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When did you get interested in the Olympics and the Olympics bidding progress?

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1998 were the first ones I really remember seeing, didn't pay attention to 2000 or 2004, 2002 are the first ones I cared about enough to pay attention to and watch, and 2008 are the first Summer ones I really kept my eye on. Got interested in the bids around 2002-2003 because the logos were cool, and eye catching with cities that always sounded exotic. Since then learning more got really disappointed and disillusioned with what the Olympics have become, at this point I think I get more joy from paying attention to the NCAA, the iHeartRadio Festival and stuff, and the X Games.

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I think the first time I was interested in the Olympic Games, would be Atlanta 96, I would have been 13 years old. I say interested, in that for some unexplainable reason I started to cut out clippings (not only sport related clipping), of the event, and took special notice of the ceremonies.

I think the most obvious sign of my Olympic interest following that was when I was cutting out news items about the launch of the Sydney Olympic logo.

I do have memories prior to Atlanta, and can remember bits and pieces of Barcelona and Lillehammer, but just images on tv I'd seen as a young fulla I guess.

Funnily enough, my geeky interest in Olympic ceremonies must have actually gone back to Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games. I remember using my swingball set and a blanket to recreate the volcano, haha, should have known.

In terms of the bidding process, I remember from the days prior to the bid websites being a bid thing. There was something special about sending off a letter to these bid committees from all around the world and waiting a few weeks before receiving a nice wee package in the mail. Always with a lot of information, some with freebies like pins and stickers. That is something that is lost now, probably makes it a lot easier for the bid committees though. I remember doing that for all the hosts of the 2006 hosts onwards.

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Definitely Barcelona '92 and Lillehammer '94 - two of the most beautiful Olympic Games I can think of. Ever since then, the Olympics have captured my imagination - not the least because our team always ended up placing in the top 5! The major drawback in German TV coverage (which I now avoid, in favour of the more neutral BBC) was/is the slightly excessive focus on mindless entertainment and fluff pieces, and the achievements of German athletes.

In terms of the bidding process, I'd definitely say that my interest began in 1992/93 when Berlin was touted as a contender for the 2000 Olympics, and (deservedly) lost out to Sydney.

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