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2022: A troubling scenario


stryker
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am eating my words of several months ago: this is now Almaty's to lose. The weather and compact design and existing venues all align much better to the 2020 thingie.

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I love Beijing, an amazing place - but I think Almaty is the lesser of two desperate solutions. It's far from perfect , but it's capable and it's a new frontier. Asia is huge and extremely important, I don't think a third Olympics in the region is that much of an issue - it's the fact that there is no other choice.

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I am eating my words of several months ago: this is now Almaty's to lose. The weather and compact design and existing venues all align much better to the 2020 thingie.

What gives you the impression that Almaty is the favorite now? Are these new revelations and the weather and the venue plans of the 2 cities? Love how you refer to it as the 2020 thingie. Probably speaks to how much that actually means, although who knows.

Again, the question that needs to be asked.. is the International Olympic Committee prepared to award an Olympics to the country of Kazakhstan. I just have trouble seeing that happening. That's not to insult or discredit them by any means. But this being the IOC, I think the fact that 1 bid is in a major city in China and the other is in a much lesser known city in a much lesser known country will make it tough for Almaty to win.

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If Almaty WASN'T in Kazahkstan, this would be a no-brainer. But the problem is, Almaty IS in Kazahkstan. If the IOC was able to turn it's back on two, perfectly excellent bids (relatively speaking) in democratic countries for the 2008 in favor for the Chinese, then I don't seen how they would do so this time for a much less than desired, obscure, again relatively speaking, locale.

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If Almaty WASN'T in Kazahkstan, this would be a no-brainer. But the problem is, Almaty IS in Kazahkstan. If the IOC was able to turn it's back on two, perfectly excellent bids (relatively speaking) in democratic countries for the 2008 in favor for the Chinese, then I don't seen how they would do so this time for a much less than desired, obscure, again relatively speaking, locale.

That's the thing for me.. I look at Almaty's bid and it does have a lot of appeal to it, especially when you put it alongside Beijing and the less than desirable aspects of that bid. But that's easy for folks like us to say and talk about from afar. Much different if you're a voting member of the IOC and talking about sending yourself and a hundred thousand people to that location. Again, not an indictment against Kazakhstan and their people or their culture. More a statement on the preferences of IOC voting members I expect to see.

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I think the last few replies have nailed the dilemma and choice for the IOC....it is not quite as clear cut as many imagined 6 months ago.

I am really hoping for an Almaty Games just for the variety and excitement of the new frontier- and the rather naive hope that the global exposure to a Central Asian Republic may pry it open, even just a little, economically, politically and socially.

Surely even the IOC must be getting bored with all these OTT Chinese Games.

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"All" these OTT Chinese Games? Last time I checked, China hosted only ONE Olympic Games. And last time I also checked, the IOC is all about "OTT", despite their agenda 2020 drivel as of late.

I'm guessing he's including the 2014 Youth Olympics. Still, didn't realize that 2 Olympics required an "all these."

And yes, until Agenda 2020 gets put to the test (debatable whether or not the 2022 vote falls into that category), it's still the IOC and I wouldn't expect their preferences to change all that drastically.

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and have you seen the huge show that is the Chinese National Games....

I actually think these are a good idea. For huge countries that are partitioned into regions like China, India, the USA, or even Germany there's no need for an international athletics competition. A competition between the states/provinces/whatever can make annual use of the facilities that are built up.

The USA technically does have a States Games of America, but none of the top athletes bother competing and thus there's no interest in them. It would be very fun to see California vs Texas vs New York, though, if it were actually a serious competition among the best athletes from all the states.

Edited by Nacre
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I think 2022 gets included in the Agenda 2020 as it is AFTER 2020. They could have called it AGENDA 2024 if that was when they wanted it to start.

The 2022 race is a complete joke now to try & determine if anything good is going to come out of agenda 2020 or not. Remember, it was only implemented AFTER all of the other *credible* 2022 applicants were dropping out like flies. It's going to take at least of couple of more bid cycles to see if the IOC is actually going to put their money with their mouth is. And the YOG's? What are those! :-\

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I think we can all agree that Lillehammer 1994 was Agenda 2020 before Agenda 2020 was even a thing!

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  • 1 month later...

I refer explicitly to your submission here. However, did you really mean "hurt" or "help"? I perceived that hurt was a typo. So do clarify. If it was, then I gather that you believe that Sochi 2014 also put a dent into Oslo's bid given that the "host too soon hypothesis" continues to be entertained even though the evidence suggests that a region/continent can host two editions of the Olympics in less than 15 years. So if you were pointing to Sochi 2014 to strengthen your argument about Oslo, then I submit, rather emphatically, that the argument was flawed. But I would need you to clarify your use of Hurt.

Yes, that was a typo on my part. The percepion of Sochi's spending did not HELP matters with regard to Oslo. If anything, it may have empowered the IOC to believe they can get everything they want from a prospective bidder. And in the case of Russia, who spent more for a Winter Olympics than any previous city had for a Summer Olympics, it almost goes without saying that much of it was excessive and that there was corruption involved. Given that this is the city that the IOC selected, that was a choice they may on their part.

As for the element of whether a region/continent can host 2 Olympics in a short timespan.. that has everything to do with circumstance. When Atlanta won the vote for the 1996 Olympics, it wasn't because the IOC had a burning desire to return to North America and the United States so soon after LA 1984. It's because they were the best bid in an otherwise underwhelming field and the IOC merely felt they were the best choice of the lot. Many people here felt that Asia would have difficulty landing a Summer Olympics (2020) immediately following a Winter Olympics. Even though Beijing nearly beat Sydney which would have been 2 straight in Asia. And Pyeongchang nearly beat Vancouver, which also would have been 2 straight in Asia. Then Tokyo wins 2020 to follow Pyeongchang, but again, that's more about them simply being the most sensible choice given the competition.

Given the choice (and they obviously don't have one), the IOC would not have returned to Asia for 2022. But that's not an option. Even though history will show that 3 straight Olympics (and 2 straight Winter Olympics) were held in Asia, it must be put into context that this did not occur because the IOC favored Asia. It was a matter of circumstance and a lack of options that put them there.

That is a very "epidermal" view, we are ( at least I am) probing "bone structure" here. In a preservation of what Grice termed "Face" and what Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987) elaborated on, people will "show" what they want to be seen as a means of "saving face". "Showing" in the context of the 2022 WOG race means "saying". There is something explicitly said, that is done to derail suspicion of what is the truth. This is a strategy ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL humans use individually and in groups as sophisticated as corporations. Clearly, the 2022 race must be evaluated not only by Oslo's withdrawal and their claims for doing so, but also in the context of the withdrawal of all the other potential bidders save Almaty. I suggest that the MONEY which each bidder was putting forward had already scared some bidders stiff. One up from that was the realisation that Beijing has shown ( rather epically in 2008) that money wasn't an issue. That's when being scared stiff became actualized as "run like hell".

Stefan made a very good point in the other thread that you seem to overlook. When Oslo pulled out, the reaction from the IOC gave us some strong indications that they were the preferred choice and that they felt very snubbed due to Oslo's pullout. If they had favored Beijing from the start, then that would have been no big deal to the IOC and their reaction would have represented that sentiment.

You still seem to believe that in a head to head battle Beijing would have been selected over Oslo and it was a combination of a fear or losing and the prospect of having to match Beijing's spending that pushed Oslo out of the race. That's simply not the case. And I think if you had been a part of the conversation while this was all playing out rather than joining the discussion afterwards, you would understand it more. This has everything to do with the IOC where certain countries and cities don't want to work with them. It is not about the other cities in the field.

Throne, let me pose a hypothetical to you. Let's say that Beijing was NOT in the 2022 field. Does Oslo still drop out of the running? I say yes. What's your take?

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Yes, that was a typo on my part. The percepion of Sochi's spending did not HELP matters with regard to Oslo. If anything, it may have empowered the IOC to believe they can get everything they want from a prospective bidder. And in the case of Russia, who spent more for a Winter Olympics than any previous city had for a Summer Olympics, it almost goes without saying that much of it was excessive and that there was corruption involved. Given that this is the city that the IOC selected, that was a choice they may on their part.

As for the element of whether a region/continent can host 2 Olympics in a short timespan.. that has everything to do with circumstance. When Atlanta won the vote for the 1996 Olympics, it wasn't because the IOC had a burning desire to return to North America and the United States so soon after LA 1984. It's because they were the best bid in an otherwise underwhelming field and the IOC merely felt they were the best choice of the lot. Many people here felt that Asia would have difficulty landing a Summer Olympics (2020) immediately following a Winter Olympics. Even though Beijing nearly beat Sydney which would have been 2 straight in Asia. And Pyeongchang nearly beat Vancouver, which also would have been 2 straight in Asia. Then Tokyo wins 2020 to follow Pyeongchang, but again, that's more about them simply being the most sensible choice given the competition.

Given the choice (and they obviously don't have one), the IOC would not have returned to Asia for 2022. But that's not an option. Even though history will show that 3 straight Olympics (and 2 straight Winter Olympics) were held in Asia, it must be put into context that this did not occur because the IOC favored Asia. It was a matter of circumstance and a lack of options that put them there.

Stefan made a very good point in the other thread that you seem to overlook. When Oslo pulled out, the reaction from the IOC gave us some strong indications that they were the preferred choice and that they felt very snubbed due to Oslo's pullout. If they had favored Beijing from the start, then that would have been no big deal to the IOC and their reaction would have represented that sentiment.

You still seem to believe that in a head to head battle Beijing would have been selected over Oslo and it was a combination of a fear or losing and the prospect of having to match Beijing's spending that pushed Oslo out of the race. That's simply not the case. And I think if you had been a part of the conversation while this was all playing out rather than joining the discussion afterwards, you would understand it more. This has everything to do with the IOC where certain countries and cities don't want to work with them. It is not about the other cities in the field.

Throne, let me pose a hypothetical to you. Let's say that Beijing was NOT in the 2022 field. Does Oslo still drop out of the running? I say yes. What's your take?

That's why I began my submission with the theory of "face saving". Just because the IOC ACTED as though it was devastated by Oslo's exit doesn't really mean that it was THAT devastated. It probably thought it strategic to use that strategy to preserve Oslo's interest in hosting a future Olympics.

No. Oslo would not have dropped out. Neither the other hosts. Listen, whether we want to admit it or not Beijing created the most greatest games experience. They were target-focussed on not being surpassed and they succeeded. This is not a statement or praise but of fact. I do hope you NOW see why I made the suggestion that I did earlier as it pertains to bidding reform. 2022 is an explicit case of why the reform needs to take place.

I forgot how to edit a post on these boards. Would someone care to share?

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You can't edit posts unless you're a "premium" paying member.

Regardless of Beijing, I can't see the IOC putting an unprecedented three straight Olympics in Asia, & two of those consecutive Winter Olympics had they still had all of those other credible European options. It's not like china wouldn't have come back for 2026 or 2030 had they lost to Europe for 2026.

I'm sure the IOC is not all that thrilled in working with the Chinese this soon again, regardless how spectacular 2008 was. The Chinese did what they wanted, & pushed the IOC to the wayside. That left a bad aftertaste with the IOC. I also don't think the IOC "acted" the way they did to Oslo's withdrawal simply so they could keep "their interest" in trying again in the future. The IOC was very stern in their language about it, & on the flip-side, others could argue that the IOC could use that to snub the Norwegians if they situation presented itself. The IOC afterall, is known to hold a grudge.

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That's why I began my submission with the theory of "face saving". Just because the IOC ACTED as though it was devastated by Oslo's exit doesn't really mean that it was THAT devastated. It probably thought it strategic to use that strategy to preserve Oslo's interest in hosting a future Olympics.

No. Oslo would not have dropped out. Neither the other hosts. Listen, whether we want to admit it or not Beijing created the most greatest games experience. They were target-focussed on not being surpassed and they succeeded. This is not a statement or praise but of fact. I do hope you NOW see why I made the suggestion that I did earlier as it pertains to bidding reform. 2022 is an explicit case of why the reform needs to take place.

This being the IOC, it's often difficult to discern what their true motives are. But often times, you can read the subtext and to me, it does indicate they were disappointed at Oslo's exit, particularly the manner in which they did so. Again, I think you have a different viewpoint of this than had you been a part of the conversations when Oslo was still in the running, but precariously on the verge of dropping out. Here is some more background for you..

Oslo withdrawal from Winter Olympics bidding is missed opportunity – IOC

As for Beijing.. we know what their Olympics represented in 2008. It was a major coming out party for the planet's most populous nation and they spared no expense to show themselves off to the world. You are correct that they tried to make themselves unsurpassed and kudos to the 2 following hosts that they haven't tried to out-do Beijing and instead have done their own thing. But here's the rub.. What exactly do Beijing and China hope to accomplish by hosting another Olympics just a short time after their first? They made their statement to the world. I don't know what statement they're trying to make here. And I don't think the IOC was necessarily ready to buy what they were selling IF they had another option to go with.

I disagree on your last point. If Oslo was truly afraid of the competition as you seem to indicate, they probably would not have waited until a year after the application deadline to make that decision, having wasted the time and efforts of a lot of people working on the bid and dragging them all through the process. I know you are of the mind that the IOC follows the money. Normally they do. This would have been an exception, in my opinion. And the majority of people who have written about and analyzed the aftermath of Oslo's decision are largely in agreement that the IOC would have been much better off with an Oslo-hosted Olympics than what they're left with in Beijing and Almaty. I respect your opinion to disagree with that, but I believe it's an ill-informed one that does take into account how the course of events played out over the course of more than a year.

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Giving 2022 to Beijing while Oslo was still in would have meant IOC committing suicide in public. It would never have happened. Never.

The IOC loves when hosts splash it out for them, but after Sochi, their self-protection mode would clearly have had the upper hand. Oslo (just like the other big initial fave, my hometown) however didn't want to work with the IOC anymore, not for fear of competing with Chinese money but for not wanting to be ruled by the IOC for the next seven years. Norway does not need to show the world what it's capable of - a very subtle yet charming form of self confidence the pompous Chinese or Russians haven't quite understood yet.

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Looking back, I think the IOC's angry reaction following Oslo's decision to drop out stems from a long period of denial on the part of the IOC and the belief that although maybe some reforms were needed, they wouldn't be in the position of having to choose between Beijing and Almaty. When the Munich referendum failed, we didn't hear much from the IOC. Same thing happened when Stockholm dropped out. When Krakow dropped out, the IOC said they respected the decision but they still had three great candidates to choose from. Then Oslo dropped out and the IOC lashed out. I think that even as the candidates continued dropping like flies, the IOC thought in the end, one of the preferred candidates would stay in the race and wouldn't be able to resist wanting to host. As I've said before, I'm sure the IOC was on the phone, working back channels with the Norwegian government encouraging them to stay in the race, and I believe they thought their lobbying would work. In the end it didn't and we have a city in Almaty who scored the lowest of all the candidate cities on the initial evaluation, and then there's Beijing who's more or less been kept around as an insurance policy.

Given the IOC's reaction to Oslo, it will be interesting to see if the Norwegians decide to give 2026 a shot. Would the IOC welcome another bid from Oslo or would they be shunned by the IOC for basically saying no to a race they would've won in a landslide?

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Honestly, why should Oslo entertain the idea of a 2026 bid if there's no substantial change at the IOC? And no, Agenda 2020 is not (yet?) evidence of change.

That's quite possible not just for Oslo but for some of the other traditional European WOGs powers such as Switzerland. You're correct in that Agenda 2020 is not evidence of change in the way the IOC does business. We have yet to see a bidding cycle that takes Agenda 2020 into real consideration and by that I mean the IOC chooses a bid that follows the principles of Agenda 2020. As much of problem as the 2022 race has been, here's a possibly even bigger nightmare for the IOC. The 2026 race comes along and the only bidder is Almaty. That was almost the case his time around before the Beijing bid came out of nowhere. Beijing wins 2022. Pyeongchang hosts in 2018 but as I've said in the Pyeongchang forums, the Koreans are not exactly putting on a cost effective Olympics. It won't match the excess of Sochi, but it's going to be high. The excesses of Pyeongchang could very well keep the Europeans out of 2026. Would there be any other bids from Asia? Japan I suppose although that's hard to see after the 2020 Olympics. I'm predicting Almaty becomes the Istanbul of the Winter Olympics bidding cycles, repeatedly bidding until they win. It's all a scenario that's a bit of a stretch this far out with the 2022 and 2024 races still to be determined but it's not an impossible scenario either.

I speculated on the possibility of Almaty being the sole bidder for the 2022 race early in this thread. I still wonder what the IOC would do if the surprising Beijing bid never materialized. Would the IOC have extended the deadline?

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Honestly, why should Oslo entertain the idea of a 2026 bid if there's no substantial change at the IOC? And no, Agenda 2020 is not (yet?) evidence of change.

That's quite possible not just for Oslo but for some of the other traditional European WOGs powers such as Switzerland. You're correct in that Agenda 2020 is not evidence of change in the way the IOC does business. We have yet to see a bidding cycle that takes Agenda 2020 into real consideration and by that I mean the IOC chooses a bid that follows the principles of Agenda 2020. As much of problem as the 2022 race has been, here's a possibly even bigger nightmare for the IOC. The 2026 race comes along and the only bidder is Almaty. That was almost the case his time around before the Beijing bid came out of nowhere. Beijing wins 2022. Pyeongchang hosts in 2018 but as I've said in the Pyeongchang forums, the Koreans are not exactly putting on a cost effective Olympics. It won't match the excess of Sochi, but it's going to be high. The excesses of Pyeongchang could very well keep the Europeans out of 2026. Would there be any other bids from Asia? Japan I suppose although that's hard to see after the 2020 Olympics. I'm predicting Almaty becomes the Istanbul of the Winter Olympics bidding cycles, repeatedly bidding until they win. It's all a scenario that's a bit of a stretch this far out with the 2022 and 2024 races still to be determined but it's not an impossible scenario either.

I speculated on the possibility of Almaty being the sole bidder for the 2022 race early in this thread. I still wonder what the IOC would do if the surprising Beijing bid never materialized. Would the IOC have extended the deadline?

Oslo (and other cities as well, European or otherwise) should only entertain the idea of a 2026 bid if 1) it makes sense for them to bid (i.e. there's a sensible plan in place) and 2) they're comfortable working with the IOC. Obviously 1 and 2 are intertwined.

I think if the field of bidders was that bid that someone (perhaps Canada) would swoop in to save the day knowing they might have an easy win. The IOC definitely needs to be concerned about a lack of bidders for 2026. Agenda 2020 is a nice first step, but as the story goes, we need time to see it play out. You've already got 2 of the 2024 bidders throwing the dreaded R word around, so that's certainly not a good sign for 2026. I don't think we'll wind up with a scenario where Almaty is the only bidder, but I could certainly see it where all the European entities that might be interested all stay away en masse.

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I think the US will go for 26 if needed. They'll surely want something for their 250th birthday, & with the World Cup in a chaotic state for now, a Winter games for Denver or Reno or even SLC again is surely a good deal. USOC can get a games, can get back on good terms with the IOC, can say they saved the WOG. Even if they wanted the World Cup too, if they've got the cash then it wouldn't be a massive problem with 4 months between them & enough cities to spread the Cup to without going back to the Olympic host.

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I think the US will go for 26 if needed. They'll surely want something for their 250th birthday, & with the World Cup in a chaotic state for now, a Winter games for Denver or Reno or even SLC again is surely a good deal. USOC can get a games, can get back on good terms with the IOC, can say they saved the WOG. Even if they wanted the World Cup too, if they've got the cash then it wouldn't be a massive problem with 4 months between them & enough cities to spread the Cup to without going back to the Olympic host.

Reno is a non-starter for any serious person. (Read: not Baron.) Denver doesn't have the political will, and won't want to pay for the infrastructure improvements unless they pass a marijuana tax to pay for them, and I'm not sure how the IOC will view the marijuana issue. Salt Lake City would be a PR problem for the IOC even if they accepted going back to a recent host. Seattle is even warmer than Vancouver (Vancouver's climate = London, Seattle's climate = Paris) and the suitable ski venues are all in protected forests. And Seattle is even more libertarian than Denver, with voluntary euthanasia and a semi-socialist income policy (minimum wage more than double the national average) in addition to legal marijuana.

Ironically Boston would be the logical winter games bid for the USA, but Boston's heretofore disastrous bid for 2024 kills any chance of a bid for 2026.

Edited by Nacre
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