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Sir Rols

IOC Cools on Developing Nation Bids?

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A bit saddened by this, I think a few of here will be, but it does look like the tide may be turning against developing country bids within the IOC. Those calculations of South Africa 2032 may need some revising.

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Rio’s Olympics Woes Sour IOC on Developing World as Games Site

Several prominent members of the International Olympic Committee said the difficulty getting Rio de Janeiro ready for the Summer Games likely means the organization will shy away from again holding the world’s biggest sporting event in cities that exhibit any signs of instability.

The comments, among the strongest yet by IOC officials about their frustration with Rio’s preparations, show the organization backing away from a previous goal of opening up the Games to a broader selection of cities.

Rio, the first South American city to host the event, was supposed to mark the dawn of a new, more adventurous era for the IOC. It is instead shaping up as a cautionary tale about how volatile conditions can be in developing countries. Ambitions to hold the Olympics in Africa or India appear shelved indefinitely, according to IOC members and people who work closely with the organization.

“Rio has been the biggest challenge we have ever faced,” said Gerhard Heiberg, a longtime IOC member from Norway, who headed the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer. “Maybe we will spend some more time thinking about going to the last continent. We need some assurance it will be a success.”

Though they say they remain optimistic about the Rio Games, IOC officials say getting the city ready has been consistently tumultuous and at times nearly calamitous.

Construction of the Olympic park lagged. The village for the athletes has barely been completed, with some athletes showing up to find exposed wiring, nonworking plumbing and darkened stairwells. 

On Saturday, strong winds damaged part of the main ramp of Marina da Gloria, the chief access point for boats in the competition.

Rio abandoned its promise to clean up Guanabara Bay, site of Olympic sailing. “The bay is the biggest shortcoming,” said Michael Payne, a former IOC marketing director and onetime adviser to the Rio bid.

Also significant, a promised new transportation network has been scaled back and remains largely untested on the cusp of the Games, which start Friday. Mr. Payne said if the IOC had known there wouldn’t be a guarantee of major gains against the city’s traffic problems, the organization never would have put the Games there.

In 2009 when the IOC picked Rio, Brazil’s economy was projected to become one of the five biggest economies in the world by now. It has instead fallen into its worst recession in decades, and the government is embroiled in a pervasive and distracting political scandal. 

“The lesson is lots of things can change in seven years,” said Dick Pound, a Canadian who is among the longest-serving IOC members.

Mr. Payne predicted IOC members would steer clear of avoidable risks in the near future. “They will say, ‘Let’s make sure the next couple are easier,’ ” he said.

The Rio experience has already informed decisions on which cities and countries get to host future Games or whose bids even make it into a final two-year campaign. With Rio struggling to find its footing in 2013, Tokyo won over Istanbul for the 2020 Summer Games.

And last year, the IOC chose the reliability of the Chinese government in selecting Beijing for the 2022 Winter Games over Almaty, Kazakhstan, even though the Chinese must build a ski resort in an area that gets little snow. 

 

For 2024, Paris and Los Angeles now are cited as favorites over Rome and Budapest. South Africa, once a leading contender for those Summer Games, pulled out in 2015 as it battled some of the same problems facing Rio, such as an inability to provide much of its population with adequate education and health care.

The notion of the Games’ universality, which Rio officials touted and the IOC embraced as part of Rio’s bid, is no longer widely discussed.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said President Thomas Bach would defer to the organization’s roughly 100 members on decisions about future locations rather than push his own opinions. He noted that “universality” isn’t a component of the Olympic charter.

The selection process is a huge global competition, and the catch phrase the Switzerland-based IOC often uses when evaluating bids is “legacy.” It wants to understand what the lasting impact of the Games will be, both on the host city and on the Olympic movement itself.

The IOC grew frustrated with the Rio preparations as progress stalled when polls showed the Brazilian public turning increasingly negative after few promised infrastructure improvements came to fruition. Nearly all are over budget, behind schedule and unpopular because they favor wealthy neighborhoods. Within the IOC, few statistics are more important than local sentiment about Games.

Rio has been an IOC headache for years.  John Coates, a member of the coordination commission for the 2012 London Games, Rio and the future Tokyo Games, said in April 2014 that the planning and lead-up to the Rio Games were the worst he had seen, surpassing problems in Athens in 2004.

As cost overruns mounted, local organizers scrambled to cut expenses on everything from venue seating to the types of food served in VIP areas. Ticket sales have lagged, raising the specter of video of half-empty stadiums being beamed around the world.

Rio officials said that hosting the Olympics is helping to address the city’s problems and that the billions spent on infrastructure will pay dividends in a way they wouldn’t in a more developed city.

Sidney Levy, chief executive of the Rio organizing committee, said every city hosting the Games has shortcomings, but Brazil will rise to the occasion. “We have great people, fun people,” he said. This will “compensate for everything.”

Indeed, many of Rio’s problems may not affect visitors. A massive security force roll-out will put soldiers on every corner in Olympics neighborhoods. The beach-side, mountain-enveloped competition sites will look spectacular on TV.

José Antonio do Nascimento Brito, a Rio 2016 board member, said critics are focusing on problem areas rather than vast improvements in the city as a whole. “The Olympics should be transformational in the sense that it can be used as a catalyst for change,” he said.

“Not that we’ve fixed all the problems around here,” he said, but “the consequences, say 20 years down the road, will be simply fantastic.”

Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sir Rols

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25 minutes ago, Sir Rols said:

Also significant, a promised new transportation network has been scaled back and remains largely untested on the cusp of the Games, which start Friday. Mr. Payne said if the IOC had known there wouldn’t be a guarantee of major gains against the city’s traffic problems, the organization never would have put the Games there.

 

i absolutely love when the IOC points out issues like traffic -- which not a single one of them could have been bothered learning anything about in 2009 -- as "make or break" issues solely because they're dealing with the headache now.

they couldn't have cared less about rio's traffic, graft, toxic water, or construction overruns, which weren't exactly unknown issues in 2009. back then, the IOC was much, much more interested in a different set of issues, such as appearing worldly and progressive to the media, sucking up to JAS one last time, and finding the biggest way to stick it to the USOC because of some petty dispute over money.

oh but if they had only known about the traffic...

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^I fu@king couldn't agree more!! It's way too late to be crying over spilled milk now! You made your bed, so now lay in it!

Besides, the 2016 Games haven't even started yet. So they should really save all their bemoaning 'til August 22nd. Then we'll have a better idea if this was a "make it or break it" endeavor. So for now, they should just chill & have one of those funny umbrella drinks at Copacabana beach.

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4 minutes ago, FYI said:

^I fu@king couldn't agree more!! It's way too late to be crying over spilled milk now! You made your bed, so now lay in it!

Besides, the 2016 Games haven't even started yet. So they should really save all their bemoaning 'til August 22nd. Then we'll have a better idea if this was a "make it or break it" endeavor. So for now, they should just chill & have one of those funny umbrella drinks at Copacabana beach.

Quite right. They're worrying that the pre-games publicity hasn't been as positive as they hoped. Come a successful closing and they'll be rushing over themselves to claim credit for their perfect choice of host.

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pre-olympics coverage is never positive. doom and gloom is a way to spark some early interest in a games that is still too far off and abstract for most people to care about. (plus, things would probably be even worse if the press wasn't holding organizers at least somewhat accountable).

when the medals and the viral moments start pouring in, everyone gets swept up in positivity. the early negative coverage makes a great high-low contrast for wrap-up TV packages and sports columnist blogs. "X started off with problems but by the end they really showed the world." it's formulaic at this point.

and the athletes are just god's gift to olympic host cities. anything good they do reflects well on the host, they divert loads of attention away from problems, and when they do something bad (like dope) you can't really fault the host for it. rio just needs to make sure their organization is at least competent enough to become overshadowed by the athletes. if they can manage that, they're fine.

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I'll admit, I blow hot and cold on the chances of developing hosts (Durban?). On the one hand, yes, I'm extremely keen to see it happen and tend to view the chances optimistically - or through rose coloured glasses. On the other, I do recognise there's an element of irresponsibility in wishing such an expensive carnival on hosts that struggle to meet basic needs for their population. But a lot of the coverage leading up to Rio I think has been unfair - I've said elsewhere, that of course they're a games that were going to have some rough edges, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I much prefer that, and a human touch, than a superbly organised but soulless Sochi-type extravaganza. Sochi, I think, has caused some serious damage to the Olympic brand. If Rio comes off joyfully, it's impact need not be anywhere near s negative.

That said, if a vote for a host featuring Durban in the running was to be held tomorrow, I think politically it would be difficult for the IOC to make that leap of faith they did with Rio straight away. But in eight years, with another couple of games under its belt, the situation may be quite different. But as we all know, there's so many intangibles - how will the games and the IOC's reputation fare over the next few editions? How successful is Durban's Commonwealth Games gonna be? How stable and solid will South Africa be come the mid 2020s? At this stage I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping optimistically that I will get the chance to see an African Olympics.

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40 minutes ago, Sir Rols said:

That said, if a vote for a host featuring Durban in the running was to be held tomorrow, I think politically it would be difficult for the IOC to make that leap of faith they did with Rio straight away. But in eight years, with another couple of games under its belt, the situation may be quite different. But as we all know, there's so many intangibles - how will the games and the IOC's reputation fare over the next few editions? How successful is Durban's Commonwealth Games gonna be? How stable and solid will South Africa be come the mid 2020s? At this stage I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping optimistically that I will get the chance to see an African Olympics.

I agree. I think right now, the IOC is having a bit of regret bcuz things have been anything but smooth with Rio 2016 (in January 2014, the media was predicting that Sochi was going to be an utter disaster)! But by the time the 2032 campaign rolls around, who knows how things will be by then.

They're saying now "let's make sure the next couple are easier". Well, I think that was a given anyway, regardless of Rio's 2016 hardships. With 2020 already slated for Tokyo, & a likely Paris 2024 & L.A. 2028 runs, that would make more than just a couple of "easier" editions of the Games. By then, the IOC will be itching to push the envelope once again.

I think places like India (& probably Turkey now, too), would be a much harder sell. But South Africa could still get a very hard & seriously look, which is probably where the IOC would like to tackle next in the new frontier list anyway. 

Like virtually everything else, I think these go in cycles. And I see the IOC as being no different in that aspect. What's not so kosher today may very well be tomorrow's hot dish, & vice-versa.

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Havana 2028! Let's go for broke! With the trade embargo officially over, McDonald's will be a proper official sponsor now, alongside that Coca-Cola!

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You guys hit the nail on the head, these things go in cycles. In the current economic environment the world finds itself in, most places would be in challenging position to put on the games. The global economy is not healthy and in developing markets that is further compounded. You cannot predict that 7-10 years out.

What they can change though is what they do in evaluation stages - ensure more is already built, ensure certain commitments are written in stone with specific ramifications written down if these are broken. Harping on afterwards like they are doing now with Rio, points more to the shoddy work of the IOC than just Rio and Brazil.

Sensibly, South Africa stepped away from 2020/2024. You are right, in the current climate a bid would not be looked on favourably nor would the people look on it favourably either. The IOC needs to get its house in order. Cities need to have more ready made infrasturcture and less big promises that never materialise. Durban has 2022, that is the moment to ensure legacies are left behind and infrastructure developed on a realistic scale. This readies the city to understand the step up they would need to really tackle the Olympics. How they feel post 2022 will ultimately determine how they pursue the Olympics. I would not write off Africa yet. As we all said, things go in cycles.

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Well, Durban. hopefully with CWG 2022 under its belt -- and really a lot of extraneous Olympic sports tossed out, should be more manageable.  The thing is, the Games keep getting bigger (they just added, what? 5 new sports for Tokyo), but the lead time of only 7 years stays the same.  The chosen (Summer) city should have at least a decade's lead time IMO.  

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I wouldn't necessarily say the IOC has cooled on developing nations hosting the Olympics. I think the only way that occurs is if the Rio Olympics are a complete disaster, and frankly, I think barring a major terrorist attack, the Rio Olympics will be just fine and earn the praises of the IOC. Remember (and I recognize it's a different event) there was a lot of buzz leading up the the 2014 World Cup of an imminent disaster and Brazil did just fine. Where the problem comes in for Rio IMO is not during the Games, it's what happens afterwards, mainly in terms of whether or not Rio is saddled with a ton of money-sucking white elephants and I think there's a good chance of that. Are venues like the Future Arena, the Aquatics Stadium, or the Deodoro Modern Pentathlon Stadium really going to be dismantled after the Olympics and reused? I've said it before but London never found a use for their basketball arena. Multiple venues in Sochi were promised as temporary venues. Will the golf course get any use? Another subject altogether but I predict golf gets dropped from the Olympics after Tokyo. If Rio's sustainability plan doesn't work out then I think you will see even more countries scared off from bidding.

As for Durban, I still believe that when the time comes to bid, it's theirs, probably in landslide fashion. 2032 sets up perfectly for them geopolitically. That isn't the issue with Durban. The issue I see with a Durban bid or any other city from South Africa for that matter is do they want to bid, or more accurately, does the government support a bid? SASOC has made it clear they want a bid, but if memory serves me correctly, the issue has been government support. While hosting the CWGs won't hurt a potential bid from Durban, how much would it actually help? Most CWG venues are built to smaller specifications than those of an Olympics. South Africa has already hosted a FIFA World Cup, a Rugby World Cup, the All-Africa Games, an IOC session, Cricket World Cup, how many more sporting events do they need to host? It's been almost 20 years since Cape Town made a run at the 2004 Olympics. There hasn't been a bid from South Africa since and each time rumblings of one come up the idea gets postponed (I thought for certain South Africa would've given the Olympics another go in one of the summer editions leading up to 2024). I'm starting to think maybe the issue here is privately, the South African government views the Olympics in its current form as an event too big and too expensive for a country like South Africa to handle, even with Agenda 2020. Maybe they think hosting events like the CWGs are about as much as South Africa can handle.

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On 03/08/2016 at 4:08 AM, baron-pierreIV said:

Well, Durban. hopefully with CWG 2022 under its belt -- and really a lot of extraneous Olympic sports tossed out, should be more manageable.  The thing is, the Games keep getting bigger (they just added, what? 5 new sports for Tokyo), but the lead time of only 7 years stays the same.  The chosen (Summer) city should have at least a decade's lead time IMO.  

Considering Japan got a ten year lead in time to host the 2019 Rugby World cup and Qatar pretty much the same Fifa WC...Not a bad idea. (I think Expos have the same lead in now as well with their similar Olympic sized costs)

Bring in end to the horrific negative, and dissapointing, panic towards the year out deadline.

A practical solution...time.

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Perhaps the likes of Baku and Doha don't seem that bad after all...

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16 hours ago, Scotguy said:

Perhaps the likes of Baku and Doha don't seem that bad after all...

Also for mid sized nations, IOC needs to allow for "nationwide" bids to better share costs.

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It's time the IOC got real about the Olympic Games - because the way things are going right now, they will only be attractive for mega-metropolises like Tokyo, London and New York City or the capitals of cash-rich, affluent dictatorships (the latter not doing anything for the Olympic Movement's already damaged reputation worldwide).

  • Take Agenda 2020 very seriously. Encourage Host Cities to have compact plans built around existing, rather than new venues
  • Extend the lead time between award and Opening Ceremony to a full 10 years
  • Share the revenues from the sale of TV rights and worldwide sponsorship deals with the Host Cities, in order to counter the most powerful argument against the Olympic Games - namely that they essentially exploit taxpayers in footing the bill caused by the staging of an event under the auspices of a private commercial organization (and that's what the IOC is); this would certainly cut into the prime argument of Olympics opponents across the world and make the Olympic an attractive proposition for many second-tier cities and developing nations; in exchange, impose very strict requirements on implementing standards regarding water quality
  • Like every corporation, the IOC should become subject to income, sales and corporate taxes in Host Countries - again, they are not an international governmental organization and they don't deserve such privileges for marketing and awarding a competition that is empirically proven to have no appreciable economic benefit to the Host Cities concerned, let alone a financial one
  • There should be a designated standby Olympic site in the event that a Host City is completely unable to fulfil its obligations. For all I care, that could be Athens in the case of the Summer Olympics. A site that is maintained by the Olympic Movement, used once every generation or so and can be reused over and over again for the purpose of the Olympic Games.
  • Take a stand on human rights abuses and give up the ludicruous assertion that the Olympic Games are apolitical. The choice of location is political, as is the tolerance of nations like Iran refusing to compete against Israel, as is the state-sponsored doping of athletes under authoritarian regimes, as is the abuse of the public relations veneer and magic of the Olympic Games by said dictatorships.
  • Change the mode of election to the IOC to one of fully democratic involvement of all NOCs. No more self-perpetuation or self-selection. NOCs and IAAFs, as well as national federations should select the IOC.

Developing countries have no place hosting the Olympic Games, especially as right now, the relationship between the IOC and the Host City is rigged in favour of the gentlemen (and few ladies) from Lausanne. Incremental change no longer will do. Alas, I think it will take a major catastrophe for the IOC to realize that its model is unsustainable in a 21st century in which individuals/consumers/spectators are much more sceptical and suspicious towards any kind of real or perceived elites, as well as their tall claims. This anti-establishment mood doesn't show any signs of abating, and if the IOC doesn't catch the wave, it will be washed away by it.

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So...the good news...I guess is that the games go back to Australia or maybe New Zealand in 2032. 

  • Paris 2024
  • LA 2028
  • Melbourne/Sydney 2032
  • Madrid 2036
  • Durban 2040
  • Shanghai 2044
  • Berlin 2048
  • Toronto 2052

Meh...I'm feeling this lineup.

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Madrid might not even happen that soon. They'll have to invest in building an athletics stadium from scratch, a stadium which now they don't want or even need. That stadium that they planned on using if they won in 2016/2020 is now a football-specific stadium and even if they did something with the likes of glasgow for the commonwealth games, it won't have a large enough seating capacity to satisfy the IOC

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Predicting anything beyond 2028 is completely futile (I'd "maybe" go as far as 2032 IF South Africa were to actually bid like they said would be their next earliest attempt, & a lot of other variables on their part would have much to do with that to begin with). But as we saw with Brazil, A LOT can happen in seven years time. So increasing the lead-time to ten years would also seem to increase that risk IMHO. If we're looking to give it to hosts that have more on the ground already existing, then I don't see the need to increase the prep time. On the contrary then, it should need to be reduced, & therefore that also would reduce the risk of things changing with time in a very challenging nature for the host city.

I don't think avoiding developing nations altogether is the answer, either. The Olympic movement is a global movement, & therefore, should also be a global event. With that said, however, not every developing nation is going to be able to host the Olympics. And quite frankly, there's probably only a couple of other developing countries that could realistically get to do it & be a worthwhile endeavor for the IOC. And that won't get to be for quite awhile anyway. 

Selecting a permanent, or even 'standby' host seems to be problematic, too. It's something that has been brought up many times here before, but who really would oversee the upkeep of such a site. Unless it is the IOC (which isn't going to happen. We are talking about the IOC TBW), then it isn't going to work, unless it's the likes of Baku-koo & Doha-hah. And even in their cases, once their oil dollars were to dry up, then what. The one thing I definitely agree with is that the IOC should let some more of those Olympic dollars loose to help with the costs. The IOC is not a non-for-profit organization, & therefore it shouldn't be totally left at the burden of the respective taxpayers of the host country. But of course, that's easier said than done.

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Regarding costs, I also believe that sports federations should foot more of the bill from some of these Olympic venues if there are specifications they want. Frankly, I saw no reason whatsoever for Rio to build an aquatics stadium, temporary or not, when they already had the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center (I know it's not as big seating capacity wise but could some temporary expansion have been done, even a few thousand seats), and then FINA threw a fit when they found out it would not have a roof. Something like that the federation should pay for, not the host city. Same thing with Rio's Olympic Velodrome. If memory serves me correcting, did they not build a new velodrome for the Pan Ams and then then it was determined the venue was unsuitable for an Olympics and torn down?

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The calamities associated with Athens and now Rio have shown me the IOC is completely right to be adopting this position now. Frankly put these cities and governments weren't ready. Watching Rio has made me completely rethink my support for Istanbul a few years back. Thank goodness the IOC isn't rolling on from Rio to Istanbul and dealing with Erdogan.

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Good thought. I wonder were we would stand now if Istanbul had been elected. We have to keep in mind that 36 IOC members thought it was a great idea.

So for me the IOC has to choose between Paris 2024 then LA 2028 and LA 2024 then ... say... Amsterdam 2028.

Edited by hektor

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I think this will be like in cycles. After WWII we have SOG in Mexico, South Korea and USRR before returning to common hosts USA, Australia, UK and then returning again with China, Brazil, Russia and Greece. Now we have the sure prospects of Japan, France and USA. 

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