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IOC Report Cautions Poor Winter Games Fit For Beijing 2022 and Economic Challenges for Almaty


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In an evaluation report released Monday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) generally lauded China’s ability to host another Olympic Games in 2022 from organizational and logistic perspectives, and as a “strong commercial opportunity” – but cautioned that there may be a difficult Winter sports integration. The report has been published ahead of a critical technical session […]

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Sounds like the IOC has finally confirmed what has been known since Oslo called it quits - Beijing and Almaty may both be capable, but neither one are what the IOC had hoped for and both pose significant risks. Frankly, neither city would have even made the shortlist if the others didn't drop out. That being said, I still see this as Beijing's to lose and I expect a landslide victory in July. At the end of the day, Beijing is the proven commodity. Almaty is not. Beijing has the opportunity to make history as first city to host both a winter and summer games. I'm sure the IOC can live with ski slopes covered with fake snow.

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Sounds to me that the only "significant" risk to Beijing's bid is going to be the snow, which isn't anything new that we didn't know already. I'm sure though, the Chinese are going to work very hard to face this challenge. Still, one significant risk is much better than a "list" of risks that would accompany Almaty. And even if all the European bidders hadn't dropped out, I still believe Beijing would've made the short-list for all of the attributes highlighted in this very 2022 Final Evaluation Report.

It's not like Lviv was some great bid with the Ukraine literally in shambles, & Krakow still posed challenges of their own. And let's not forget how some were already writing Stockholm off due to the distance to Are. So that left Oslo as the only one left that had a solid, all-around bid. And even then, there were the ones citing the "been there, done that" factor against them.

So with all that said, Beijjng 2022 would've been included regardless cuz it's China, & knowing the IOC, they would've needed them in a "just in case" scenario (which that is indeed what turned out here in the end). And just like Moscow still got surprisingly included for 2012 cuz it's Russia, & Istanbul got included for 2008 with all their shortfalls at the time for political pawn. And even with the increasing mess that is becoming Boston 2024, they'll be included on the short-list too (assuming they're even still around in another 15 months) cuz it's the U.S. It's all politically motivated, & China now has the political clout to be included in just about anything that they wanna be included in these days.

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I don't think this is Beijing's to lose at all. Almaty has problems, like accommodation, that can be changed rather easily as 2022 approaches. It's not good to base the decision on speculated economic changes in the future either, as it has been noted the Chinese economy is on the decline as of now, making their situations slightly similar. We also know very well that Beijing is not very good at fulfilling their promises on legacy to "promote sports", making Beijing not a "proven commodity". They don't have enough real snow, especially for the Paralympics, and making snow would take a great toll on the surrounding area. If the IOC is serious about providing the best athlete experience (which I think they are compared to other organizations...), Almaty is the best choice.

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Good to see the IOC giving themselves a reality check. Not that any of this is new information (to the public or to themselves), but at least they're acknowledging this is a less than spectacular field of bidders.

I don't think this is Beijing's to lose at all. Almaty has problems, like accommodation, that can be changed rather easily as 2022 approaches. It's not good to base the decision on speculated economic changes in the future either, as it has been noted the Chinese economy is on the decline as of now, making their situations slightly similar. We also know very well that Beijing is not very good at fulfilling their promises on legacy to "promote sports", making Beijing not a "proven commodity". They don't have enough real snow, especially for the Paralympics, and making snow would take a great toll on the surrounding area. If the IOC is serious about providing the best athlete experience (which I think they are compared to other organizations...), Almaty is the best choice.

Almaty may or may not be the best choice, but is it the choice the IOC will make? As much as many of these voters are former athletes, are they going to make a decision in the best interests of the athletes or one that best serves themselves? That's why I think this is Beijing's to lose. For all the faults we can find with their bid, I don't see enough there where the IOC will make a leap of faith and put an Olympics in Kazakhstan when they can have China instead, flawed as their concept may be.

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The problem is that we don't know how they will vote this time around. Maybe because of several Agenda 2020 reforms, desire to look less corrupt than FIFA, or just to look good, IOC members might vote for Almaty towards athlete experience. However, we know that China has given stadiums and sports venues to several African countries, who hold a number of IOC seats, so maybe they would vote for them for that reason. I personally think that Almaty is the best choice, but being that this technically is the first bidding process under Agenda 2020, things could change from past elections.

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"Agenda 2020" or not, let's not forget that the IOC is also a BUSINESS & will also have to take their constituencies desires into account come vote time. Also saying that Almaty would make a more "athlete friendly" choice is merely a matter of opinion, since there are also that would consider the amenities that the Chinese capital has much better than those of some obscure city in the remote part of Asia. Not to mention what spectators would find more comfortable too.

The accommodation factor also can't be "changed rather easily" as 2022 approaches. And even if it could, what would Almaty do with all those new accommodations in a remote locale that's not really visited all that much anyway. The Winter Olympics wouldn't change that post-Games. It didn't in Sochi's case, & it wouldn't in this case either. Also citing that the Chinese & Kazahk economies as "slightly similar", perspectively speaking as far as these two bids are concerned, is nothing but hyperbole. One is still the largest economy in the world, while the other is nothing but a mere fraction of that.

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In an evaluation report released Monday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) generally lauded China’s ability to host another Olympic Games in 2022 from organizational and logistic perspectives, and as a “strong commercial opportunity” – but cautioned that there may be a difficult Winter sports integration.

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Ya think? Wonder how much time and effort the IOC had to spend coming up with that conclusion?

The problem is that we don't know how they will vote this time around. Maybe because of several Agenda 2020 reforms, desire to look less corrupt than FIFA, or just to look good, IOC members might vote for Almaty towards athlete experience. However, we know that China has given stadiums and sports venues to several African countries, who hold a number of IOC seats, so maybe they would vote for them for that reason. I personally think that Almaty is the best choice, but being that this technically is the first bidding process under Agenda 2020, things could change from past elections.

I think this will go how past elections have gone. Voters will vote based on what is best for them. What they can get. What they've already gotten.

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The problem is that we don't know how they will vote this time around. Maybe because of several Agenda 2020 reforms, desire to look less corrupt than FIFA, or just to look good, IOC members might vote for Almaty towards athlete experience. However, we know that China has given stadiums and sports venues to several African countries, who hold a number of IOC seats, so maybe they would vote for them for that reason. I personally think that Almaty is the best choice, but being that this technically is the first bidding process under Agenda 2020, things could change from past elections.

Are things really all that different with the IOC and the Olympics though? I know it's only been a few months since Agenda 2020 became a reality, but to me, it still seems like something of a smokescreen. It sounds like a big deal, but it's really only suggesting changes, not actually putting them to practice. Maybe that'll happen in time, but I'll believe it when I see it. Voting Almaty over Beijing may or may not fall in line with Agenda 2020, but I don't see how that decision makes the IOC seem less corrupt than if they vote for China. Given the options in this race, that's just the IOC picking what they believe to be the grander stage. That's not corruption so much as the IOC being the IOC. And thanks to FIFA, they look like saints these days in comparison to what's going on in Qatar.

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Well, with the trouble China is causing in the south China seas, I hope the Vietnamese, Philippine and Indonesian delegates CERTAINLY DON'T vote for Beijing. China's getting to be too much of a bully already.

That's an interesting point you make. I know that some have said that unless China messes up big time before the vote that it's Bejing's, but let's actually think about who will realistically vote against China:

  • India - 2
  • South Korea - 2
  • USA - 4
  • Japan - 3
  • Hong Kong - 1
  • Austria - 1
  • Vietnam - 1
  • Philippians - 1
  • Indonesia - 1
  • United Kingdom - 4
  • Canada - 2
  • Australia - 4
  • New Zealand - 2
  • Israel - 1
  • Taiwan - 1
  • Singapore - 1
  • France - 3
  • Turkey - 1
  • South Africa - 1
  • Jordan - 1
  • Czech Republic - 1
  • Germany - 3
  • Ukraine - 1
  • Poland - 1
  • Netherlands - 2
  • Spain - 3
  • Portugal - 1
  • Italy - 4
  • Ireland - 1
  • Mexico - 1
  • Hungary - 1
  • Puerto Rico - 1
  • Thailand - 1
  • Belgium - 2
  • Norway - 2
  • Denmark - 3
  • Luxembourg - 1
  • Sweden - 1
  • Malyasia - 1

That's a rough total (if these nations do end up voting against China) of around 68 votes against Beijing. Beijing would only get 33 votes under this system. Even if you take out votes and countries, Beijing will still have a pretty strong block against them for simply being China and China's actions in the South China sea. In the same breath though, some countries may see Kazakhstan's friendliness with Russia as a negative thing and vote for China over Kazakhstan.

Personally I would love to see a big group of members simply abstain.

Keep in mind this entire list is purely speculative.

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Well, with the trouble China is causing in the south China seas, I hope the Vietnamese, Philippine and Indonesian delegates CERTAINLY DON'T vote for Beijing. China's getting to be too much of a bully already.

We heard the same type of arguments against PyeongChang 2018 & Tokyo 2020 as well, but in the end, it mounted up to absolutely nothing.

I know that Beijing 2022 is not the best thing here that anyone coulda hoped for, but considering the extremely limited options the IOC has to go with on this one, I'm just curious what's with your beef with China these days.

I would think on the category of ceremonies alone, China would put on another GRAND show & you'd be in total hog heaven! lol

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I would think on the category of ceremonies alone, China would put on another GRAND show & you'd be in total hog heaven! lol

Oops. Nearly forgot about that. :lol: But if going by the IOC's criterion of spreading out the Games, then I'd say Almaty is in the driver's seat. Besides, Almaty staged equally lavish ceremonies at that Winter Universaide opening. China slipped in their National Games' ceremonies post-2008. And then of course, George Tsypin of Sochi-fame, is a Kazakh, so I'd like to see what he can do for a sequel for his home country.

So, going by the Ceremonies' barometer, I'd lean towards Almaty. B)

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Oops. Nearly forgot about that. :lol: But if going by the IOC's criterion of spreading out the Games, then I'd say Almaty is in the driver's seat.

Yeah, & how did that 'criterion' work out for Istanbul 2020 against an already three-time Olympic host nation? I agree that the IOC does take that aspect into account, but let's not be that simple that they're gonna do that just for the sake of doing it. They'll do it when their new option is conducive enough to do so. And this time around, I still don't believe it to be conducive enough.

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Yeah, & how did that 'criterion' work out for Istanbul 2020 against an already three-time Olympic host nation? I agree that the IOC does take that aspect into account, but let's not be that simple that they're gonna do that just for the sake of doing it. They'll do it when their new option is conducive enough to do so. And this time around, I still don't believe it to be conducive enough.

We shall see. If I were a serious IOC voter, I would pick Almaty's compact scenario to China's scheme and its been-there-done-that feel.

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We shall see. If I were a serious IOC voter, I would pick Almaty's compact scenario to China's scheme and its been-there-done-that feel.

Well, it's not a complete been-there-done-that feel since this is a winter games and not a summer one, so there's a lot of the venues and events that won't even be in Beijing. But as a serious voter I too would pick Almaty for various reasons.

As far as political and social issues, China currently is losing out on that. Almaty may be an ally and friendly to Russia, but so is China. But China is also an ally to North Korea, which for the US and maybe the rest of North America and Western nations that may not look so great. And also as mentioned, China has that whole South China Sea issue going on so it will definitely lose votes from nations such as South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. AFAIK, Kazakhstan isn't out there picking fights and bullying other nations like China has been doing, even since hosting the Summer Olympics in 2008.

As far as the games go, the only thing I see the Beijing bid having a real advantage is proving that it can host an Olympic games and accommodations, but even those are also disadvantages to the bid. While Beijing has enough hotel accomodations, they're all in Beijing and lots of the events are an almost 2hr commute to the event. There will be spectators that do not want to do that commute almost every day. And I don't believe Yanping and Zhianjakou have sufficient accomodations for a surplus of people wanting to be closer to the outdoor events. And also 3 athletes village is rather unnecessary. I think there shouldn't be more than 2 like Sochi had. As far as the disadvantage of being a previous host, yes it has proven it can handle another Olympic games, but it has also proven that hosting the games brings no change to Beijing, or China as a whole. Human rights issues has seen little to no drastic changes to the nation, pollution has gotten worse in Beijing, and they have shown little to no concern to the environment as proven by this bid with having the outdoor events hosted in an area that hardly ever snows and will rely on the water of local lakes for artificial snow. Also if a nation of over a billion people cannot find any use or re-purpose all the venues from Beijing's 2008 SOGs, what makes you think they're going to use or re-purpose any of the outdoor venues, especially since they have little to no experience in these sports?

While Almaty has not proven itself in hosting a games as large as the Olympics, it has hosted many winter outdoor events, which Beijing currently has not done. They already hosted the Winter Asian Games in 2011, and will host the Winter Universiade in 2017. It already has proven it will have a legacy after a WOGs and the venues will not go to waste.

And I found that article extremely unfair to Almaty when mentioning the economy. No one makes a decision on what could happen to a nation's economy 7 years down the line, and if they did they wouldn't have given the games to Sochi, or even worse off, Athens. Anything can happen in 7 years time and you can't regret making a decision you couldn't forsee. Almaty's current economy is strong right now and that's what matters.

And the hotel accommodations situation, land ownership issues and housing legacies are issues that ALL bids have faced, especially the last 2 WOGs. I hate that Sochi became this big expensive mistake because if Almaty loses, it loses as a punishment for Sochi's mistakes, and I don't think that is in any right to Almaty. If it wasn't for Sochi then Almaty have more support because people wouldn't have Sochi's WOGs in the back of their minds.

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If I were a serious IOC voter, I would pick Almaty's compact scenario to China's scheme and its been-there-done-that feel.

But as a serious voter I too would pick Almaty for various reasons.

Right, bcuz there are no "serious" reasons at all to vote for Beijing. :rolleyes:

1. AFAIK, Kazakhstan isn't out there picking fights and bullying other nations like China has been doing, even since hosting the Summer Olympics in 2008.

2. As far as the games go, the only thing I see the Beijing bid having a real advantage is proving that it can host an Olympic games and accommodations, but even those are also disadvantages to the bid.

3. While Beijing has enough hotel accomodations, they're all in Beijing and lots of the events are an almost 2hr commute to the event. There will be spectators that do not want to do that commute almost every day. And I don't believe Yanping and Zhianjakou have sufficient accomodations for a surplus of people wanting to be closer to the outdoor events.

4. As far as the disadvantage of being a previous host, yes it has proven it can handle another Olympic games, but it has also proven that hosting the games brings no change to Beijing, or China as a whole.

5. While Almaty has not proven itself in hosting a games as large as the Olympics, it has hosted many winter outdoor events, which Beijing currently has not done. They already hosted the Winter Asian Games in 2011, and will host the Winter Universiade in 2017. It already has proven it will have a legacy after a WOGs and the venues will not go to waste.

6. And I found that article extremely unfair to Almaty when mentioning the economy. No one makes a decision on what could happen to a nation's economy 7 years down the line, and if they did they wouldn't have given the games to Sochi, or even worse off, Athens. Anything can happen in 7 years time and you can't regret making a decision you couldn't forsee. Almaty's current economy is strong right now and that's what matters.

7. And the hotel accommodations situation, land ownership issues and housing legacies are issues that ALL bids have faced, especially the last 2 WOGs.

1. Funny, many of our international friends would also cite that as reasons to vote against any U.S. bid. So I don't think that's actually going to register anywhere as far as China is concerned.

2. Well, those are always the strengths that are played for any U.S. bid that is put forward. The experience & know-how of hosting previous Olympics, the infrastructure, etc. So why should that be any different for China then?

3. The 2022 IOC Final Evaluation Report hasn't cited that to be that much of an issue. Unless you know something they didn't.

4. And what makes you think that any other authoritarian regime would be any different in that aspect? Have we seen any real change & improvements with human rights in Russia bcuz they got to host 2014? No, we haven't. And Almaty wouldn't be any different in that area. And it would be quite naive to think otherwise, TBH.

I never really got that argument anyway, that the Olympics are suppose to be the pedestal of Western Civilization, & any nation that got to host them would then become this haven of human rights & democracy. It may sound great & nobel in theory, but that's all it is in actuality.

5. None on those events, though, are nearly as big, expensive &/or as logistically challenging as hosting the Olympic Games. If the grand FIFA World Cup & commonwealth games don't count for South Africa (as some like to argue), then a mere winter Asian games & universaide don't count for Kazahkstan either.

6. So you're actually comparing Russia's much larger & more stable (relatively speaking) economy to that of Kazakhstan? I really don't know how to take that honestly. It just boggles the mind.

As far as Athens goes, you think the IOC would do that again, hindsight being 20/20? No, they wouldn't. And many businesses actually make future financial decision based on current information they have. So I really woundn't say that "no one" does it.

Kazahkstan's economy relies too much on fluctuating oil prices that could change from day to night. And a country that's been runned by the same man (who's getting much older btw) for the last 25 years. If Erdogan made the IOC shiver, then Nezerbayev should make them run the other way. In that sense, the report wasn't "extremely unfair".

7. When one starts to see many double-standards against a certain bid, then judging by history, that's a good sign that's not the bid the IOC is going to go with.

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Right, bcuz there are no "serious" reasons at all to vote for Beijing. :rolleyes:

1. Funny, many of our international friends would also cite that as reasons to vote against any U.S. bid. So I don't think that's actually going to register anywhere as far as China is concerned.

2. Well, those are always the strengths that are played for any U.S. bid that is put forward. The experience & know-how of hosting previous Olympics, the infrastructure, etc. So why should that be any different for China then?

The same USA that came second last in 2012 and last in 2016?

5. None on those events, though, are nearly as big, expensive &/or as logistically challenging as hosting the Olympic Games. If the grand FIFA World Cup & commonwealth games don't count for South Africa (as some like to argue), then a mere winter Asian games & universaide don't count for Kazahkstan either.

So according to you, pretty much any event besides the Olympics counts for nothing?? Not every nation can win the Olympics without hosting many events. Smaller nations like Australia, Kazakhstan, England have to work there way up for a bid. We can't all be China and have the worlds largest population. You count those events as nothing but they are at least something.

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Ugh, not this again. Like I said, if some of you don't count an actual international, grand event like the FIFA World Cup & commonwealth games as attributes to any South African Olympic effort, then what less to a winter Asian games or universaide. Sounds like complete double standards to me.

The same USA that came second last in 2012 and last in 2016?

Let me put things into perspective for you. Take London, Paris, Madrid & Moscow outta the picture for 2012 & replace them with just Leipzig & Havana . Who do think ends up winning then? Same for 2016, take out Rio, Tokyo & Madrid (& Prague to a lesser extent) & all you're left with was the other applicants of Baku or Doha? Who ends up winning there, too? Exactly! So that's what we're basically left with for 2022 now. Remember, put Oslo, Stockholm & even Krakow back into the picture, & Beijing would've been up sh!ts creek without a paddle as well.

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Ugh, not this again. Like I said, if some of you don't count an actual international, grand event like the FIFA World Cup & commonwealth games as attributes to any South African Olympic effort, then what less to a winter Asian games or universaide. Sounds like complete double standards to me.

Let me put things into perspective for you. Take London, Paris, Madrid & Moscow outta the picture for 2012 & replace them with just Leipzig & Havana . Who do think ends up winning then? Same for 2016, take out Rio, Tokyo & Madrid (& Prague to a lesser extent) & all you're left with was the other applicants of Baku or Doha? Who ends up winning there, too? Exactly! So that's what we're basically left with for 2022 now. Remember, put Oslo, Stockholm & even Krakow back into the picture, & Beijing would've been up sh!ts creek without a paddle as well.

I very much so believe that the Comm games are a stepping stone for an Olympic bid. Unfortunately there aren't as many large scale winter events so the fact Almaty has hosted anything, I believe is a positive.

And of course if the IOC was left with the 12th largest city in a nation (Leipzig) or Cuba a nation that honestly has so many problems, including strict internet laws. Then yeah USA would win. Fortunately that's not what's happened in the 2022 race though. As much as you hate Almaty and Kazakhstan, it's not like it's a tiny city with just over 500 000 people (Leipzig) or Havana which I wouldn't think has hosted anything.

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If we're going to play the "if I was a serious IOC voter" game, let's be honest about who actual IOC voters are. These are not people motivated by altruism. Most of their decisions are based on politics and whatever socio-economics best suite their wants and desires. So yea, it's easy to say you would vote for Almaty based purely what's on the surface of these bids and what they're offering. It becomes a lot more complicated when you get wrapped up in the corporate and political elements of the IOC. And if you were a "serious" member of the IOC, a lot of those factors influence your decision far more than the quality of the respective bids.

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Almaty has its problems, but it is unfair to lump it with Leipzig, Havana, Baku or Doha. It is a major city in a medium-sized country. In that sense it is most like Prague.

I wasn't "lumping it" with any of those cities. I was merely giving perspective to those particular instances where all of those cities did actually present bids in their respective races.

And just so you know, Almaty (& Prague) are similar in size, including to Leipzig (when including the metro area) & Baku. As a matter of fact, Baku is larger.

or Havana which I wouldn't think has hosted anything.

Havana has hosted the Pan Am Games. So simply going by that logic then, they're long overdue for an Olympics.

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