaca has to be in the last positions, Jaca has a compact and organized plan for the bid.

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 I had a huge explanation going, if anyone wants to know, but it got too long and I don't want to take up the whole page with just my post.

Please, do tell. That's what we're here for after all, to put our theories forward and to discuss them. I haven't actually read any of the books, so I'd love to hear the impressions of those that have.

roltel: you asked for it, mate.

JACA 2014: I understand the position of being a favourite for a bid and not seeing its flaws, as I had a very sentimental connection to the Rio bid, since my heritage is Brazilian.  But, also, I know a little bit about how Brazilian politics works, and how the city government promised more than it could deliver.  As for you and Jaca 2014, I think you could be more open to criticism.  Personally, I think Spain could have done better (look at Madrid 2012, which quickly became my favourite).

Okay, here goes.  All distances are from the mini bid book tables and for the most part use the Olympic Village as reference.

Though I knew the changes were coming, I am still impressed by Salzburg's improvements to the 2010 bid.  It's again, a very compact concept, needing only a couple of ice rinks in Salzburg.  We've seen Salzburg Arena go up since that bid, so it shouldn't be difficult there either.  It's the safe option, much improved since 2010, but hopefully it will be put forth with passion and flair and all that good stuff, because with all these first-time hosts as competitors, they'll need every heartstring they can pull.  They're on the right track; check the first two paragraphs under "Motivation".  (I will quote, if you wish.)

Quantifiably, it's 7 km max for ice sports, 27 km to sliding at Schönau, and 23 km for snow sports.  Radstadt is 68 km from Salzburg.

I am also impressed with Sochi.  The Russians don't have to tell anyone that they are a sporting nation and that they can build all these venues to all be used well after the games, because it's quite obvious.  And they've already started to build them, too.  What they did do that will get them through, was provide one of the smallest snow clusters recently seen in any bid, accessible by two separate routes (and possibly a light rail) and internally linked by a loop road.  The venues for the ice sports are good too, but I have my questions as to why ceremonies and the media accommodations have to be so far away.  Is it a question of the "bid city" hosting ceremonies (we'll get to the obvious violator, later)?

Overall, though, it's a very compact concept, 16 km max for ice sports and 10 km max for snow sports.  Krasnaya Polyana is 56 km from Sochi.

I would love for Almaty to go through to the shortlist.  If all their promises are fulfilled from the Asian Winter Games, then they only have to build two venues, two sets of lodgings, and a sub-media-centre.  Unfortunately, for another sentimental favourite of mine, the promise of hosting a multisport event in the near future wasn't enough for the IOC.  But, to compare Almaty with Rio would be comparing apples to pineapples.  Almaty has a much better legacy in mind and the bid book seems to imply a higher level of commitment.  Maybe I just know the Brazilians better and had a higher level of healthy suspicion....but Almaty is here, the surprise Asian candidate.  As a nation that has just come to exist in the past fifteen years, it might be an encouraging move for the IOC.

The furthest venue is 45 km (cc/biathlon), where there is on-site accommodation.  All others are 32 or less.

I hate to say it, but PyeongChang is probably the favorite to make it and win.  The venues, though, are the most spread out.  Basically, for logistics, athletes would stay separately at Sungwoo, Jungbong, Bokwang and Wonju, of which are all more than 40 km from PyeongChang, and then join the experience once they are done with competitions.  London learned quickly from the mistake of using spread-out venues just because they exist, but now I'm burned out on this bid; seemingly the only venue change was the move of curling away from PyeongChang to Gangneung (we'll also deal with the obvious violator, later).

Wonju is 96 km away; Gangneung is 37 km in the other direction.

The Sofia book was just a little confusing and unclear, and I'll be reading over it again.  It seemed pretty standard in some places, but the maps and tables were at some places inconsistent with what the text said and the resort maps were confusing.  The concept is okay, with three clusters, but look at where Salzburg went for 2010 with three clusters, and theirs were closer.  It's all there, but it all being "there" is not enough.  I wouldn't be surprised if Sofia got cut from the list before Almaty, despite the Bulgarians' more established sporting reputation.

Bansko (alpine, biathlon) is 156 km away, Borovets is 62 km.  Ice/sliding venues are 12 km or less, except hockey at 21 km.

So what do you get when you have a half-decent winter bid, take away the furthest site to the east only to add an even more distant site to the south, where many more events, including opening and closing ceremonies, are held, just because all of the venues exist?  Jaca's 2010 bid was seemingly more legacy-minded for the mountainous areas, if Huesca was a bit far south and Cerler a bit far east....but now to use a city only needed for its airport for practically all the visible ice events?  It stinks of politics, or something else really crazy.  Had the bid kept ice rinks where they had them for 2010, there would have been no need for Zaragoza and possibly no need for Huesca as bid sites.  I just don't understand this; I expected better.  But I still do expect to be bombarded by certain Spanish members of this board.  But, look at Borjomi, even.  Georgia is an emerging nation and put together two highly compact clusters, even if they are 200 km away from each other.

Zaragoza is 142 km from Jaca, Formigal is 49 km from Jaca in the other direction.  Huesca is halfway between Zaragoza and Jaca.

Someone mentioned Borjomi to be this race's Havana, but they finally came out with a bid book that was indeed a more legible scan, and in many places more practical, with some existing venues built in the Soviet era needing renovation.  But, I'm still unsure.  It looks okay, with some possible accessibility problems in Borjomi and the obvious distance between Borjomi and Tbilisi.  Unfortunately, it will probably tumble like the blocks in the logo, but that's what happens to these sorts of things.  It's just not time yet.  I am waiting to be convinced.

Borjomi is 197 km from Tbilisi.  Ice sports are either at walking distance or 14 km, snow/sliding at 3 km or less.

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