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Boston, Massachusetts is taking the first big steps towards looking into the feasibility of a Summer Games bid for the earliest year 2024. On Thursday, January 10, 2013, the MA State Senate file a Re

Oslo was an abortion - Boston is a miscarriage.

We prefer "Masshole" to "total douche".

They weren't disappointed in Atlanta because of the venue plan. They were disappointed in the cheesy commercialism and organizational deficiencies.

The organizational deficiencies were caused in part because of the venue plan, though. The traffic jams would have been greatly diminished if Atlanta had clustered venues where people could walk from one event to another instead of taking cars. A single Olympic Park is also a lot easier to direct mass transportation to in the form of a new metro/subway line.

Of course the flip side is that building an Olympic Park with new rail lines also significantly increase costs. But I doubt the IOC will really care about that until cities stop bidding. Even for the depressing 2022 race it still has a safe bid in China.

After the experience of Atlanta, I have a hard time believing the IOC would be interested in an American city that is FAR MORE built up than Atlanta without strong clusters of venues. And in particular a grouping of venues around the main stadium.

Exactly what did the IOC do to make it "obvious" they regretted choosing Atlanta?

Numerous IOC members have said so in so many words. In fact European Olympic officials actually published a paper detailing how awful they thought the 1996 games were.

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It was the only Olympics Samaranch did not declare "the best ever." I also read a quote from Rogge years ago (during the 2016 bid process) where he said flat out "The Atlanta Games, those were not good Games."

I don't know that it's fair to say the IOC "regrets" choosing Atlanta, but I think it's totally fair to say they were disappointed by the Games that resulted. Based on my impression of the media coverage of the time, I'd say they had good reason.

Indeed. As I recall, the torch relay for example was to reach all past hosts, as part of commemorating the Centennial. It went from Greece straight to the US.

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The organizational deficiencies were caused in part because of the venue plan, though. The traffic jams would have been greatly diminished if Atlanta had clustered venues where people could walk from one event to another instead of taking cars. A single Olympic Park is also a lot easier to direct mass transportation to in the form of a new metro/subway line.

Of course the flip side is that building an Olympic Park with new rail lines also significantly increase costs. But I doubt the IOC will really care about that until cities stop bidding. Even for the depressing 2022 race it still has a safe bid in China.

After the experience of Atlanta, I have a hard time believing the IOC would be interested in an American city that is FAR MORE built up than Atlanta without strong clusters of venues. And in particular a grouping of venues around the main stadium.

No, that's not true. You're misunderstanding and incorrectly diagnosing what happened.

Atlanta's problem was more that bus drivers didn't know where to go when, bad directions, poorly thought out routes/Olympic lanes. That's a transportation issue, not a traffic issue. If Atlanta had planned better, they could've used the exact same venue layout without having had all the transportation problems.

LA had a spread out venue plan and no traffic problems. In fact, spreading out the venues typically REDUCES congestion because you don't have such a high volume of people trying to get into the same small space.

The Centennial Games were Fabulous Games by any stretch. Only people in denial claim otherwise.

We know you enjoy being the iconoclast, but the Centennial Games were by far the worst Olympics in recent memory. It's pretty universally agreed. Just like Athens produced a phenomenally artistic OC despite your claim that it was garbage.

Cue vitriolic insults.

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Indeed. As I recall, the torch relay for example was to reach all past hosts, as part of commemorating the Centennial. It went from Greece straight to the US.

This is how they did it:

More “take-outs.” The Atlantans also handled things a little differently for the flame hand-off in Athens. Without planning for a global relay but nonetheless wanting to generate as widespread a celebration of the Olympic spirit as possible, ACOG invited the previous summer host cities to come to Athens and get a piece of the sacred Centennial flame. Once the mother flame from Olympia arrived in Athens, representatives from the previous seventeen summer host cities were each given a miner's lantern lit from the original flame. They returned home, and going by a pre-arranged calendar, the cities--starting with Paris--each celebrated an Olympic Torch Day and the Centennial Games. On 27 April 1996, the sacred flame returned to the U.S. at Los Angeles to begin its 84-day, cross-country trek, going west to east, with the flame arriving in Atlanta the night before opening ceremony. “84” was a doubly magical number for Atlanta because: (i) it carried on the tradition of the 84 day-run of the Los Angeles torch; and (ii) added to the 16 days the flame would burn at Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, that equaled the centennial number, 100.

- above is from page 97 of my book...

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I can see why that proposed 1996 'global' relay never happened. Like the City of Melbourne would have given a shite about hosting a spur of Atlanta's orphaned flame...

Oh, true spirit of Olympic unity. Uhmmm...a global relay was NEVER planned. Leave that to super-ambitious Athens which had something to prove. Also, the past host cities were invited. Too bad Melbourne accepted. I mean they didn't have to -- know what I mean? No one put a gun to their head.

I guess, runningrings, if you were on the AOC, then a Melbourne rep should never have bothered to come. I mean, c'mon why bother to celebrate having been an ex-Summer host. Fuggedaboutit - right?

I'm totally with you on that!! :rolleyes:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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It was the only Olympics Samaranch did not declare "the best ever."

JAS praised the Atlanta games, calling them "most excellent" amoung other things. Just not the best games ever. That's a long way from saying he regretted them.

Numerous IOC members have said so in so many words.

Examples please.

What's interesting is that for all the kvetching people have about the commercialism of the games in '96, that has been the model going forward.

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They weren't disappointed in Atlanta because of the venue plan. They were disappointed in the cheesy commercialism and organizational deficiencies.

Clearly, the world wants to move towards sustainable, cost-effective approaches. Like it or not, the IOC is going to have to start considering more responsible venue plans (unless they're willing to stick with Russia, China and the Middle East). That will mean fewer parks.

It is possible that the 2024 field will be so weak that any US candidate would win. I am not making that prediction, I'm just saying it's not totally out of the realm if possibility. The biggest challenges are likely to come from France, Italy, Germany and potentially South Africa. All of them are looking questionable right now. If none of them bid, the US bid will be free to do things a bit differently. That could end up birthing a new model that could be very good for the Games.

Agree. I don't recall anyone's being critical of Atlanta's venue plan, but there was ample, well-deserved criticism of Atlanta's execution. From delays in the parade of athlete's in the Opening, to a completely botched shuttle bus system, to complaints about the quality of the food in the dining halls, to the crass commercialization - Atlanta is not a Games to emulate. Samaranch's "most excellent" qualification at the Closing was an act of mercy.

I also agree that the IOC needs to move away from the mega-Park model if it ever wants a reasonably stable/western/democratic country to act as host again. Post-2008 (and particularly post-Sochi), any host city that cannot steamroll its population into submission will simply shy away from hosting the Games. If it only ever wants white elephants, start planning your Doha, Baku, St. Petersburg, Pyongyang travel plans now.

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Who cares what others think about Atlanta? You fools weren't there. It was great and no one can take away that experience just like some claim the over-rated Games of 2004 were the "greatest." Over-rated and over-heated. Duh!! :rolleyes:

If you want to say "I had a great experience in Atlanta and I wouldn't trade it for the world" that's totally fair. But you can't claim they were empirically "fabulous" when the IOC and most of the rest of the world disagrees. Face it, there hasn't been an Olympics since Atlanta where athletes failed to arrive in time for competition because the organizers failed to manage the transportation properly.

As for your jab at Athens:

I think Athens was potentially the most beautiful Olympics to date in terms of OC, look, venues, music and general ambiance (Acropolis, Aegean, etc.).

I don't believe in the "best ever" analysis of any Games because all Olympics have strengths and weaknesses. The extensive delays, cost overruns, non-existent legacy planning, specter of 911, increased security, low ticket sales for some events, Kenteris/Thanou fiasco -- all those stole some shine from Athens' Games. Nonetheless, I am very thankful I was there and I think Rogge's pronouncement that the Greeks staged "unforgettable, dream Games" was well-deserved.

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JAS praised the Atlanta games, calling them "most excellent" amoung other things. Just not the best games ever. That's a long way from saying he regretted them.

Examples please.

What's interesting is that for all the kvetching people have about the commercialism of the games in '96, that has been the model going forward.

I gave you two examples. And Samaranch's "most excellent" was a very glaring departure from the "best ever" he applied to every other Olympics. I'm not going to be able to find that Rogge quote for you because that was at least 7 years ago.

And no, Atlanta did not create the model going forward. No one else has turned their Olympic park into a flea market for tacky local street vendors. No one else has plastered their sponsors' logos so liberally over the Games.

The model you are probably referring to is that of corporate sponsorship. It was pioneered by LA84, not Atlanta, and it successfully revived the Olympic movement and provided a model for the future that is still in use today. No one complains about corporate sponsorship because it's essential. That was not Atlanta's problem.

I said in my post that I wouldn't necessarily argue that the IOC "regretted" choosing Atlanta, but that they were disappointed with the results.

If you believe that the IOC loved the Atlanta Games, provide evidence. "Examples please."

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That's not necessarily true.

For starters , no one knows exactly what the IOC wants because we don't know the results of Agenda 2020.

You're right no one knows exactly what the IOC wants, but all one has to look at is the past winners to see what advantages they had that losing bids don't. The last winners, Rio and Tokyo, had an advantage of having their venues within close proximity to each other that I believe gave them a huge advantage. I personally would have liked to have seen Madrid win for 2020 but they had so much going against them, one of them being that the sailing competition would have been held over 300 miles away in Valencia, while Tokyo and Istanbul were right off the coast.

And I keep hearing people bring up this Agenda2020 like it's going to change so much. I highly doubt it will make a huge difference in the way the IOC votes on who hosts the Olympics.

One thing that won't change is that the Olympic games are to be held by a city, not a country, state, nor metropolitan. The Winter Olympics is an exception of course, and even Summer Olympic cities are allowed to have some events outside the city limits. Boston can have events around city limits if it chooses, but the O/C ceremonies have to be within city limits. They will have to build an olympic stadium within city limits because it will reflect badly on the bid if it chooses Gillette Stadium as the location for the ceremonies. I don't see the city putting forth the money to build a stadium it will rarely use after the games.

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I did some digging, and the Olympic Park definition isn't as open to interpretation as it seems. In the 2020 Working Group Report, the IOC outlines the following definitions:

- Stand Alone Venue: A site of primary importance, operated by the OCOG, located within a secure perimeter, officially used to deliver the Olympic Games

- Precinct: A number (more than one) of venues or facilities in close geographical proximity within a secure perimeter.

- Cluster: A number (more than one) of venues in close geographical proximity, which do not require a secure perimeter.

- Zone: A large geographic area, to large to be considered a cluster, but still with a logical link between venues.

So, a precinct would be the "Olympic Park" with several venues, usually the stadium, aquatics centre and velodrome, all within a security perimeter that requires screening to access. Examples are the Olympic Green in Beijing, QEII Olympic Park in London, Barra Olympic Park in Rio.

A cluster would be Deodoro in Rio, with a bunch of venues with individual security screening, but within close proximity of each other. The Georgia Dome, Omni, Convention Center area in Atlanta or the LA Memorial Stadium area might be considered clusters, granted this concept wasn't really around back then. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these areas did not require a screening process to enter one large area of venues surrounded by a perimeter. In these cases, you entered each stadium separately.

Again, this is not an Olympic Park because it doesn't fit the IOC's definition.

It looked to me like it was just the Stadium and Aquatic Centre together.

And for what it's worth, Tokyo looks to not be building a park, but rather focusing upon a zone and cluster concept.

BTW, here's the working group report that I mentioned: http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Host_city_elections/Final-report-2020-Working-Group-English.pdf

Look at page 9 for this info.

I think the concept of the Olympic Park has changed because of the Olympic Pipe Bombing during Atlanta, which is why they were able to get away with not having one. I went to the Olympic Park in Barcelona and there were about 3, maybe 4 venues in total in this one area. It was enclosed and had a definite perimeter that would qualify it as an Olympic Park by today's standards.

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lol good read. I vaguely remember hearing about any of the issues from these games at the time, I've only recently been reading a lot about them the last few years. I do remember at the time watching the opening ceremony (I was 13 at the time) I thought they were the coolest thing ever until the opening ceremony for Sydney came along. After rewatching the OC for Atlanta on Youtube years ago, I come to find out they were the most awful thing I've ever seen.

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You're right no one knows exactly what the IOC wants, but all one has to look at is the past winners to see what advantages they had that losing bids don't. The last winners, Rio and Tokyo, had an advantage of having their venues within close proximity to each other that I believe gave them a huge advantage. I personally would have liked to have seen Madrid win for 2020 but they had so much going against them, one of them being that the sailing competition would have been held over 300 miles away in Valencia, while Tokyo and Istanbul were right off the coast.

And I keep hearing people bring up this Agenda2020 like it's going to change so much. I highly doubt it will make a huge difference in the way the IOC votes on who hosts the Olympics.

One thing that won't change is that the Olympic games are to be held by a city, not a country, state, nor metropolitan. The Winter Olympics is an exception of course, and even Summer Olympic cities are allowed to have some events outside the city limits. Boston can have events around city limits if it chooses, but the O/C ceremonies have to be within city limits. They will have to build an olympic stadium within city limits because it will reflect badly on the bid if it chooses Gillette Stadium as the location for the ceremonies. I don't see the city putting forth the money to build a stadium it will rarely use after the games.

There are a lot of errors in your post.

Tokyo is revising their venue plan so that it is more diffuse, partly to ease congestion, partly to reduce expense.

Rio's venue plan was by far the most spread out of all the 2016 bidders and had the longest travel times for athletes. This was cited as one if the biggest weaknesses of the bid and obviously the IOC decided it wasn't a problem.

Madrid did not lose because of the location of the sailing venue. It's an inland city and making an exception for sailing is not a big deal. Consider sailing in Weymouth for London 2012 or equestrian events in Hong Kong for Beijing 2008. Finally, citing a single far flung sport is not a fair measurement of the overall compactness of a plan that includes 23 sports.

It's possible that very little will change with Agenda 2020, but it's also possible that there could be a meaningful change in direction. That's why we have to wait to hear the final report.

Contrary to your statement, the IOC has made it very clear that they want Olympics to be NATIONAL affairs. They expect government support at the national level. They poll nationally to gauge support. The USOC has acknowledged that this is a priority and seeks to offer a truly national bid. This message has filtered down to the bid cities and that's why LA's leaked document kept referring to "America's Games."

That said, for the time being Olympic venues are concentrated in and around cities. However, it is possible that Agenda 2020 will result in the acceptance of more spread out venue plans. In fact, I think that's highly likely. Whether the IOC will ultimately vote for that type of bid is another question.

I do agree that Boston is small and compact and there is not a lot of room for new construction. The stadium certainly presents a huge challenge that Boston seems unlikely to meet. None of that, however, justifies your claim that the USOC made fools of themselves by short listing Boston.

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I can see why that proposed 1996 'global' relay never happened. Like the City of Melbourne would have given a shite about hosting a spur of Atlanta's orphaned flame... :rolleyes:

That's right, I forgot that Melbourne got eliminated in the 3rd round of voting. Out with only 16 votes. Yet contrary to your negative view, Melbourne did "give a shite" about the coordinated Flame celebration by sending a rep to get the flame. So, runnings, you're WRONG AGAIN!!

, to a completely botched shuttle bus system,

Pfffffffffffffft. There were only 3 documented instances of the shuttle system going wrong. Again, COMPLETE EXAGGERATION!

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I gave you two examples. And Samaranch's "most excellent" was a very glaring departure from the "best ever" he applied to every other Olympics. I'm not going to be able to find that Rogge quote for you because that was at least 7 years ago.

Saying that something is "most excellent" instead of "best ever" is not evidence that the IOC obviously regretted picking Atlanta.

I said in my post that I wouldn't necessarily argue that the IOC "regretted" choosing Atlanta,

Then why are you picking an arugment with me??? My point was that it isn't obvious that the IOC regretted picking Atlanta.

If you believe that the IOC loved the Atlanta Games, provide evidence. "Examples please."

Again, why are you trying to start an arguement? Did I say the IOC loved Atlanta... of course not. You are just trying to start arguements for the sake of arguing. Sorry not biting.

Again, comments that it wasn't the best ever... and complaints about certain things. Not a hint about "regret"...

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Again, comments that it wasn't the best ever... and complaints about certain things. Not a hint about "regret"...

I didn't call it "regret." That was someone else. I've clarified that twice and you insist on attributing it to me anyway.

If you read that link you also read that the European commission described the Atlanta Games as "cheap and tawdry." Lousy village accommodations, bad food, bad transportation. You are choosing to ignore cold, hard proof that the IOC wasn't happy with Atlanta.

You are being willfully blind and pig-headed about Samaranch as well. Was he going to stand up in the CC and say, "Boy, these Games sucked. You really screwed up"? Of course not. The IOC has to protect their own brand. The absence of @best ever" was noticeable at the time and everyone commented on it. Watch the video and gauge Samaranch's demeanor.

Incidentally, not saying "best ever" about LA, was purely political. It was the height of the Cold War, LA followed Moscow, the IOC couldn't say "best ever" about LA without straining the tensions that had already caused two boycotts.

You're entitled to be a myopic stick-in-the-mud, but I'm entitled to bid you "adieu." And I do.

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Here's a review of Atlanta written on the 10 year anniversary that specifically addresses the shortcomings and Samaranch's awkward "praise" as you call it.

I'm sure you'll just bury your head in the sand and dismiss this as well, but for those posters who actually want to learn something, I think they'll find it interesting:

http://www.southernspaces.org/2006/whatwuzit-1996-atlanta-summer-olympics-reconsidered

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