Jump to content
GBModerator

BidWeek: No Winter Games In Sweden. Ever?

Recommended Posts

56 minutes ago, Quaker2001 said:

The bribery scandal was a part of that, but let's not paint a picture that Ostersund would have been the winner if not for what happened behind the scenes.

Yeah, even senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said that he couldn’t understand why Salt Lake went to such extremes, cuz technically speaking, they had the best bid of the 2002 bid lot. He went on to say, that perhaps SLC just got too nervous since they were trying & trying for decades, with either trying to win the U.S. nomination in some years, to actually trying to win the international phase of the contest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Smitty said:

If the IOC is going to "approach" interested NOCs then it should approach SOK and look at something like a Gothenburg-Lillehammer bid (something like the Oslo 2022 plan but with the Swedish city at the centre and an x2000 tilting train (or similar) connecting the two clusters). 

This sounds like almost as much of a logistical problem to Stockholm/Are. Sure it’s a shorter distance, but why not just go with Oslo at this point? It would only be a third of the distance to Lillehammer than Gothenburg would be. Not to mention that you would also have to work with two NOC’s with that option instead of one. Still sounds pretty problematic just for the sake of having a first-ever Swedish Winter Olympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, thatsnotmypuppy said:

I am aware of this - however a surplus does not mean the Swedes want to divert billions to a couple of sporting events that have extremely dubious to non-existent social benefits and tend to spiral into massive cost over-runs.  There is a difference between being able to afford a Games and being able to justify spending on a Games.

It was more against the your point on more pressing public concerns which, if Sweden wanted to spend money on they could. What the IOC's reforms this week clearly spell out is that domestic political risks like this are the prospective host's problem. If Swedish elites want to bid then they need to win over their public to a bid before they approach Lausanne.

1 hour ago, Quaker2001 said:

Bullshit.  Salt Lake was within a few votes of winning the `98 Olympics in a vote that took place less than a year after Atlanta's win.  Then they're back 4 years later and win it on the first ballot against 3 other cities.  The bribery scandal was a part of that, but let's not paint a picture that Ostersund would have been the winner if not for what happened behind the scene

Remains to be seen what the new approach for the IOC will be, but it only works if there's interest on the other side.  As much as the IOC can entice various NOC's to bid, it's almost a waste of time to start calling up those countries and trying to get them into the mix.  At least we've already reached a point where the IOC is more than willing to dump bids they know won't pass the grade much moreso than in the old days when they shortlisted candidates and usually kept more involved than necessary.  That should be a thing of the past (hopefully)

Maybe. Ostersund's bids of that era (having looked at its 2002 bid book again) were as if it was competing against cities the size of Lillehammer; once larger cities started bidding for the winter games it did not stand a chance. That probably adds to the sour taste now, though -- they can't win though the ground shifts around them.

Apart from the (major) lack of a sliding track perhaps Ostersund should aim for a youth Olympics, and maybe then the Swedes will see if they want the real thing.

29 minutes ago, FYI said:

This sounds like almost as much of a logistical problem to Stockholm/Are. Sure it’s a shorter distance, but why not just go with Oslo at this point? It would only be a third of the distance to Lillehammer than Gothenburg would be. Not to mention that you would also have to work with two NOC’s with that option instead of one. Still sounds pretty problematic just for the sake of having a first-ever Swedish Winter Olympics.

It's an idea (hence the phrase "something like"); as I say above the risks and logistics of this will primarily become the SOK's problem. The main advantage of this is nothing new besides the villages needs to be built, and the villages can be justified because of Sweden's housing shortage. More broadly, if only cities can bid now and if bids like Montreal-Lake Placid are going to happen (as the rules change this week explicitly allow for) then someone is going to have to cross this Rubicon. Why not Sweden?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/28/2019 at 3:22 AM, Smitty said:

It's an idea (hence the phrase "something like"); as I say above the risks and logistics of this will primarily become the SOK's problem. The main advantage of this is nothing new besides the villages needs to be built, and the villages can be justified because of Sweden's housing shortage. More broadly, if only cities can bid now and if bids like Montreal-Lake Placid are going to happen (as the rules change this week explicitly allow for) then someone is going to have to cross this Rubicon. Why not Sweden?

I realize that. But the idea still seems iffy in this case, even with the new changes to the charter. With a Montreal/Lake Placid deal, there’s no other real alternative nearby at play that could overshadow it. With Gothenburg/Lillehammer, there’s Oslo that would make the effort in that region  much more convienient (for everyone involved), if not much also doesn’t have to be built. 

These changes to the Charter aren’t seemingly being made just to allow bids to come out of the woodwork just for the sake of having such bids on the table. It’s mainly being done to help cut down on costs, & to allow other cities/countries which normally wouldn’t be able to host an Olympics on their own, can now still do so with an aide of partner, or if the logistics still make sense in such an instance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, FYI said:

I realize that. But the idea still seems iffy in this case, even with the new changes to the charter. With a Montreal/Lake Placid deal, there’s no other real alternative nearby at play that could overshadow it. With Gothenburg/Lillehammer, there’s Oslo that would make the effort in that region  much more convienient (for everyone involved), if not much also doesn’t have to be built. 

These changes to the Charter aren’t seemingly being made just to allow bids to come out of the woodwork just for the sake of having such bids on the table. It’s mainly being done to help cut down on costs, & to allow other cities/countries which normally wouldn’t be able to host an Olympics on their own, can now still do so with an aide of partner, or if the logistics still make sense in such an instance. 

New York City, if it really cared, could easily overshadow Montreal. Yankees and (maybe) Flushing Meadows aside, NYC is not a city that gains status from sports, as seen from the city's indifference to its 2012 bid. Not the point, though. I was not really trying to focus on Lillehammer but more trying to see a way that Sweden could bid.

  • SOK clearly want to do this, and the Swedish main governing party is in favour (as is the main opposition party, the Moderates); it took them a while as the coalition partner (the Greens) were against during the 2018 campaign but came round in the end, The national political support could be there, though, which is the first hurdle.
  • The host city - Stockholm is clearly lukewarm and has been for a while, so my idea was to think of what it would be if Gothenburg were to replace it. Either way the city has to be willing to swallow its pride and be willing to sign the contract at the outset or there is no point.
  • North-south rail connections in Sweden tend to run via the east coast, along the Gulf of Bothnia (via Gävle) as shown in the map below:
  • 847px-Sweden_railways.png, wh
  • A Gothenburg-Östersund-Åre night train connection could (just) work, but the travel times would be longer; same for a rail-ferry connection to Riga/Sigulda. Flying is an option, but that goes against the sustainability instincts of the Swedes (Greta Thunberg does not fly at all) so they would need to come up with a creative carbon offset plan on the OCOG budget if this is this is acknowledged. (Stockholm 2026 calling itself the 'most sustainable games ever' was a bit hypocritical in this respect; most Olympic Family would fly.) Falun is 5km north of Borlänge, in case anyone is wondering.
  • Public support. I think if they have a workable, low risk plan they just need to sell it to the host city and to the wider nation. There's no substitute for this, and it was something they failed to do on this occasion.

The weakest link in this chain (besides the obvious one of geography) is the city of Stockholm, which clearly is lukewarm and unwilling to sign. If Stockholm continues to be lukewarm then a Gothenburg (ice sports, with speed skating at Rudhallen and cross country maybe at Ulricehamn)-Falun (ski jumping/nordic combined)-Östersund (biathlon)-Åre (alpine/snowboard/freestyle)-Sigulda/Lillehammer (sliding) bid could work, would anyone be in favour of that concept? What would be simpler?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol might as well go back about Gothenburg/Lillehammer then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, FYI said:

These changes to the Charter aren’t seemingly being made just to allow bids to come out of the woodwork just for the sake of having such bids on the table. It’s mainly being done to help cut down on costs, & to allow other cities/countries which normally wouldn’t be able to host an Olympics on their own, can now still do so with an aide of partner, or if the logistics still make sense in such an instance. 

The cat is somewhat already out of the bag on that one.  They already accepted a bi-national bid.  So it's probably a move they need to make the normalize those bids of bids.  It's not like they can't (or won't) reject a bid out of hand if they feel like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Smitty said:

New York City, if it really cared, could easily overshadow Montreal. Yankees and (maybe) Flushing Meadows aside, NYC is not a city that gains status from sports, as seen from the city's indifference to its 2012 bid. Not the point, though. I was not really trying to focus on Lillehammer but more trying to see a way that Sweden could bid.

Have you ever actually been to New York before?  Going to guess no based on that statement.  Yankee Stadium.  Madison Square Garden.  Belmont Park.  Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The New York City Marathon.  Those are some of the most iconic venues and events in the United States.  You still sure New York doesn't gain status from sports?

Yes, the city was largely indifferent to the 2012 Olympics because it wouldn't have defined us.  Much like the 2014 Super Bowl which didn't register as much as it does in other cities.  You're right.. New York probably wouldn't care to be part of an Olympic bid.  But that's absolutely ridiculous to think that the city doesn't use sports as a status symbol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2019 at 9:57 PM, FYI said:

 

 

6 hours ago, Quaker2001 said:

Have you ever actually been to New York before?  Going to guess no based on that statement.  Yankee Stadium.  Madison Square Garden.  Belmont Park.  Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The New York City Marathon.  Those are some of the most iconic venues and events in the United States.  You still sure New York doesn't gain status from sports?

Yes, the city was largely indifferent to the 2012 Olympics because it wouldn't have defined us.  Much like the 2014 Super Bowl which didn't register as much as it does in other cities.  You're right.. New York probably wouldn't care to be part of an Olympic bid.  But that's absolutely ridiculous to think that the city doesn't use sports as a status symbol.

I'm from New Jersey, so yes, I've been loads of times. I was talk in this context, though: NYC cares about sports and status so long as it defines the terms; an Olympic Games would not have given it something it wanted, as you acknowledge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Smitty said:

I'm from New Jersey, so yes, I've been loads of times. I was talk in this context, though: NYC cares about sports and status so long as it defines the terms; an Olympic Games would not have given it something it wanted, as you acknowledge.

In the context of the Olympics, I think you used to perfect word earlier.. "indifference"  If New York got the Olympics, great.  If not, no big deal.  No one would think less of New York if that had happened and postscript of the 2012 bid is that it spurred on a number of projects that were connected with the bid.

But again, don't conflate that with New York's general attitudes towards sports.  Between 2007 and 2012, the New York metro area saw construction of 2 new baseball stadiums, a new football stadium, 2 new arenas plus a massive renovation of a 3rd.  The total price tag for those venues was probably right in line if not higher than what would have been spent on the Olympics.

I think the best way to put it is that New York cares about its own sports.. local teams and events that they have built up.  As opposed to bringing in an event to try and use to showcase to the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah.  A Swedish bid would only win against a much weaker opponent, both technically and with maybe a less than 50% popular support.  While a Summer bid is more demanding in terms of critical mass; I think a Winter bid is even more demanding logistically -- becuz of the extreme weather contingency plans thrown in, the Winter plan must be as fluid and as easy for the press & officials to quickly get around the various clusters.  Winter conditions stranding the VIPs, OCOG officials, the press, etc. in one or more clusters without alternate means to move out or get back to the anchor city only emphasize the fragile weaknesses of such a bid.  I'm not even speaking about terrorism (which thankfully has not struck a Winter Games yet) concerns, let alone malfeasant-induced avalanches.  These are all the "undercover" nightmare scenarios that are built into assessing and qualifying Winter bids.  Against, say, a Malta-Cyprus bid, Sweden could win.  
 

Edited by baron-pierreIV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, baron-pierreIV said:

Nah.  A Swedish bid would only win against a much weaker opponent, both technically and with maybe a less than 50% popular support.  While a Summer bid is more demanding in terms of critical mass; I think a Winter bid is even more demanding logistically -- becuz of the extreme weather contingency plans thrown in, the Winter plan must be as fluid and as easy for the press & officials to quickly get around the various clusters.  Winter conditions stranding the VIPs, OCOG officials, the press, etc. in one or more clusters without alternate means to move out or get back to the anchor city only emphasize the fragile weaknesses of such a bid.  I'm not even speaking about terrorism (which thankfully has not struck a Winter Games yet) concerns, let alone malfeasant-induced avalanches.  These are all the "undercover" nightmare scenarios that are built into assessing and qualifying Winter bids.  Against, say, a Malta-Cyprus bid, Sweden could win. 

I think that you're overestimating mobility needs. Anyone entitled to a T1 car will likely get a helicopter at quick disposal if they wanted, as the Russians provided (though wasn't much used in practice) in Sochi. Just as a football world cup--and Euro 2020--means long distance trains or internal flights, so the recent changes enable a more spread out plan. They have put in some mandates, such as the main village having to be able to accommodate all athletes so that they can participate in ceremonies. (This will also mean some programme changes so that dispersed sports have fewer pre-event days and that fewer finish on the last day. Rereading Stockholm's bid book yesterday there are some holes her: the transport section did not have a real discussion on transport between clusters, and the four closing ceremonies idea sounded a bit daft. Hindsight is 20/20 of course but better plans could help to reassure on the politics. The Swedes need to acknowledge that their bid is countrywide (though focused on one city) and mobilise accordingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Smitty said:

 The Swedes need to acknowledge that their bid is countrywide (though focused on one city) and mobilise accordingly.

Well, international, really, since about 1/5th of the events were to be across the sea in Segulda.  I think because they hosted the Equestrian games in 1956, and that other backward country, 12,000 miles away, got the rest of the Games, they thought that formula might work again?!?!  :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, FYI said:

Lol might as well go back about Gothenburg/Lillehammer then. 

If Sweden really wants the Winter Olympics LOL.

Although being in two different countries, Scandinavia works as a sole unit (Not like Latvia). Not a lot of difference, even if Norway is not EU member. But that's another "IF"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Roger87 said:

If Sweden really wants the Winter Olympics LOL.

I know, right! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Smitty said:

I think that you're overestimating mobility needs. Anyone entitled to a T1 car will likely get a helicopter at quick disposal if they wanted, as the Russians provided (though wasn't much used in practice) in Sochi. Just as a football world cup--and Euro 2020--means long distance trains or internal flights, so the recent changes enable a more spread out plan. 

The difference is that there are far fewer events (both sports and non-sporting) at the World Cup than at the Olympics. Officials at the World Cup generally do not fly between multiple host cities in the same day.

Adler to Krasnaya Polyana is only 41 km. It was practical for officials to attend competitions at Krasnaya Polyana, a press event in Adler and national team parties and meetings in Sochi all in the same day. Stockholm to Are is >600km, and it would not be practical for officials to shuttle back and forth between them multiple times in the same day. So it is a real logistical problem. It probably isn't insoluble but it would take public support and financing from Sweden, and willingness to give up some of their events from the sporting federations and national teams. And unfortunately neither side was willing or able to do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stockholm to Lillehammer is marginally closer than Stockholm to Are driving wise.  Maybe in the future the Swedes and Norwegians should really give a co-hosting a go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a Trondheim/Are combo? I know that Trondheim (& fricken Tromso) tried for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the Norwegian gov’t of course didn’t support it. Trondheim is also much larger than Ostersund.

I know that Trondheim has a stadium & a nearby ski jumping facility, but what else would need to be built? Would it make sense post-Games to even try. That’s another (Scandie :D) alternative that could possibly be looked into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Roger87 said:

If Sweden really wants the Winter Olympics LOL.

SOK clearly wants to, and a political supermajority for it is there at the national level. The City of Stockholm is the most sceptical party, and this editorial in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter gives an example of why:

Quote

“We're talking about a city built on an island, whose infrastructure is already inadequate for the present population and which can't deal even with the slightest weather irregularities. With the Olympic tourists, the number of visitors to the city would have doubled. ... Sweden doesn't need to put itself on any map - there's already so much going on here. The only question is how many of the tourists would have wanted to return to Stockholm or Åre if they'd been witness to the spectacular chaos that would surely have reigned in 2026. ... All those who take the Olympic Games seriously should be delighted that we'll avoid all the embarrassment.”

9 hours ago, thatsnotmypuppy said:

Stockholm to Lillehammer is marginally closer than Stockholm to Are driving wise.  Maybe in the future the Swedes and Norwegians should really give a co-hosting a go.

Stockholm has been the weak link the past two cycles, politically undermining the past two bids. The City Council has also blocked a new home for the Nobel Foundation and a Norman Foster-designed Apple Store on what was seen to be a prominent site. This is all while the city can't seem to address its severe shortage of housing. If the city seems more preoccupied with addressing it's present-day issues than seeking status (or using the event to break the political logjam) then national leaders may need to look elsewhere if they really want to host. They should have learnt that lesson in 2014 and acted accordingly.

14 hours ago, Nacre said:

The difference is that there are far fewer events (both sports and non-sporting) at the World Cup than at the Olympics. Officials at the World Cup generally do not fly between multiple host cities in the same day.

Adler to Krasnaya Polyana is only 41 km. It was practical for officials to attend competitions at Krasnaya Polyana, a press event in Adler and national team parties and meetings in Sochi all in the same day. Stockholm to Are is >600km, and it would not be practical for officials to shuttle back and forth between them multiple times in the same day. So it is a real logistical problem. It probably isn't insoluble but it would take public support and financing from Sweden, and willingness to give up some of their events from the sporting federations and national teams. And unfortunately neither side was willing or able to do that.

Why do officials need to move intra-day between venues? How much does this happen? One of the best parts of the games for spectators  is being able to see multiple events in the same day but this may be one of the things that is flexed. (This is a reason to have biathlon at maybe curling in Östersund, to create variety within cluster.) The main IF this affects is FIS, which has close to half the winter events. Anyway, this is still possible with internal flights, which will be an inevitable part of a Swedish games (though the bid book was silent on this).

8 hours ago, FYI said:

What about a Trondheim/Are combo? I know that Trondheim (& fricken Tromso) tried for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the Norwegian gov’t of course didn’t support it. Trondheim is also much larger than Ostersund.

I know that Trondheim has a stadium & a nearby ski jumping facility, but what else would need to be built? Would it make sense post-Games to even try. That’s another (Scandie :D) alternative that could possibly be looked into.

I was thinking that some of the national resistance in Norway to a bid is that more and more major events seem to be going to the Oslo area and fewer cities were getting a look in; there was some grumbling when NOK chose Oslo over Tromsø and Trondheim for their abortive 2018 bid. Tromsø made little sense--lovely as it is, having been there it has little infrastructure for an event of this scale and would have to close it's university and put pretty much everyone else on cruise ships to provide enough accommodation. Regarding Trondheim, Granåsen can stage cross country, ski jumping and biathlon, and they have the mountains for alpine according to their 2018 bid proposal, but they would have to build most of the ice venues and a sliding track. The takeaway is that they would not need Åre at all, though.

If the Swedes are going to bid, and if they are going to build as little as possible,  then because of geography it is going to be spread out, whether all domestic or with another country. No getting away from that fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Smitty said:

Stockholm has been the weak link the past two cycles, politically undermining the past two bids. The City Council has also blocked a new home for the Nobel Foundation and a Norman Foster-designed Apple Store on what was seen to be a prominent site. This is all while the city can't seem to address its severe shortage of housing. If the city seems more preoccupied with addressing it's present-day issues than seeking status (or using the event to break the political logjam) then national leaders may need to look elsewhere if they really want to host. They should have learnt that lesson in 2014 and acted accordingly.

Arguably an Olympics creates housing - those media, official and athletes villages need to be reused!!

On the plus side they built a highly necessary ABBA Museum.  I'm assuming a Roxette is not far off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Smitty said:

Regarding Trondheim, Granåsen can stage cross country, ski jumping and biathlon, and they have the mountains for alpine according to their 2018 bid proposal, but they would have to build most of the ice venues and a sliding track. The takeaway is that they would not need Åre at all, though.

Can Trondheim justify building the ice venues post-Games, though?

As far as the sliding track goes, they can still use the one in Lillehammer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thatsnotmypuppy said:

Arguably an Olympics creates housing - those media, official and athletes villages need to be reused!!

True, but the city tried not to pay for it, nor did they sell the village as a step towards addressing the shortage. The political failures here run deep...

25 minutes ago, FYI said:

Can Trondheim justify building the ice venues post-Games, though?

As far as the sliding track goes, they can still use the one in Lillehammer.

Trondheim is finishing an 8,000 seat arena, there is a speed skating oval two hours from the city. There is a smaller (3000-seat) ice arena, which they planned to rebuild in the 2018 bid. It's a city of 190,000, and it has a large hinterland, so I don't think that there would be high legacy demand for the 12,000 seat venue for figure skating/short track and the 10,000 needed for ice hockey 1. That said, Lillehammer is five hours by road from Trondheim and the entire ice hockey tournament could just be held in the three arenas there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Smitty said:

Why do officials need to move intra-day between venues? How much does this happen? One of the best parts of the games for spectators  is being able to see multiple events in the same day but this may be one of the things that is flexed. (This is a reason to have biathlon at maybe curling in Östersund, to create variety within cluster.) The main IF this affects is FIS, which has close to half the winter events. Anyway, this is still possible with internal flights, which will be an inevitable part of a Swedish games (though the bid book was silent on this).

The Olympics are basically a massive get together for world sporting figures, and there are lots of meetings and events planned outside of competition. For example Dutch skiing officials want to go to the Holland Heineken House, see their speed skating athletes compete, meet with other people in their NOC, talk with the media, etc. Do they need to do this stuff? No. But it is a major part of the Olympics.

Keep in mind that winter sports people affiliated with NOC's historically resisted switching to a separate mountain and city villages because it would make it a lot harder for skiers and ice skaters to have sex during the games like they normally did. And no, I am not joking.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Nacre said:

The Olympics are basically a massive get together for world sporting figures, and there are lots of meetings and events planned outside of competition. For example Dutch skiing officials want to go to the Holland Heineken House, see their speed skating athletes compete, meet with other people in their NOC, talk with the media, etc. Do they need to do this stuff? No. But it is a major part of the Olympics.

Keep in mind that winter sports people affiliated with NOC's historically resisted switching to a separate mountain and city villages because it would make it a lot harder for skiers and ice skaters to have sex during the games like they normally did. And no, I am not joking.

Having been to a couple of these I get the importance of this but it is different to say that it is planned around this. National houses tend to be where most of the athletes from that country compete; in Pyeongchang Holland House was on the coast in Gangneung (I watched the opening ceremony there) while Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden were in the mountains at Alpensia. I imagine that there will be a similar balance. What the IOC wants to avoid is another Albertville, where athletes stayed in no fewer than 8 locations. The new rules mandating enough space in the main village for athletes to stay over for both ceremonies and when they have finished competing are designed to help with that atmosphere.

At the end of the day a Swedish bid will mean that everyone with accreditation (volunteers aside) will fly on special charters between clusters; flights from Stockholm or Gothenburg to Åre Östersund airport should take under an hour, and schedules will be integrated with the Games Transport System (T1/T2/T3/TA/TF/TM) at both ends. Stockholm 2026, possibly to keep the green lobby on side ("most sustainable games ever"), failed to admit this. It's really the spectators that will be on ferries, coaches and night trains between clusters unless they are willing to pay up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×