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stryker

2022: A troubling scenario

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I think it's tipping in Amaty's favour

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I still think it's Beijing's to lose - if asked to choose between two unpalatable regimes with atrocious human rights record, give me the economically strong and organizationally reliable one any day. China, for better or worse, is a pillar of the modern Olympic Movement - Kazakhstan isn't.

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Based on what?

I'd be interested in that train of thought as well!

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The way I see it, both cities are more even now than ever.

Beijing is very reluctant to release the costs of the high speed rail to the public, stating it is unrelated. I know we all remember Sochi's highway to the mountain venues and how much that cost. They, like anyone else, can say now that it does not pose a fiscal risk, but the price changes and if they win we could find the first city chosen under Agenda 2020 to be just the opposite of what they wanted. Of course, they are using a lot of existing venues which does reduce costs, but refurbishing these venues for winter sports (It's kind of difficult to turn a water park into a place for curling) still costs money.

Kazakhstan is very much still a risk for the IOC. First of all, they are not required to include the price of the venues built for the 2017 Universiade in their budget since they will be existing venues by 2022, so the cost still remains for the taxpayers (if that is where they get the money from), just a few years earlier. However, personally I believe the deciding factor is the most simple.

It snows in Kazakhstan. A lot.

This is just my opinion, but I bet it costs a lot of money to ship snow from somewhere else to Zhangjiakou than it is to just have it right in Almaty.

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Maybe China should have gone and made the host city Zhanjiakou and avoided Beijing altogether. It's not like all the infrastructure there would go completely to waste, seeing as Zhanjiakou has a population of over 4 million people. And a bullet train would be completely unnecessary between Beijing and Zhanjiakou and the bid would only have to worry about accommodating travel between the indoor and outdoor events.

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Maybe China should have gone and made the host city Zhanjiakou and avoided Beijing altogether. It's not like all the infrastructure there would go completely to waste, seeing as Zhanjiakou has a population of over 4 million people. And a bullet train would be completely unnecessary between Beijing and Zhanjiakou and the bid would only have to worry about accommodating travel between the indoor and outdoor events.

Beijing is a brand name. To say this was a Zhanjikou bid without Beijing makes it seem like some random city in China. They're much better off involving Beijing in this, even if it makes the logistics a lot messier

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Beijing is a brand name. To say this was a Zhanjikou bid without Beijing makes it seem like some random city in China. They're much better off involving Beijing in this, even if it makes the logistics a lot messier

"Brand names" have far less significance when choosing a WOGs. Pyeongchang managed to beat out Munich and Sochi beat out Salzburg.

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"Brand names" have far less significance when choosing a WOGs. Pyeongchang managed to beat out Munich and Sochi beat out Salzburg.

That said, Quaker does have a point, though. Had the Chinese bid run as "Zhanijikou 2022", would we even be talking about them right now?

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"Brand names" have far less significance when choosing a WOGs. Pyeongchang managed to beat out Munich and Sochi beat out Salzburg.

That said, Quaker does have a point, though. Had the Chinese bid run as "Zhanijikou 2022", would we even be talking about them right now?

That's exactly what I'm referring to. Forget who beat who. It's how you're advertising yourself to the IOC and to the World. If you can say it's a Beijing bid, that's going to resonate a lot more than Zhangjiakou. And considering what's probably going to win this Olympics for them is the fact that they're China, it definitely gives them an advantage to be based out of a big, internationally recognized city rather than to avoid Beijing when it's going to be involved. That would be like, say, Denver bidding with only Vail and Beaver Creek and not including Denver.

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That said, Quaker does have a point, though. Had the Chinese bid run as "Zhanijikou 2022", would we even be talking about them right now?

Yes. The 4 European bids would have still dropped out and a Zhangjikou bid would still have the backing of the entire Chinese government. And the comparison of Denver and Vail/Beaver Creek is a poor one because Vail/Beaver Creek are incapable of holding all the events in that area. No way in hell will you be able to build an OC/CC stadium, not even a temp one, in such a remote area. And then to add on the other indoor arenas that's not logistically possible. Zhangjiakou, on the other hand, has plenty of flat surface available to hold all the indoor events within their city limits, and they can focus on decreasing travel times between outdoor events from there. Sorry but so far the Beijing bid including Beijing is extremely inefficient, and at this point I'd rather it go to Almaty even with the ridiculous anti-gay laws there.

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Yes. The 4 European bids would have still dropped out and a Zhangjikou bid would still have the backing of the entire Chinese government. And the comparison of Denver and Vail/Beaver Creek is a poor one because Vail/Beaver Creek are incapable of holding all the events in that area. No way in hell will you be able to build an OC/CC stadium, not even a temp one, in such a remote area. And then to add on the other indoor arenas that's not logistically possible. Zhangjiakou, on the other hand, has plenty of flat surface available to hold all the indoor events within their city limits, and they can focus on decreasing travel times between outdoor events from there. Sorry but so far the Beijing bid including Beijing is extremely inefficient, and at this point I'd rather it go to Almaty even with the ridiculous anti-gay laws there.

Alright, how about this then.. let's say the IOC had to choose being Beijing 2022 (as it is) or Zhangjiakou 2022 (as you're suggesting). Which would they choose? No way they're choosing the latter. You can make the case all you want for Zhangjiakou having a lot of space and how inefficient it is to link them to Beijing, but this is the IOC we're talking about. They're going to be flying in to Beijing regardless. Chances are, some of the infrastructure there (hotels and the like) is going to be involved. They have a stadium already. They have indoor arenas which, awkward as some may be to convert for Winter sports, wouldn't have to be built from scratch. Just because there's open space and flat surfaces doesn't mean it makes sense to build all these arenas that would otherwise serve little purpose. That sounds an awful lot like Sochi.

I think most of us would agree that if you took these 2 bids at face value in terms of what they offer, Almaty would have the edge. But at the end of the day, 1 of these bids is centered around 1 of the largest cities in the most populous country in the world. The other is in a relatively unknown Central Asian nation that is probably not going to entire the IOC. You can make this about who has hosted a Winter Olympics before and what precedents there are. And it's easy for you to say you'd rather go to Almaty than Beijing. I know you're saying that hypothetically, but would you really be more likely to visit Almaty over Beijing? Would others who might be thinking the same thing?

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Let's be honest - there are many Winter Olympic fans who will just attend for the ice events. Those with an interest in both will know that a two hour commute (ahem Whistler) is not that big of a deal.

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^Exactly, & many considered Vancouver 2010 to be a complete success. So IDK why some on here make it seem that the trek to Zhangjiakou is somehow like going to the ends of the earth, & therefore it'd be the end of the world!

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Oslo and Lillehammer aren't that close either. Don't seem to recall too many people complaining about that. And remember, the venues that they were planning to use in the Lillehammer region are the ones further from Oslo like Kvitfjell.

To the point that Latin brought up earlier.. a lot of people during the `94 Olympics based themselves out of Oslo and took the train in each day to watch the events. So even where a smaller town next to a bigger city is the host, that big city is going to be involved in the Olympics whether they host events or not.

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Slightly off point, but I bet "Vail" has more cachet with IOC voters than "Denver."

I'd love a Vail Olympics!

That said, I have feeling that Colorado voters would disagree with me...

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The way I see it, both cities are more even now than ever.

Beijing is very reluctant to release the costs of the high speed rail to the public, stating it is unrelated. I know we all remember Sochi's highway to the mountain venues and how much that cost. They, like anyone else, can say now that it does not pose a fiscal risk, but the price changes and if they win we could find the first city chosen under Agenda 2020 to be just the opposite of what they wanted. Of course, they are using a lot of existing venues which does reduce costs, but refurbishing these venues for winter sports (It's kind of difficult to turn a water park into a place for curling) still costs money.

Kazakhstan is very much still a risk for the IOC. First of all, they are not required to include the price of the venues built for the 2017 Universiade in their budget since they will be existing venues by 2022, so the cost still remains for the taxpayers (if that is where they get the money from), just a few years earlier. However, personally I believe the deciding factor is the most simple.

It snows in Kazakhstan. A lot.

This is just my opinion, but I bet it costs a lot of money to ship snow from somewhere else to Zhangjiakou than it is to just have it right in Almaty.

I'm going to disagree here. I still see this race as a runaway win for Beijing. Both cities wouldn't even be on the shortlist if the European contenders didn't drop out. Almaty was the lowest rated candidate on the initial evaluation. As for Beijing, the transportation costs were likely left out on purpose because if the real costs were revealed, the budget would skyrocket and the bad press of here we go again, we have another Sochi on our hands would ensue. Beijing is a proven commodity and the IOC knows it not to mention Beijing is going to be able to sell the fact they can be the first city in history to host both the winter and summer games (an honor that many thought would go to Munich).

A lot has been discussed about Agenda 2020 and while it will factor into the 2024 race, I believe we won't know it's true impact until the 2026 WOGs. The IOC will want to return to Europe much as they hoped to for 2022. The question is will a European bidder come forward or will there still be tepid support because of potential costs, especially if Beijing costs go through the roof.

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I'm going to disagree here. I still see this race as a runaway win for Beijing. Both cities wouldn't even be on the shortlist if the European contenders didn't drop out. Almaty was the lowest rated candidate on the initial evaluation. As for Beijing, the transportation costs were likely left out on purpose because if the real costs were revealed, the budget would skyrocket and the bad press of here we go again, we have another Sochi on our hands would ensue. Beijing is a proven commodity and the IOC knows it not to mention Beijing is going to be able to sell the fact they can be the first city in history to host both the winter and summer games (an honor that many thought would go to Munich).

A lot has been discussed about Agenda 2020 and while it will factor into the 2024 race, I believe we won't know it's true impact until the 2026 WOGs. The IOC will want to return to Europe much as they hoped to for 2022. The question is will a European bidder come forward or will there still be tepid support because of potential costs, especially if Beijing costs go through the roof.

Plus, a Beijing victory would be a rather neat way for the IOC to demonstrate its commitment to legacy aspects - after all, it would be reusing many of the 2008 Summer Olympics' iconic venues like the Bird's Nest and the Aquatic Centre. Further, what better way to tell nouveau riche bidders à la Baku and Doha to pack their bags and look elsewhere to splurge their money?

European support for the Olympic Games is going to depend on public perception of Bach's presidency, and particularly the reforms his term has brought forth. If the IOC is still perceived as a behemoth uncaring about environmental or fiscal impact after Agenda 2020 has had some time to work, then high-quality European bids look unlikely. The proliferation of consultative referendums certainly doesn't help in this regard.

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Further, what better way to tell nouveau riche bidders à la Baku and Doha to pack their bags and look elsewhere to splurge their money?

I think the IOC has done a pretty good job of doing that already, by shunning them both off the 2016 & 2020 short-lists. Especially Doha, when both times it still passed virtually all of the "technical" scores.

But yeah, Beijing winning would further illustrate that the Olympics aren't for piddly authoritarian regimes looking at the Games as a mere vanity, "look at us, world", project.

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I could still see Beijing splurging when it comes to spending. In addition to the transportation links, they have no infrastructure for the skiing and sliding events not to mention they need a speed skating oval (none of the venues from the 2008 Olympics can accommodate one). So while it's likely to be less than the 50 million spent on Sochi, it's not exactly going to be frugal either. For that matter, Pyeongchang is not exactly being done in a fiscally responsible manner either (building a state-of-the-art speed skating oval that will be demolished after the Olympics in addition to a sliding track that is likely to see little or no use afterwards. All this comes on the heels of the Alpensia resort needing government funds to avoid bankruptcy.

If the IOC really wants to return the Winter Olympics to Europe in 2026, they'll need to show somehow that the reforms of Agenda 2020 are put into use. If not, here's a nightmare scenario even worse than the 2022 race - the Europeans sit out 2026 and Almaty is the only candidate. If it wasn't for the Beijing bid that came out of nowhere, that would be the scenario now.

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