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Athensfan
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They would use the Olympic Stadium in all likelyhood to try to lure an MLS team to the area post Olympics.

the new Vikings stadium is supposed to be domed unless Wilf puts his hand in his pocket for a retractable roof. I read that the TCF stadium was designed to be expanded to 80,000 seats from 50,000 seats currently. If the 2014 Commonwealth Games works with a temporary platform for Track & Field at Hampden Park, I think some cities may look at this seriously as an option

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Actually, that's a historical mis-conception (although I do love the effort in trying to make that connection with Australia). Georgia was intended as a penal colony, but most of the convicts they planned on sending there wound up in Virginia and Maryland instead.

Interesting, you learn something new here all the time ... I don't really know much at all about the USA's past with penal colonies, even though losing them in the Revolutionary War directly led Britain to consider Oz's settlement. I must read up more.

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Mo Farah held by US customs on suspicion of being a terrorist as he returned to family home for Christmas

Team GB's Olympic hero Mo Farah's two gold medals could not prevent him being held by US customs officials on suspicion of terrorism as he returned home to Portland, Oregon for Christmas.

Farah, who won a 5,000m and 10,000m double at London 2012, was detained for questioning after the US border force saw he was born in Somalia.

The 29 year-old came over to Britain with his English-born father as a child and is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but this did not stop judicious officials from grilling him at the border.

Farah moved to Portland last year to work with his coach Alberto Salazar at Nike's HQ in the Pacific Northwest and was travelling back to spend Christmas with his wife and children.

And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.

"I couldn’t believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it," he told the Sun.

This is not the first of Farah's run-ins with US customs. He had similar struggles when he tried to get a residency permit to live in Portland.

Farah and his family visited Portland as tourists before exiting the country to Toronto in anticipation of shortly returning as residents with authorised permits.

Farah told the newspaper that when he and his family tried to leave Canada and enter the US as residents they were told they were under investigation as a terrorist threat and would have to stay away for 90 days.

But Salazar intervened and called upon a friend at the FBI – a massive running fan – and he solved the issue.

“God knows what would have happened if he didn’t. We’d probably still be in Toronto," said Farah.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/athletics/9771503/Mo-Farah-held-by-US-customs-on-suspicion-of-being-a-terrorist-as-he-returned-to-family-home-for-Christmas.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Perhaps an issue the US needs to look at before it tries to welcome the World's athletes?

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Perhaps an issue the US needs to look at before it tries to welcome the World's athletes?

This got played up a bit when Chicago lost 2016, but I think it's definitely a bigger factor working against a US bid than the USOC would like to admit. And sadly for them, it's largely out of their control to do anything about it.

2017 is still a long ways off, but if this is still the perception then, that the immigration and customs procedures of the United States could make it difficult for foreign athletes to enter this country, that's going to be a problem come the 2024 vote and beyond.

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I'd imagine during the Games themselves it wouldn't be a problem. Athletes would arrive in teams and with accreditted officials and the like. Perhaps it's the weeks and months beforehand that could be an issue or, as you say, just a general perception built up over years which might cause damage or problems.

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I'd imagine during the Games themselves it wouldn't be a problem. Athletes would arrive in teams and with accreditted officials and the like. Perhaps it's the weeks and months beforehand that could be an issue or, as you say, just a general perception built up over years which might cause damage or problems.

General perception absolutely could work against them. During the Olympics wouldn't be a problem, although who knows if there would be all sorts of background checks and other obstacles getting here. But it's everything before then that IOC voters could be worried about. And again, it's something that's largely out of the USOC's control, so there's little they can do about it.

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While the US can be annoying, the Russian visa system is totally inept and corrupt. Putin made some vague promise to fix things for the Olympics, and it became a non-issue.


The IOC voters travel is such rarefied circles with staff to deal with all the "little issue" that I doubt they have any comprehension of visa hassles.

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Perhaps an issue the US needs to look at before it tries to welcome the World's athletes?

It's not just the US but all countries within the Anglosphere. Both the UK and Australia have notoriously strict border security, which veer into racial profiling as part of their duties. Overzealous and discriminatory? Yep. Exclusive to the US? No.

I'm Australian of Scottish decent and I was held at Gatwick for one hour because I had got off a flight from St. Petersburg. This was in 2007 and I was travelling on an Australian passport and British customs officials thought it was "ridiculous and strange" (quote) that a 21 year old had been travelling in Russia and Central Asia by himself. Oh, and I had a beard. Not a nice welcome to the Mother Country, some would say. I've had more intense encounters with British and Australian border security than my several encounters with China and once off trips to the US and Russia.

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It's not just the US but all countries within the Anglosphere. Both the UK and Australia have notoriously strict border security, which veer into racial profiling as part of their duties. Overzealous and discriminatory? Yep. Exclusive to the US? No.

I'm Australian of Scottish decent and I was held at Gatwick for one hour because I had got off a flight from St. Petersburg. This was in 2007 and I was travelling on an Australian passport and British customs officials thought it was "ridiculous and strange" (quote) that a 21 year old had been travelling in Russia and Central Asia by himself. Oh, and I had a beard. Not a nice welcome to the Mother Country, some would say. I've had more intense encounters with British and Australian border security than my several encounters with China and once off trips to the US and Russia.

Gotta agree - I've always found the Anglosphere countries to have some of the strictest border control staff I've encountered on my travels. Though I gotta say, got a pleasant surprise arriving at Heathrow last year for the games that they seemed to have been trying to be pleasant for a change.

My partner, who's Latino with Aussie citizenship, seems to always be fingered as a likely drug mule whenever he enters to US or UK.

That said, at least we (Aussies) don't need to apply for visas to go into the US or UK. It's precisely the ridiculous bureaucracy the Russkis throw at you that has stopped me from travelling there.

Correction: re the US. While we Aussies can get on on the "visa waiver" program, that seems to have become the visa you need when you don't need a visa. I'm heading over next month, and just found that while I can get in with the visa waiver, I have to go on-line at least 72 hours in advance, and pay a fee and fill out the ERSA (or whatever it's called) forms to get the waiver confirmed.

China I had no problems at all with getting the visa and then entering the country.

Edited by Sir Rols
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ESTA. And it's relatively painless if you are coming to the US from a qualifying country.

One nice thing about the US is that it's very easy to leave. I always find exit clearance odd when traveling abroad. I haven't had the pleasure of visiting Australia, but friends tell me leaving is almost as big a pain as entering.

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China made huge improvements as a direct result of the Beijing Olympics. Prior it was quite a process to get a Chinese visa, now its not that difficult (for an Australian).

Russian Federation has quite a large visa process (in 2007, anyway), but I think it was worth it. A remarkable country. Although the saying goes when entering Russia, "you are free to come in, but you are not welcome", is pretty much the vibe you get.

When I was last in North America in 2009 I thought Canada's border control was more overzealous than the US. Crossing the border from Vermont into Quebec took half an hour, with some of the most bizarre questions... although I put this down to the individual person working the border post. Very bored, very sour. In saying that, Canada very generously gives Australians free entry, for six months, at border arrival. The US only gives us three, with ESTA required.

Edited by runningrings
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ESTA. And it's relatively painless if you are coming to the US from a qualifying country.

Thanks, yeah, I couldn't remember the acronym off the top of my head. I'm not saying it's arduous, but it's still a de-facto visa, whatever the US wants to call it.

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Perhaps an issue the US needs to look at before it tries to welcome the World's athletes?

Definitely.

It is a tricky balance though. There are almost an equal number of stories saying security is too lax and permeable as there are saying it is ridiculously intense and cumbersome. I wish somebody would whip them into shape.

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Thanks, yeah, I couldn't remember the acronym off the top of my head. I'm not saying it's arduous, but it's still a de-facto visa, whatever the US wants to call it.

We initiated ESTA (de facto Visa) only after Australia introduced their de jure ETA Visa for Americans. Then some congressmen added the fees to "enhance" and encourage tourism (bizzare way of thinking, charging for entry to encourage more people to come,) honestly it should only apply to countrys as a retaliatory fee like Australia.

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  • 1 month later...

Minneapolis to explore Olympic bid

Olympic athletes may one day compete in Minneapolis.

Mayor R.T. Rybak asked a city organization Wednesday to look into a

possible bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The city has never hosted the

Olympic Games.

Meet Minneapolis, which helped bring the Republican National

Convention to St. Paul in 2008, is making preliminary explorations into

the possibility, spokeswoman Kristen Montag said.

But several questions still need to be answered, she said.

“What would it take? What would we add to our infrastructure?”

Minneapolis’ bid is still “no more than an idea,” said John Stiles, a spokesman for Rybak.

The mayor believes Minneapolis is a world-class city capable of

holding such an event, Stiles said. He charged Meet Minneapolis, which

is partially city-funded, to evaluate whether a bid is possible.

City Councilman Don Samuels said Minneapolis has the sports facilities necessary to host such an event.

“I think it’s a great thing to explore,” Samuels said.

Other U.S. cities, including Dallas and Los Angeles, have also

considered bidding for the Summer Olympics, according to local news

outlets.

Minneapolis is “as equipped as anyone else,” said Kacey Guenther, a genetics, cell biology and development junior.

She added she thought a bid for the Winter Olympics may be better suited to the Minneapolis climate.

Candidate cities are evaluated on a number of criteria, including

safety, transport and medical services and doping control, according to

the International Olympic Committee website.

Cities must brief the committee on the technical aspects of their bid and answer any questions committee members have.

Montag said the organization would consult members of the Minneapolis

business and hospitality industries when considering the feasibility of

a bid.

The city will have to analyze the potential costs and benefits of

making the bid, said Carly Vaagen, a neuroscience sophomore, to ensure

the cost wouldn’t upset people.

“If I was in Minneapolis then, I’d definitely come,” she said.

http://www.mndaily.com/2013/02/07/minneapolis-explore-olympic-bid

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ATR (Around the Rings): Do you think the U.S. has

put itself in a better position to

make a bid for the Olympics?

MVR: I think that the USOC

is really targeting 2024 for the

Olympic Games. And for 2024

I think it would have been very

good for them to actually bid

for the 2019 Pan American

Games because bidding for the

Pan American Games will make

a stronger Olympic bid. The Pan

American Games right now are

a very big showcase


MVR = Mario Vazquez Rana
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ATR (Around the Rings): Do you think the U.S. has
put itself in a better position to
make a bid for the Olympics?
MVR: I think that the USOC
is really targeting 2024 for the
Olympic Games. And for 2024
I think it would have been very
good for them to actually bid
for the 2019 Pan American
Games because bidding for the
Pan American Games will make
a stronger Olympic bid. The Pan
American Games right now are
a very big showcase
MVR = Mario Vazquez Rana

Moot point. The 2019 Bid deadline passed on 31 Jan. No US cities bid; beside it's South America's turn; so as usual, Vasquez-Rana doesn't know what he's talking about.

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The United States has hosted the Pan Am Games a grand total of 2 times in its history, the last coming in 1987. Those 2 cities were Chicago and Indianapolis. 1 of those cities has no aspirations to host an Olympics. The other has a 50-year gap between their Pan Am hosting and their Olympic bid vote.

I get what Vasquez-Rana is getting at, but I don't think a US city needs (or will want) to use a Pan Am Games as a springboard to the Olympics the way that Rio did and that Toronto may be angling for.

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I’m happy to watch other countries scramble around to host,
if a US city bids I’d be thrilled to support them but I don’t feel too
desperate about it right now. We have so many things to work out at the moment,
and we have to figure out how to survive the current administrations agenda.

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LA would've been a natural especially if they have Olympic hopes again. But the TV contracts for the PanAms doesn't even cover 1/3rd of the bills for staging it. My guess is that PASOC is asking for a HUGE initial outlay. [The last Miss Universe which asks for $12 million, in addition to all the free accommodations, theatre, etc.,etc., There were no takers from any Latin cities...which is why they just had to go back to Vegas last December] I'm thinking PASOC might be asking for like $20 million in guarantees + hosting over 4,000 athletes, etc.,etc, in an event rarely watched in the US; that's why cash-strapped US cities aren't exactly foaming at the mouth to host it.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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It's so perplexing, to say the least, why so many sometimes say that a Pan Ams is a great start to work to the real thing, ie like Rio did & like Toronto appears to be aiming for.

While Rio's Pan Ams were the catalyst for their winning Olympic bid, their case is different, since their Pan Am Games were more about to showcase their readiness & capability for an Olympics, something countries like Canada & the United States don't necessarily need. How many Pan Ams did Montreal, Los Angeles & Atlanta, besides none, before they hosted their respective Olympics.

It's quite funny, actually, cuz the cities that really should be aiming for the Pan Ams to start & get their feet wet in big sporting events (which many like to point out about the Pan Ams) like Minneapolis in this case, don't wanna try for them & instead what to go for the big shebang right from the start. Talk about ironic & not really putting things into perspective.

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