Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
breathesgelatin

Gerhard Heiberg: Winter Olympics must go "back to basics"

Recommended Posts

If they did have the Olympics in a large city would they let the host city use a baseball or football stadium for the ceremonies even if they weren't going to have any actual competitive events in them?

The last three North American hosts have done this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When was actually the last time a ceremonies venue also held competitions? Lillehammer, no?

Yes; that was only like yesterday (see cover of my book!)

Edited by baron-pierreIV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the legacy information - and I think that is where the IOC lets itself down. At the end of the day I guess what happens after the games isn't there problem, but unless they're temporary venues these things are built for life, not just the Olympics, and perhaps legacy should play a bigger part in the bidding process - and bids where more venues already exist or will be built regardless should perhaps be favoured.

Torino at least seems to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the sliding tracks. Nobody is suggesting every bidding country should build a new one, but even one new venue built every four years somewhere in the world is hardly going to be flooding the market place - I suspect one probably goes out of commission in that time too, so even for repeat hosts with an existing venue if it's more than 30-40 years old they'd probably consider replacing it or at the very least upgrading it for the games if it hadn't been done in recent years anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When was actually the last time a ceremonies venue also held competitions? Lillehammer, no?

I believe Pyeongchang was to use their Ski Jumping stadium initially but they decided to build a temporary ceremony stadium instead (à la Albertville).

Edited by Fox334

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For certain cities/places, taking the La Plagne route and being a primarily tourist/recreational facility is not the most horrible thing to do. I mean it works well for one or two slalom courses (Atlanta and Sydney). I also believe Nagano's track is a recreational facility as well, and before the massive amount of money went into the Canadian sliding post Lueders Nagano win, Calgary had a lot of funding through recreation as well.

If Cesana cost 300 million, that is ridiculous. Vancouver only cost 105.

Edited by faster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Pyeongchang only changed because the IOC was concerned with practice times for the ski jumpers/nordic combined athletes. So I don't think we will be seeing it anytime soon, unless Beijing wants to replicate aerials in the stadium like it did for a world cup in December.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was one of the things I liked about Pyeongchang was ceremonies in ski jumping venue.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - always find the Winter Olympic ceremony stadiums a bit soleless - they're a bit of a white elephant during the games, never mind after.

Loved the ceremony at Lillehammer - really felt like a Winter Olympic ceremony, and I guess it being the first one I really remember adds to the nostalgia. Since then only Salt Lake City using an ice rink has made it stand out as a Winter ceremony IMO.

Clare Balding's presented a shot of the view from the BBC studio today and it just looks so bland - as someone who replied says they've spent $50bn and forgot the snow!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heiberg is marketing director for the IOC. Sounds like he is getting the message that Sochi is "too much."

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/sports/article/winter-olympics-must-reduce-cost-says-ioc-marketing-chief

Well, seeing as Sochi itself is a summer resort town the idea of it being a host for the Winter Games was ludicrous from the beginning. I believe the IOC considered it to be the 'right time' for Russia to host the games - considering that it's only games prior to these were when Russia was part of the USSR and those games saw so many countries boycott them that they aren't worth considering as legitimate, full games. Russia, being a major power, certainly deserves an opportunity to host. Furthermore, as a country that extends well above the arctic circle and which has enormous amounts of land in cold, mountainous climates it seemed ideal for the Winter Games. Yet, rather than choosing Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Omsk, Kazan or even dreary Vladivostok - all which are large cities with colder climates and close proximity to mountains and all of which are less likely to be threatened by insurgents from Chechnya and Dagestan - Putin put his beloved Sochi up as Russia's bid. So Sochi got it and now a country famous for being cold and it's amazing mountain ranges is hosting the Winter Olympics in the warmest area of the country, at a summer beach resort. And, of course, this has become the Putin Olympics - it wasn't Russia that became the host, it was President (formerly Primer Minister, formerly formerly President) Putin who became host.

The idea of 'back to the basics' doesn't necessarily mean 'back to previous hosts' - it means getting back to a focus on sports, inclusiveness, peace, international cooperation and getting away from commercialism, ultranationalism and ultra-extravagant spending to turn summer resorts into winter hosts.

Means of cutting costs have to be decided upon; but Russia's extravagance doesn't mean that all future hosts are expected to spend that much. Most bids don't propose the transformation of a city that isn't at all oriented towards winter-sports into one that is. The 2018 hosts were all cities that had much better Winter Game-climates; same with 2022.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, he hasn't. These newbie dare destroying GB for me. I've had it.

Oops.

Correction: "these newbies ARE destroying GB for me."

Darn auto correct.

Well, seeing as Sochi itself is a summer resort town the idea of it being a host for the Winter Games was ludicrous from the beginning. I believe the IOC considered it to be the 'right time' for Russia to host the games - considering that it's only games prior to these were when Russia was part of the USSR and those games saw so many countries boycott them that they aren't worth considering as legitimate, full games. Russia, being a major power, certainly deserves an opportunity to host. Furthermore, as a country that extends well above the arctic circle and which has enormous amounts of land in cold, mountainous climates it seemed ideal for the Winter Games. Yet, rather than choosing Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Omsk, Kazan or even dreary Vladivostok - all which are large cities with colder climates and close proximity to mountains and all of which are less likely to be threatened by insurgents from Chechnya and Dagestan - Putin put his beloved Sochi up as Russia's bid. So Sochi got it and now a country famous for being cold and it's amazing mountain ranges is hosting the Winter Olympics in the warmest area of the country, at a summer beach resort. And, of course, this has become the Putin Olympics - it wasn't Russia that became the host, it was President (formerly Primer Minister, formerly formerly President) Putin who became host.

The idea of 'back to the basics' doesn't necessarily mean 'back to previous hosts' - it means getting back to a focus on sports, inclusiveness, peace, international cooperation and getting away from commercialism, ultranationalism and ultra-extravagant spending to turn summer resorts into winter hosts.

Means of cutting costs have to be decided upon; but Russia's extravagance doesn't mean that all future hosts are expected to spend that much. Most bids don't propose the transformation of a city that isn't at all oriented towards winter-sports into one that is. The 2018 hosts were all cities that had much better Winter Game-climates; same with 2022.

Will you please summarize the obvious, commonplace and the universally accepted on a constant basis for us? Pretty please????

Stretch it out using as many words as you possibly can too. Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Concerning the size of the Games, I'd like to present a differing view about canceling the snowboard / slope style events.

Yes, I think the athletes who do these events see the OWG as either equals or second to the X-Games and that their addition increases the costs and complexities of the games. Thought let me tell you that most of the people who I have talked to in the last week or so here in Michigan about the games bring up events like snowboard cross and half pipe as events they want to see. The sliding events, alpine skiing? Maybe. Ski Jumping / X Country and Biathlon? Boring (except the shooting part of biathlon, but I go to work with a few hunters). Figure skating is popular with the women, hockey with men. Most like curling (its the one sport we all think we could do) but it's too long to watch.

My point is that, at least here in middle America, you are going to need some of the flash and risk taking of the "new events" to bring in new viewers and get people interested enough to follow the sports instead of just having them on in the background while cooking dinner. While I think we are fans of the Olympics, bringing in new fans and viewers is what counts in the long run (IOC needs to get their nut from the broadcasting rights). Take away those new sports and the olympics will look like they are dismissive of the younger generation and will lose their interest.

If you want to add new events look to how Figure Skating is handling the new Team Event. It's different but still recognizable and should not be that much of an additional cost/burden than the regular figure skating contests.

TL,DR: Don't throw out the new events because the millenials (i.e. future viewers) will think the IOC is old fashioned. Try to grow organically using current events and not adding completely new sports.

Also, this is only my opinion for the Winter Games. My thoughts on the Summer games are a different matter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've changed my mind about the new events. The slope style is a fantastic addition, one of the most entertaining events of judge Games now. And the team figure skating has been interesting to watch too. All of the current events are worthy of being in the Winter Olympics. And like you said, Jose, they use the same venues anyway. But I wouldn't agree with winter triathlon, mountaineering or orienteering. I also wouldn't agree with any further growth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, seeing as Sochi itself is a summer resort town the idea of it being a host for the Winter Games was ludicrous from the beginning.

And here I keep hoping for a Winter Games in Jamaica...

One thing I would love to see in my lifetime... a full outdoors winter games - all ice events outdoors - skating, curling, and hockey. The NHL is having outdoor games now, why not the Olympics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slopestyle is definitively here to stay. Its a fantastic TV event and I'm really glad they managed to hold a good contest at the Olympics - the first time I saw an FIS organized Slopestyle it was the 2011 world snowboard championships and when I saw the course I was convinced Slopestyle shouldn't be in the Olympics, not because the athletes didn't deserve it but because the course was such a joke. Glad the organizers gave the athletes a course where they could put on a quality show and glad that the event is being well received.

Edited by Fox334
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Heiberg wasn't the WOGs to get back to basics? Not really sure how the IOC could or would even be willing to do it. First of all, cutting slopestyle and snowboarding isn't happening. They were added because they bring in a new demographic of viewers that they wouldn't get otherwise, especially from countries like the U.S. were sports like biathlon are not widely known let alone popular.

IMO, there's several routes the IOC could take. One is the sliding track which is one of the most expensive sport specific venues to construct. I've raised the possibility before, but there has to be a way to perhaps construct a sliding track that is demountable much like a cycling velodrome. If not, I think the IOC needs to be more open to the possibility of utilizing existing sliding tracks even at great distances (for example a potential Reno bid should be open to using the track at Salt Lake). Same goes for ski jumping. Somebody brought up one main arena instead of two. This was common practice prior to short track speed skating joining the program. Prior to that, you had one large arena for figure skating and ice hockey and a smaller secondary arena for ice hockey. For example, in 1988, Calgary used the Saddledome for ice hockey and the smaller Corral for figure skating and ice hockey. The IOC needs to be open to a return to speed skating outdoors. It seems like it's the ISU that wants the enclosed venue because they like seeing those record times. A number of stadiums with running tracks could be utilized as both a ceremonies venue and speed skating oval or use an existing smaller athletics track for speed skating with temporary seating. Making better use out of existing exhibition space would also be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot think of a major event (an exposition, a super bowl, an Olympic games etc.) that cost less than a similar previous event. That concept flies in the face of human nature to build bigger, better and spend more money to impress the crowds. This current winter games, if the television coverage is accurate, boast spectacular venues and a city entirely rebuilt. And that city will never again, in our lifetimes, host a similarly important event. Maybe it will become a tourist resort of the first magnitude but skiing in 60 degree temps is not what most winter sports enthusiast seek. To downsize or return to games such as they were in Innsbruck, Sapporo, Grenoble or Lake Placid will not happen either. Each new host has to top the previously set bar for over-the-top extravagance. And who is paying for all this? It's generally poor sap taxpayers who could never afford to buy a ticket for one single Olympic event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't Vancouver a step down from Torino? It's hard to compare costs since every host calculates things differently, but I seem to recall that Vancouver was cheaper than Torino, especially if you factored in inflation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot think of a major event (an exposition, a super bowl, an Olympic games etc.) that cost less than a similar previous event. That concept flies in the face of human nature to build bigger, better and spend more money to impress the crowds. This current winter games, if the television coverage is accurate, boast spectacular venues and a city entirely rebuilt. And that city will never again, in our lifetimes, host a similarly important event. Maybe it will become a tourist resort of the first magnitude but skiing in 60 degree temps is not what most winter sports enthusiast seek. To downsize or return to games such as they were in Innsbruck, Sapporo, Grenoble or Lake Placid will not happen either. Each new host has to top the previously set bar for over-the-top extravagance. And who is paying for all this? It's generally poor sap taxpayers who could never afford to buy a ticket for one single Olympic event.

$51 billion, more than every other Winter Games combined and way more than any previous summer games, is more than just natural inflation. It's bought Russia a beautiful games (even if I don't think it's bought them spirit) but it's still an incredibly obscene amount. It's the kind of money that would have caused the Austrian government to collapse in disgrace if they'd won it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably wouldn't have cost a tenth of that though had it been in Austria.

So far the games have been pretty damn good - the new snowboarding and freestyle events added over recent games have really earned their place. I do wonder too how much of the budget of any games is actually spent on the venues and the event itself - I think a good chunk gets swallow up on other infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that all the events that have been added over the last 22 years since albertville have been great additions.

Yes it's made the whole thing more expensive, but I think removing any of them at this stage would be a terrible move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...