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Your Sochi Verdict


Sir Rols
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Actually, more warriors, then the decline, shepherding for many centuries; an inconsequential monarchy, and then a few billionaire shipping families and euro-defaulting gov'ts.

The moment the word "Athens" or "Greece" appears on the screen, something happens to you.

P.S. The topic is "YOUR SOCHI VERDICT".

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You are attempting to engage me in a pissing contest because I found London's OC so lacking. You're just veiling it by appearing to promote Sochi instead (a ceremony that, in my opinion, is far more respectable than London's, but did not rival Athens artistry or creativity).

Either that or you genuinely believe what you are saying, which would be pitiable.

You can claim Athens was crap and London was brilliant. That just makes it crystal clear to me that I have no respect for your artistic tastes and these debates are utterly pointless.

I will never change your mind and you will never change mine. Finis.

I do genuinely believe what I'm typing, but what Athensfan believes I believe may be something slightly different.

Olympic OCs tend to make deliberate efforts to distinguish themselves from their immediate predecessors (mainly those of the same season, four years earlier, but also, to an extent, those two years earlier). In particular, they tend to react against perceived faults with the previous OCs. As it happened, both the 2000 and 2002 OCs had the same fault- vulgarity- and Athens reacted strongly against that. Athens' consequent minimalism was perceived as a fault to be recified in Beijing four years later, so the Chinese, made a vast, dynamic, colourful spectacle which happened to suit the scale of Chinese culture, and was very much a celebration of that culture. For London 2012, Beijing's perceived problem was regimentation, an over-reliance on precision mass movement- and we well know the consequences of that.

Sochi is an anomaly, a Winter Olympics with Summer resources. It's also, to an extent, anomalous in its relationship to other recent OCs. The problem of London's chaos was addressed, but other than that, Sochi's approach was to study the best aspects of previous OCs, and attempt to use them in its own way. So, the framework of Sydney was unashamedly imitated; so was the use of aerial prop work which had been the most dramatic element in Athens. Plenty of Beijing-style precision movement, but coming from a tradition of ballet rather than Tai Chi, and hence naturally allied with London's use of storytelling and emotional variety. Vancouver's sense of poetry, and dynamic floor projection, were also stongly present. Balancing the plundering of past OCs was the genuine depth of Russian culture- music, dance, literature, architecture and art, folk-tales, living memory of the Communist era- which underpinned every moment.

Sadly, the Cauldron lighting, which should have been the climax of the event, looked as if it had been grudgingly designed to get round a bitter dispute between the OC organisers and the architects of the Olympic Park. Given that the Cauldron (siting rather than lighting) was also a problematic element in London, it's likely to be quite a wow in Rio.

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You are attempting to engage me in a pissing contest because I found London's OC so lacking. You're just veiling it by appearing to promote Sochi instead (a ceremony that, in my opinion, is far more respectable than London's, but did not rival Athens artistry or creativity).

And you're a wannabe Shakespearian actor who finds anything with a bit of bare flesh artistic. Oooh, look who's projecting now? :blink:

Your bias is just as strong as anyone else's in this thread. Take his opinion at face value, as we have to with yours whether we like it or nor, or sod off and don't bother discussing ceremonies with anyone on this forum again.

Sorry mate, but I didn't expect to read something like this coming from you. :rolleyes:

Edited by Rob.
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I do genuinely believe what I'm typing, but what Athensfan believes I believe may be something slightly different.

Olympic OCs tend to make deliberate efforts to distinguish themselves from their immediate predecessors (mainly those of the same season, four years earlier, but also, to an extent, those two years earlier). In particular, they tend to react against perceived faults with the previous OCs. As it happened, both the 2000 and 2002 OCs had the same fault- vulgarity- and Athens reacted strongly against that. Athens' consequent minimalism was perceived as a fault to be recified in Beijing four years later, so the Chinese, made a vast, dynamic, colourful spectacle which happened to suit the scale of Chinese culture, and was very much a celebration of that culture. For London 2012, Beijing's perceived problem was regimentation, an over-reliance on precision mass movement- and we well know the consequences of that.

Sochi is an anomaly, a Winter Olympics with Summer resources. It's also, to an extent, anomalous in its relationship to other recent OCs. The problem of London's chaos was addressed, but other than that, Sochi's approach was to study the best aspects of previous OCs, and attempt to use them in its own way. So, the framework of Sydney was unashamedly imitated; so was the use of aerial prop work which had been the most dramatic element in Athens. Plenty of Beijing-style precision movement, but coming from a tradition of ballet rather than Tai Chi, and hence naturally allied with London's use of storytelling and emotional variety. Vancouver's sense of poetry, and dynamic floor projection, were also stongly present. Balancing the plundering of past OCs was the genuine depth of Russian culture- music, dance, literature, architecture and art, folk-tales, living memory of the Communist era- which underpinned every moment.

Sadly, the Cauldron lighting, which should have been the climax of the event, looked as if it had been grudgingly designed to get round a bitter dispute between the OC organisers and the architects of the Olympic Park. Given that the Cauldron (siting rather than lighting) was also a problematic element in London, it's likely to be quite a wow in Rio.

Your theory about ceremonies fixing perceived weaknesses in the one just gone is interesting and surely has a lot of truth, but do you really expect Rio to get the cauldron exactly right? I think the last cauldron that wasn't problematic either in its lighting or aftermath was Athens. We've had five Games in a row now where something has had to be compromised, whether it be the lighting (Torino, Beijing, Sochi), the aftermath (London) or both (Vancouver).

With Rio's multi-stadium appraoch I doubt they'll please the purists...whatever they do will probably see some compromise somewhere, leaving us six Games in a row with compromises. I think Pyeongchang with its open stadium in the mountains is the most likely host to be the first since Athens not to have to compromise. And what Tokyo will do with its huge maze of a stadium is anyone's guesss!

Edited by Rob.
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Your theory about ceremonies fixing perceived weaknesses in the one just gone is interesting and surely has a lot of truth, but do you really expect Rio to get the cauldron exactly right? I think the last cauldron that wasn't problematic either in its lighting or aftermath was Athens. We've had five Games in a row now where something has had to be compromised, whether it be the lighting (Torino, Beijing, Sochi), the aftermath (London) or both (Vancouver).

With Rio's multi-stadium appraoch I doubt they'll please the purists...whatever they do will probably see some compromise somewhere, leaving us six Games in a row with compromises. I think Pyeongchang with its open stadium in the mountains is the most likely host to be the first since Athens not to have to compromise. And what Tokyo will do with its huge maze of a stadium is anyone's guesss!

Rob, Pyeongchang won't stage its opening ceremony at the ski jump (as it was originally planned) but at a temporary venue built especially for ceremonial purposes. (See http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20120704001176) I'm not even sure whether it will be an open stadium or an indoor venue, they didn't specify that and I haven't seen any renderings of the stadium's design yet.

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Your theory about ceremonies fixing perceived weaknesses in the one just gone is interesting and surely has a lot of truth, but do you really expect Rio to get the cauldron exactly right? I think the last cauldron that wasn't problematic either in its lighting or aftermath was Athens. We've had five Games in a row now where something has had to be compromised, whether it be the lighting (Torino, Beijing, Sochi), the aftermath (London) or both (Vancouver).

With Rio's multi-stadium appraoch I doubt they'll please the purists...whatever they do will probably see some compromise somewhere, leaving us six Games in a row with compromises. I think Pyeongchang with its open stadium in the mountains is the most likely host to be the first since Athens not to have to compromise. And what Tokyo will do with its huge maze of a stadium is anyone's guesss!

It's not so much that i expect Rio to "get the cauldron exactly right" but more that they have examples to study and analyse, in an attempt to answer the question "Why is a Cauldron lighting from over two decades ago still the one that people think of most fondly?"

As for "pleasing the purists"- the only purists who need to be pleased are the IOC. For example, most people seem to believe that Cauldron lighting by senior Olympians is "the traditional way to do it"...

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Your theory about ceremonies fixing perceived weaknesses in the one just gone is interesting and surely has a lot of truth, but do you really expect Rio to get the cauldron exactly right? I think the last cauldron that wasn't problematic either in its lighting or aftermath was Athens. We've had five Games in a row now where something has had to be compromised, whether it be the lighting (Torino, Beijing, Sochi), the aftermath (London) or both (Vancouver).

With Rio's multi-stadium appraoch I doubt they'll please the purists...whatever they do will probably see some compromise somewhere, leaving us six Games in a row with compromises. I think Pyeongchang with its open stadium in the mountains is the most likely host to be the first since Athens not to have to compromise. And what Tokyo will do with its huge maze of a stadium is anyone's guesss!

I am not sure what you mean by aftermath, but London's cauldron was probably the most brilliant part of their entire protocol requirements. Moving it was not really that big of an issue, to me at least.

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And you're a wannabe Shakespearian actor who finds anything with a bit of bare flesh artistic. Oooh, look who's projecting now? :blink:

Your bias is just as strong as anyone else's in this thread. Take his opinion at face value, as we have to with yours whether we like it or nor, or sod off and don't bother discussing ceremonies with anyone on this forum again.

Sorry mate, but I didn't expect to read something like this coming from you. :rolleyes:

Let's be clear. I never wanted to be a Shakesperean actor. I own my own design firm.

I am not Greek. I have no Greek connections. I have never lived in Greece. I thought Athens ceremony was superb.

I am half English. I lived in the UK for two years. I have many English friends. I consider myself an Anglophile. I thought London's OC was a mess.

Now IF I were going to be biased in favor of an OC, wouldn't it make FAR more sense for me to sing London's praises?

You are taking cheap shots (which aren't even accurate) and slinging insults of bias because you are blindly patriotic and can't bear to hear a word against London's OC.

The only OC I thought was worse than London was Atlanta. Yes, Atlanta. That's how "biased" I am. I'm saying the worst OC in modern memory was staged right here in my own US of A.

Incidentally, as for "bare flesh" I don't go in much for nudity. Perhaps that's your taste.

And don't say "sorry, mate." You're not sorry and I'm not your mate.

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When I said you were bias I meant in favour of Athens. i.e. your opinion of Athens is favourable. Nothing more than that. And I've said there were parts of London's ceremonies which could've worked better, so there's no need to start going down that road.

Read back what you said to JMarkSnow and tell me you'd accept that kind of accusation being made against you if you offered an opinion on something. Go on.

Edited by Rob.
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When I said you were bias I meant in favour of Athens. i.e. your opinion of Athens is favourable.

Read back what you said to JMarkSnow and tell me you'd accept that kind of accusation being made if you offered an opinion. You either take people's opinions at face value or you piss off. That's the choice you have.

You're dictating the choice I have? That's rich.

People can challenge anything they please (and do). I have no regrets and make no apologies. If you don't like a post, don't read it.

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So I have to take your opinion on London at face value (and I do), but if JMarkSnow makes a post about how he disliked Athens he's "attempting to engage you in a pissing contest because you found London's OC so lacking and he's just veiling it by appearing to promote Sochi instead"

Really?!

I don't care that you didn't like London's ceremony. It was two years ago and I haven't really discussed it on here for a while. I do care that you have so little respect for someone's else's opinion that you'll come out with bullshit conspiracies about why you think they're saying something you disagree with! As I said, if someone else made a post like that when you stated your opinion, you wouldn't like it. And I've just proved that to be so with your reaction in post #84

The cheap shots were below the belt, I apologise. I enjoy reading most of what you write here. I don't really want to get into an argument with you. But please take people's opinions at face value, because I don't think dicussions will work otherwise!!

Edited by Rob.
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My Sochi Verdict:

Build up - Well what can I say, negative. Anti-Gay laws, Putin not helping to improve Russia, terror threats with bad relations with Dagestan and Chechnya, as well as Georgia and Ukraine. Over Budget as well.

Olympic Games - Sport spoke well, lot of success and friendship, and Bach's political and naive speech about 'The new Russia'. Oh please

Aftermath - Sporting side was a joy, political side = no progress.

Conclusion - Well sport done the talking, but Russia didn't make much effort in improving it's international reputation. I respect Claire Balding and other Homosexuals for standing there ground, and saying, that they should be treated equally. Even as a straight guy myself, I believe they done good in fighting for equality. Overall, to end on a good note, Sport done well. Sport 1-0 Russian Politics.

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Just goes to show people have different opinions. I HATED the London torchlighting.

Personally, I think the problem with recent torch lights is that everybody is trying to do something special. The basic ceremony is plenty special as is. You don't need to tart it up.

Unless you've got a truely amazing idea - Barcelona - just have your post prominate athlete light a basic cauldron that shines over the stadium.

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So I have to take your opinion on London at face value (and I do), but if JMarkSnow makes a post about how he disliked Athens he's "attempting to engage you in a pissing contest because you found London's OC so lacking and he's just veiling it by appearing to promote Sochi instead"

Really?!

I don't care that you didn't like London's ceremony. It was two years ago and I haven't really discussed it on here for a while. I do care that you have so little respect for someone's else's opinion that you'll come out with bullshit conspiracies about why you think they're saying something you disagree with! As I said, if someone else made a post like that when you stated your opinion, you wouldn't like it. And I've just proved that to be so with your reaction in post #84

The cheap shots were below the belt, I apologise. I enjoy reading most of what you write here. I don't really want to get into an argument with you. But please take people's opinions at face value, because I don't think dicussions will work otherwise!!

First, if you read the WHOLE post I also wrote: "Either that or you actually believe this...." That clearly makes the allowance you incorrectly claim I have denied.

Based on history (read the London OC thread) I don't think my suspicion is all that far-fetched.

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Wow! I may have to reorganise my weekends- so much has happened on this thread since I last logged in to GB. I'll start with the easy bit:

Just goes to show people have different opinions. I HATED the London torchlighting.

Personally, I think the problem with recent torch lights is that everybody is trying to do something special. The basic ceremony is plenty special as is. You don't need to tart it up.

Unless you've got a truely amazing idea - Barcelona - just have your post prominate athlete light a basic cauldron that shines over the stadium.

Every OC organiser (with the possible exception of Konstantin Ernst) genuinely believes they have a truly amazing idea for what is, after all, the orgasm of the show. I don't think that competitiveness will go away any time soon.

First, if you read the WHOLE post I also wrote: "Either that or you actually believe this...." That clearly makes the allowance you incorrectly claim I have denied.

Based on history (read the London OC thread) I don't think my suspicion is all that far-fetched.

I won't complete your incomplete sentence above, merely note that I found the full version personally offensive.

Within the "reaction" theory of OC planning, Athens and London now have a key element in common- fundamental aspects of their solutions to perceived problems in earlier OCs were themselves seen as the problem to be solved in subsequent OCs. Athens' minimalism was utterly negated in Beijing, and London's chaos was given similar short shrift in Sochi.

Sochi's "look for best practice" approach has not resulted in an actual reversal of London's problematic solution, so much as an alternative- controlled complexity. One of the motivations behind London's chaos was the need to satisfy multiple audiences: in the stadium, in the home nation, and around the world. In particular, stadium audiences don't have the benefit of different camera angles, so a scene which consists of a single action, however large the scale, just looks to them like a single action, going on for several minutes (and in the case of mass-movement, the oblique angle tends to obscure the patterns).

Thanks to its roof railways, Sochi used the vertical dimension to a much greater extent than earlier OCs- which is of greatest benefit to the stadium audience. As Vancouver elegantly demonstrated, floor projections can take the place of the "living frame" used in Beijing to surround the central LED scroll (where the real cultural content of the 2008 OC was concentrated). Somebody complained the other day that Sochi overused props and projections, but I disagree. The sin would have been to underuse human beings, but, at any given time, there were nearly always substantial numbers of of people performing. One of the cleverest ways the "controlled complexity" was given a sense of narrative flow was the consistent movement of all elements from from screen right to screen left, but there were other, more subtle thematic linking devices too.

It may be that the next couple of OCs will react against Sochi's reworking of so many ideas from previous OCs, but I hope they'll accept that, if it's firmly anchored in the host's culture, it can be an effective strategy.

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I don't know people, my verdict on Sochi has been seriously hampered by what is going on at the other side of the Black Sea since the fire was extinguished.

Yeah, there were good competitions, nice ceremonies etc., but I can't help thinking Putin used it as a big charade to distract from his Ukrainian plans. Of course that was not known 7 years ago, but the coincidence right now leaves a bitter after-taste.

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Putin used it as a big piece of propaganda. He surely couldn't have known that the opportunity to invade Crimea would come barely a week afterwards. What's happening in Ukraine might've been partly engineered by the Kremlin, or it might be just a huge piece of opportunism on Putin's part taking advantage of political instability, but the timing with Sochi is coincidental. He can't have known the exact timing of the fall of the PM and the rate at which things escalated surely?

That's not to say the whole thing doesn't leave a very bad taste.

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Putin used it as a big piece of propaganda. He surely couldn't have known that the opportunity to invade Crimea would come barely a week afterwards. What's happening in Ukraine might've been partly engineered by the Kremlin, or it might be just a huge piece of opportunism on Putin's part taking advantage of political instability, but the timing with Sochi is coincidental. He can't have known the exact timing of the fall of the PM and the rate at which things escalated surely?

That's not to say the whole thing doesn't leave a very bad taste.

Of course the timing is most likely coincidental, I do think however that he hoped (and did everything for it) Yanukovich would stay firm at least until Sochi is over, so as to avoid the "save Crimea for Russia" action already before the Olympics - parallels between Brezhnev's Afghanistan occupation just before the Moscow Games surely would have been drawn.

So, in that sense, as far as he could influence it, he probably let Yanukovich hang on in there for as long as possible. If he had wanted, he could have pulled the plug on Yanu earlier, but then this would probably have already triggered pro-Russian movements in the East/Crimea that he didn't really want on the agenda before the end of the WOG.

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These will end up being the most forgotten games sports wise...Yet be infamously paralleled with Berlin 1936 as a political monstrosity.

In that respect Russia has failed and will probably NEVER be allowed to host an Olympics again.

And don't put it past FIFA to move 2018 elsewhere if the Ukraine crisis blows up into full scale War.

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These will end up being the most forgotten games sports wise...Yet be infamously paralleled with Berlin 1936 as a political monstrosity.

In that respect Russia has failed and will probably NEVER be allowed to host an Olympics again.

And don't put it past FIFA to move 2018 elsewhere if the Ukraine crisis blows up into full scale War.

Dramatic much. Germany was able to host an Olympics again after the horror they unleashed on the world.

The US and its allies will be allowed to host an Olympics again after unleashing an illegal war in Iraq.

And the most forgotten games sports wise, really? even after NZ having their best performance at a Winter Olympics Ever

Edited by Scotguy
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