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a "What If..." Game


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Imagineer wrote:

While the first statement is true, Atlanta used dorms at Georgia Tech for the Olympic Village, so that wouldn't have been an issue.

Except there was a building right there by the Georgia Interstate which was built from scratch.  That new building supposedly housed some 3200 athletes, and the rest of the  Georgia Tech dorms were given a major facelift.  All that alone would've taken maybe 2 (with school going on) years to get started and done.

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OK This is cool...

So

1996- Athens is awarded without any bidding because of the centennial.

1998- Salt Lake City easily wins over bids from Nagano and Ostersund.

2000- Although black horse Istanbul makes it to fourth place, Paris, Beijing and Sydney are still in the running, after Chicago pulling out at the last minute. Beijing would open China to the world in a new millenium and Paris would celebrate 100 years since 1900 games. Surprisingly Beijing pulls a stunner and beats out both.

2002- Since China got 2000, Japan decided not to vote, but S. Korea is not discouraged and they send in PyongChang. However, PC does not make it far and the games go to Ostersund.

2004- Although Europe got 2002, 2004 was practically earmarked for Europe. Bids come from London, Rome, Paris, Madrid, St. Petersburg and Berlin, not to mention Cape Town, Rio, Buenos Aires and Sydney, once again. Rome and Paris make it along with Rio, Cape Town and Sydney. Cape Town is knocked out, folowed by Rio. Sydney has to battle Paris, the favorite and Rome the sentimental underdog. Rome goes down and then Sydney looses by two votes, which means Paris hosts.

2006- After Rome loosing in 2004, the Italian OC decideds to postbone a Winter bid until later, leaving 2006 open for N. America and Asia. Bids from Nagano and Vancouver are the favorites, although Muju and Denver are considered dark horses. Neither make it far and the games are awarded to Nagano after the COC puts pressure on Vancouver to pull out to make room for Toronto.

2008- Since it has been 10 years since SLC and the USOC puts New York up to the block. Joining them are Toronto, Sydney, Rome, Rio, Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Cape Town, with Cairo dropping out before ballots. As expected NYC joins Toronto, Sydney, Rio and Istanbul on the short-list, but surpisingly so does the Dubai bid. Rome, Cape Town and Buenos Aires are left in the dust. Dubai's shock doesn't last long and the go out, followed by Istanbul. Another twist comes when New York fails to make it another round. Toronto leads Sydney, but Rio is a close third. When Rio falters Sydney and Toronto are left to battle it out. Not suprisingly, having the better bid, Toronto wins over Sydney.

2010- After Toronto 2008, Vancouver is left to ponder when they can bid again, but the Germans are ready for an Olympic Games, even if it is a Winter one. So Berne, Munich, Harbin and Muju are our main contenders. Harbin and Berne are left out and then Muju easily beats out Munich.

2012- Europe gets ready to conquer, but Rio, Cape Town, Buenos Aires and NYC are ready to spoil. Sydney could do damage as well. The European cities this bid race includes are Rome, Berlin, Madrid, Istanbul, Moscow, Prague, and London. The shortlist includes NYC, Istanbul, Rome, Prague, London, Rio and the now dark horse, Sydney. Prague drops, then Istanbul and then Rome. Rio leads with Sydney, NYC and London still in the mix. NYC falls, with London not far behind. Sydney pulls of the impossible and beats out Rio for the games.

2014- The Italian OC decides that since Rome is getting no where, they put up Torino, however, the GOC has the same thinking and nominates Munich. The USOC is determined to have a SOG and stays out of the race. Berne, Salzburg, Trondheim and Harbin also bid. Swiftly the race is narrowed down to Torino and Munich, but Germany did have Munich '72 and look what happened, Torino wins by a slight margin.

2016- With Rio furious and NYC going full steam, this race looks as fierce as ever. Even Europe is coming after 2014, London, Istanbul and Madrid bid. Cape Town and Cairo represent Africa and Buenos Aires has one last go. Unfortunatly, Madrid and Buenos Aires are cut. Cairo is the first off after ballots and Istanbul looks shaky. Cape Town falls, then London does the same. Istanbul misses the cut by two votes and its back down to NYC and Rio. Rio has hopes again, but they are dashed when they learn New York City wins.

2018- The IOC has said the Harbin is a large favorite, but Vancouver thinks they can win. Vancouver feels what its like to win after Harbin falls short.

2020- With two back to back N. American hosts, the western hemisphere seems empty. Rio nearly looses to Sao Paulo in the BOC bids, but is back and with a vengence. It must first get through Cape Town, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Frankfurt, Prague, Kuala Lumpur. Osaka and Moscow decide against bidding, as does Cairo. Rio, Cape Town and London quickly come out as the top three. Cape Town falls and London can taste the glory, but so can Rio. The wait is over for Rio after they win and London vows to be back.

More will come later, maybe

:;):

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Kendegra wrote:

I thought the Village was created first for the Olympics and then handed over to the University after the Games for dorms.

Actually, that was only 1 new high-rise built as part of the Village.  Here's the scoop:  the "Village" was set in the campus of Georgia Tech.  The new building which housed under 3,000 persons was on the periphery of the GT campus.  The rest were housed in existing or revamped or added housing on the GT campus.  After the Games, the new building which can be seen on the Interstate was handed over to Georgia State Univ. (which is more centrally located near downtown Atlanta).   Does that make sense?

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Okay...time to dabble in some fantasy...

1996: Athens is awarded the games after Atlanta comes a bad third behind Melbourne. Samaranch sees this a rebuff to his desires to make the Olympics a more commercial event and announces that he will retire immediately. Billy Payne announces that he will run another bid for Atlanta 2000, whilst Melbourne's bid leaders convince the AOC that they should have another chance at securing the games.

1998: Nagano wins the rights to the winter Olympics, narrowly beating Salt Lake. The lack of financial inducements from the SLC team means that they run behind the pack, even though IOC president heir-apparent Mickey Kim of Korea lobbies against Nagano as part of his power struggles with Dick Pound, Kevan Gosper and Jacques Rogge. The other conflicting issue is whether Atlanta or another USOC bidding city should host 2000, hence distracting from SLC's chances for 1998.

2000: Beijing enters the race after Istanbul, Brasilia and Milan pull out, spooked by the bids of Melbourne and New York. Manchester throws all its votes towards Melbourne but in a close race Beijing wins when an embittered Dick Pound, new president of the IOC discovers that the USOC has been protecting numerous drug cheats, and uses his casting vote to defeat NYC. Melbourne again comes third and Australia decides not to bid again for the near future.

2002: Salt Lake City wins the bid after the USOC promises Dick Pound that they have declared all drug cheats to WADA. However, on September 11 2001 a passenger plane crashes into the White House, killing George W Bush, and the ensuing war launched by VP Dick Cheney against Iraq means that almost all countries are unwilling to go to SLC. As a late compromise the 2002 games are relocated to Sion.

2004: The bidding in 1997 saw Rome as the leading contender, with enducements such as private shopping holidays for IOC members at the fashion houses of Milan, the Fiat factory at Turin etc being slyly done under the table. However Andrew Jenning's writes a book blowing the corrupt practices of the IOC out of the water. Pound, Kim, Rana, Havelange and numerous IOC delegates retire in disgrace whilst the leadership goes to Swiss member Marc Hodler. Holder disqualifies the 2004 bid from Rome and accepts the so-called clean bid of Stockholm instead. The decision is now made by a quadvirate of IOC leaders, Hodler, Mbaye, Gosper and the once-retired president Samaranch (now an advisor to the IOC).

2006: Sion is originally awarded the games in 1999 for 2006, but due to the change in scheduling in 2001-02 it brings forward construction and marketing to host the games four years early in 2002. Salt Lake is advised that they will have the right to host 2006 if the domestic and international security environment allows it. However Vancouver also submits a revised bid which attracts great attention, and there is much talk particularly from European IOC members that the US are too dangerous to host a games. As of 2004 the games are officially Salt Lake's but there is increasing doubt as to the ability of SLOOC to host a secure, non-boycotted games. Even gas masks are marketed by the games organisers.

2008: With the 2000 games in Beijing a success due to the almost paranoid political and economic dictatorship offered by the Chinese, and the 2004 games programmed for Stockholm, the IOC looks at three leading commonwealth country bids for the XXIXth Olympiad. Toronto, London and Sydney. Toronto's bid mires early in hesitation over the potential for a Vancouver 2006 bid, whilst London's rapidly falls away after the failure of such big projects as the Millenium Dome, the death of IOC royal member Princess Diana of Wales, and the failure of the British team to win more than 1 gold medal in Beijing (to Sir Matthew Redgrave). Sydney's bid is sponsored by IOC VP Kevan Gosper, and wins in a canter on the promise of 'The Athlete's Games'.

2010: Pyeong Chang wins the rights to host these winter oLympics after a very subtle campaign of public defamation against IOC president Marc Holder, as well as corruption claims against Gosper, Mbaye and Samaranch, inspired by the disinformation campaign of ex-IOC powerbroker Mickey Kim. In 2003 the war in Iraq is still going, as well as threats of terrorist violence, so SLC loses the rights to 2006, with Vancouver the new host.

2012: Cape Town enters the race for a summer Olympics against Paris, Madrid, Moscow, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Rio. Over the last 2 years of the bid process new IOC president Jacques Rogge proclaims his desire for the Olympics to go to new frontiers and become smaller. as part of the programme he cuts Modern Pentathlon, Baseball, softball, sailing, equestrian and wrestling from the 2012 programme, and rules against bids from Paris, Madrid and Berlin. Both BA and Rio are rejected by the IOC selection committee due to economic and political unrest, and Cape Town is selected as host city. Unfortunately the AIDS pandemic in South Africa reaches a crisis point in 2007, and the Mbeke ANC government officially withdraws from the hosting city contract for Cape Town 2012. Former bid consultants/presidents Billy Payne, Rod McGeoch and Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki ask Gerhard Schroeder and Jacques Rogge if Berlin can assume the rights for the 2012 games, as it is the city most ready (plus Madrid is still wracked by terrorism fears due to their re-elected government's support of the Iraq War and Moscow is hit by a small nuclear attack carried out by Chechen terrorists in 2006).

So as I see it through my warped crystal ball:

1996: Athens

1998: Nagano

2000: Beijing

2002: Salt Lake replaced by Sion

2004: Stockholm

2006: Salt Lake replaced by Vancouver

2008: Sydney

2010: Pyeong Chang

2012: Berlin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's my latest version of our "What if Athens had won the 1996 bid?" - tweaked a little:

1990 - Athens, Greece won for 1996; and Atlanta, Georgia, lost.

In June of 1996, Athens, Georgia holds its own 'Centennial Ole-lymp-hicks" Games inviting all those athletes who failed to make their Olympic teams for the "other" Games.  They are wildly successful, so there are 2 footnotes now on Olympic history record books of 2 "Inter-calated" Games: Athens 1906 and Athens (GA) 1996.  

1997 - Billy Payne and his ACOG gang decide to try again and go 'legit.'  Somehow they convince the USOC that they are the candidate to beat for 2010 Winter Games.

2003 - Selection of the 2010 Winter Host - Paris, France.  Atlanta submits its bid to host the 2010 Winter Games alongside other North American rival, Vancouver.  For fear that the ACOG gang would again stage a 'rival' (Winter) Games, the IOC finally awards the 2010 Winter Games to Atlanta, Georgia, which also promises to stage the curling and snowboarding events at Athens, Georgia.  Vancouver, Pyongchang and Salzburg reel from the loss.  Pyongchang takes it the hardest.  2 of their top executives climb to the mid-level of the Eiffel Tower and jump to their deaths shouting Pyongchang!  Pyongchang!  Their bodies are found on the Champs du Mars.

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However, on September 11 2001 a passenger plane crashes into the White House, killing George W Bush, and the ensuing war launched by VP Dick Cheney against Iraq means that almost all countries are unwilling to go to SLC.

OK, slight factual error: even if Flight 93 had hit the White House, President Bush was in Fort Lauderdale at the time, so he wouldn't be dead. Secondly, If Cheney had become president, I am 100% certain the world would no longer exist as we know it.

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However, on September 11 2001 a passenger plane crashes into the White House, killing George W Bush, and the ensuing war launched by VP Dick Cheney against Iraq means that almost all countries are unwilling to go to SLC.

While this is a fantasy thread, on what might-have-beens, I would not have gone so far as to kill off a/my (or any) Commander-in-Chief -- only because that was not part of the original parameters I had envisioned for the subject.  Just how things might've been different if that one element - Athens actually winnning it in the first round - played true.

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Here's my "How bizzarre can it get?" scenario.

1996: Athens is awarded the games, however, construction delays force the games to Seoul. In a twist of fate, many of Seoul's venue constructions are found to not meet many safety standards, and Athens has managed to get its act together, and is reawarded the 1996 games.

1998: Salt Lake City is seen as a favorite, but when Athens has issues, a good chunk of the IOC assumes the games will be reawarded to Los Angeles. Because of this Nagano wins in a landslide. When Seoul is given 1996, SLC tries to force them to drop 1998, but the IOC intervenes. Salt Lake City swears never to bid again. When Athens gets 1996 back, Brian Hatch commits hara-kiri jumping off the Mormon Temple.

2000: Since SLC is obviously not getting the games anytime soon, America decides, for Lord knows what reason, that Nashville can win the Millennium games. The IOC, after laughing their asses off, eliminates Nashville from the running. Because of the fear of three consecutive Asian games, Sydney wins soundly.

2002: Sion, Vancouver, and Torino bid. It is revealed that Torino is buying votes, and then Sion wins over Vancouver.

2004: Embarrassed to no end, the USOC does not bid for these games, but Rome, Istanbul, Cape Town, and Rio do, and it is an unbelievable race, with Rio and Istanbul bowing out due to feuds with Saramanch. Cape Town wins because of Sion 2002.

2006: Vancouver wins by default when rival PyeongChang is forced out of the running by tensions with the north.

2008: America puts forward Houston (again, why?), which is eliminated, leaving Beijing, London, Paris, and Istanbul. Despite Rogge's heavy leaning towards Pair, the Samaranch factor means Beijing 2008.

2010: Not a particularly interesting race. In a field of Annecy, Santiago, and Quebec City, Santiago gets the nod.

COMING TOMORROW: 2012, the most absurd race EVER

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Here it is, the race for the games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012!

The American race alone is strange, with the candidate cities being the same as in real life. In 2001, Dallas, Cincinatti, San Francisco, and Washington DC are eliminated. After that, Houston and Los Angeles are ousted. In the final showdown, Tampa beats out New York City by two votes. Within the week, the TABOC President is overcome with religious conviction and announces that Tampa bought bids and drops out, leaving New York City for the US. The NYC bid is joined by Paris, London, Madrid, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Havana, and Istanbul. The latter four are eliminated, and the race procedes. Paris is seen as a favorite, but a sudden drop in public support makes the IOC think twice. In the end, Toronto wins. The TORCOG president and Dick Pound decide to rent a suite at Vancouver 2006, and invite Daniel Doctoroff and Michael Bloomberg to come along. As Bloomberg is taping the Opening Ceremonies (starring Avril Lavigne), the tape picks up a conversation about Toronto buying votes to win. This is revealed, and Toronto is stripped of the games and forbidden and banned from hosting until 2072, and DIck Poun is expelled from the IOC for life. There is a re-election, and Madrid wins this. However, a sort of a coup occurs at Madrid city hall, and the ew government decides to drop the games, and NYC instantly picks them up. Disgraced, Jacques Rogge resigns, and Kevan Gosper becomes president of the IOC.

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I think in terms of "What If" for Australian cities; following a failure of Sydney for 2000, abit of a factual hurdle for the game is that Melbourne did in fact gain AOC rights to be the Australian candidate for the 2004 Olympics. This happend in February 1993, before Sydney's win in Sept. 93.

If Sydney had lost 2000, assuming Melbourne gets shortlisted, there would have been three Southern Hemisphere cities vying for 2004 (Cape Town, Buenos Aeries, and Melb.)

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Also in regards to Athens landing 1996....

1996 - Athens, Greece

2000 - Sydney, Australia (just as it was)

2004 - San Francisco, United States

2008 - Beijing, China (just as it was)

Don't you think this order would have been somewhat fairer? Greece  hosting the Centennial Games, and then the USA hosting the 2004 Olympics, a fairer 20 years since LA84, and marking the 100th annerversary of the first American Olympiad in St.Louis, 1904.

I honestly think if Atlanta lost 1996, it would be looked back on now as "Oh geez, imagine if Atlanta won 96!!", kinda how you look on Belgrade, and if they won 1996.

San Francisco would be a stunning Olympic host. 2004 in SF would have been great.

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  • 2 years later...

OK - so I'll join in now.

1996

Awarded to Athens by majority in the third ballot. First out was Belgrade, followed by Manchester.

The voting breakdown (84 votes) was -

ROUND 1 - Athens (41), Toronto (16), Atlanta (12), Melbourne (11), Manchester (3), Belgrade (1)

ROUND 2 - Athens (42), Toronto (19), Atlanta (11), Melbourne (10), Manchester (2)

ROUND 3 - Athens (46), Toronto (18), Atlanta (11), Melbourne (9)

Athens goes on to experience repeated delays with transport infrastructure and venue construction - however the Games do go ahead with minor changes - volleyball, all martial arts events and the modern pentathlon are staged in Thessaloniki due to the delayed completion of the new Athena Conference Centre.

1998

Nagano, Anchorage (beating SLC in a close battle for the USOC nomination), Aosta and Ostersund. Early bids by Jaca and Sarajevo fall by the wayside.

Nagano wins in the first round - demolishing the opposition.

The voting breakdown (88 votes) -

ROUND 1 - Nagano (61), Anchorage (11), Ostersund (11), Aosta (5)

2000

Athens win provided a majorly changed line up for 2000. The USOC followed through on their previous policy of letting a losing bidder have a second shot (previously seen with Anchorage) thus Atlanta lined up again. Along with Atlanta was Toronto, Sydney, Taipei, Istanbul and in a surprise move a late entry from Cape Town - celebrating the end of apartheid. Beijing dropped out of the race early on after the publication of a book titled 'The So Called Candidate' that raised questions regarding the Chinese Government's human rights violations and questionable drug testing policy. The book was rumoured to have been linked to the Sydney candidacy. This was never proven. Taipei raised a bid in an attempt to deny a Beijing Games. However when Beijing withdrew, Taipei continued their ultimately unsuccessful bid - raising tensions between the two countries. Regardless, Sydney still trumps Toronto in a final showdown in the fifth round.

The voting breakdown (88 votes) -

ROUND 1 - Toronto (26), Sydney (24), Atlanta (15), Taipei (10), Cape Town (9), Istanbul (4)

ROUND 2 - Toronto (28), Sydney (25), Atlanta (15), Taipei (11), Cape Town (9)

ROUND 3 - Sydney (32), Toronto (28), Atlanta (16), Taipei (12)

ROUND 4 - Sydney (38), Toronto (32), Atlanta (18)

ROUND 5 - Sydney (50), Toronto (38)

2002

Salt Lake City finally wins the USOC nomination after repeated attempts. The nomination comes with a high price - as a number of US athletes who had aligned themselves with Anchorage publicly claim that SLC's bid is not in the athletes best interest. Europe sense this is their chance to score the Winter Games - thus a stellar field applies. Ostersund, Sochi, Poprad Tatry, Graz, Jaca and Sion all finalise bids - while earlier bids from Zakopane, Aosta, Grenoble and Tarvisio fail to hand in the requisite guarantees. Canada originally floats the idea of a Quebec City or Montreal bid, but decides to focus on a 2004 Summer Games bid. Upon this announcement, a number of US cities announce their intention of hosting 2004 - undermining the already floundering SLC bid. As Sweden, Switzerland and Russia are also finalists along with the US bid, they purposefully use the 2004 angle to their advancement. Russia in fact got cautioned for using the by-line 'Sochi - Only When It's Cold!' The continual undercuts rob SLC of any chance of a win - delivering the Swedes a long overdue win in the third round.

The voting breakdown (89 votes) -

ROUND 1 - Ostersund (39), Sion (25), Salt Lake City (17), Sochi (8)

ROUND 2 - Ostersund (41), Sion (29), Salt Lake City (19)

ROUND 3 - Ostersund (55), Sion (34)

2004

The awarding of the Winter Games to Europe has reduced the bidding cities from that continent. Istanbul, Sevilla and Lille put forward bids that are not short listed. Cape Town puts forward another bid, and after a heated USOC campaign, Miami beats out challenges from Atlanta, NYC, San Francisco, Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver. Canada originally declines to put forward a bid due to a lack of Governmental guarantees - especially after cost blow outs in Barcelona and Athens. After a plea from the Ottawa regional Government, the Canadians relent and a drastically cheaper Toronto is moved forward. China and Taiwan both fail to nominate an applicant, however Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok both apply - with the Malaysians being short listed. Finally three South American cities put up their hands - Buenos Aires, Medellin and Rio De Janeiro. The Colombians later withdraw with both other cities moving forward. Just prior to the final vote in Lausanne, Rio De Janeiro withdraws after a change in Government results in all pledges of support being revoked. The fall out affects the strong Argentinean bid (raising questions of the suitability of a South American host), which rated highly in the evaluation process. The low rent Toronto bid, and continued instability in Africa made it a win for Miami in the fourth round.

The voting breakdown (105 votes) -

ROUND 1 - Miami (38), Toronto (22), Cape Town (21), Buenos Aires (16), Kuala Lumpur (5)

ROUND 2 - Miami (39), Cape Town (29), Toronto (22), Buenos Aires (15)

ROUND 3 - Miami (47), Toronto (31), Cape Town (27)

ROUND 4 - Miami (67), Toronto (38)

2006

Salt Lake City attempts to get USOC backing for a second consecutive bid - however is denied when Miami is awarded the 2004 Games, and Canada announces they will proceed with a winter bid. A terse battle is waged between the cities of Quebec City, Calgary and Vancouver, with Calgary eventually getting the nod. Criticisms of the Albertan city getting a second shot after hosting the 1988 Games are ignored when the Calgary proposed budget falls below a billion $US. Despite winning the 1998 Games, Japan - noticing a depleted field - moves in with Aomori as their candidate. Italy and Spain also offer up Torino and Granada - despite criticisms that both cities are inadequate in different ways - Granada cannot guarantee ample snow cover, and Torino forced CONI's hand by undercutting an Aosta bid. Russian, South Korean and Chinese bids are mooted (Sochi, Muju Jeonju and Changchun respectively) while neither materialise. The IOC executive board controversially disallows the Aomori and Granada candidacies at the final stage due to a reluctance by the two cities to sign amended host city contracts that would leave the local Government's responsible for any budgetary shortfalls. In a quick vote, Calgary is crowned the host city over Torino.

The voting breakdown (89 votes) -

ROUND 1 - Calgary (64), Torino (25)

2008

I would assume the only real difference between the actual 2008 bids and my fantasy ones is that Toronto would not be a candidate. Paris, Osaka, Beijing and Istanbul would go forward - arguably Kuala Lumpur would also go forward - with Beijing winning as before.

2010

With Calgary last hoping, I'd guess the same line up - minus Vancouver. PC would probably win with Salzburg, Berne and maybe Jaca or Harbin short listing.

2012

The only change would be no NYC candidacy.

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Here's one. What if... Sydney hadn't won the rights to host the 2000 games.

This would mean a failed Brisbane 1992, Melbourne 1996 and Sydney 2000 bid.

Which city would bid for 2004? The most logical choice would be Perth, yes? (although they'd probably choose a more secure Melbourne bid, but we're assuming the whole next city choice for a bid)

Would we be expecting an all out upgrade of Perry Lakes Stadium, or a new one in it's place or somewhere else?

IMO, sure the AOC might choose this as a last ditch city before attempting a recycle of cities later down the track, but it probably wouldn't win due to what would most likely be a haphazard approach to choosing sites and venues to host events.

It would require an extremely strong bid plan, with full commitment and construction of venues well under way if it ever had a chance of winning.

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Here's one. What if... Sydney hadn't won the rights to host the 2000 games.

This would mean a failed Brisbane 1992, Melbourne 1996 and Sydney 2000 bid.

Which city would bid for 2004? The most logical choice would be Perth, yes? (although they'd probably choose a more secure Melbourne bid, but we're assuming the whole next city choice for a bid)

Would we be expecting an all out upgrade of Perry Lakes Stadium, or a new one in it's place or somewhere else?

IMO, sure the AOC might choose this as a last ditch city before attempting a recycle of cities later down the track, but it probably wouldn't win due to what would most likely be a haphazard approach to choosing sites and venues to host events.

It would require an extremely strong bid plan, with full commitment and construction of venues well under way if it ever had a chance of winning.

I believe they would have still went with Sydney for 2004.

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The AOC (Coates, I think) said during the bid that if Sydney didn't get up for 2000, that would've been Oz's last bid for a while _ too much emotional energy had been spent on three bids. Anyway, the AOC would have been smart enough to know that if Beijing had won 2008, it would have been an uphill task to win a second consective games in the same(ish) time-zone in 2004.

That said, I suspect a bid would have surfaced again by the time of the 2008 or 2012 campaigns. And it would have been the old choice between the more internationally sellable Sydney and the local sporting powerbase Melbourne. Brisbane wouldn't have got up for a serious bid, and Perth would've been laughed out of the AOC's board room.

Okay, I'll have another go.

1996 _ As expected, Athens beats off stiff competition from Atlanta, Toronto, Melbourne etc to win the rights to host the 1996 centennial games.

Just a year before the games, however, concerned by extreme sluggishness and lack of progress in preparing for the games, IOC president, His Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch, is reluctantly forced to re-award the games to the best prepared "back-up" host, Los Angeles. He issues a "please explain" letter to the Greeks.

2000 _ Greece cries foul, as does a large proportion of the international community, accusing the US of "buying" 1996 and turning it into the 20th Century Fox games. Samaranch compromises and gives Athens another four years to organise the games for the year 2000. By 1999 it becomes clear this won't happen in time either, and instead the games are given to the next best prepared back-up host, Seoul.

2004 _ By now the screams of outrage from the Greeks and Europeans are reaching gale-force, and soon-to-retire IOC president His Execellency Juan Antonio Samaranch proposes a one-off hosting restricted to Europe. Athens throws in its hand again, against London, Lille, Leipzig, Lisbon and Lvov. In a surprise choice, Lille, France, is annointed host for 2004.

2008 _ The rest of the world demands a chance after being locked out of the 2004 race. Newly installed IOC President Kim Un-Yong decvides to placate them (the other likely presidential candidate, Belgium's Jacques Rogge, loses badly after being blamed for the 1996 and 2000 Athens fiascos, where he served as head of the IOC-Athens Coordination Commission). Sydney, Beijing, Toronto, San Francisco, Osaka and Capetown announce official bids. At the last moment, Greece is allowed to submit a candidature. The European votes swing behind Athens, the rest-of-world vote is split, and it is belatedly awarded the hosting in one round for 2008. And this time the hosting goes ahead. President Kim promounces them, at the closing, as the "Best exceptional dream games ever! _ Since Seoul 2000"

2012 _ The battle of the glamour cities gets underway with London, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney and Rio all throwing in their hand. NBC demands that any bidders must schedule all finals to coincide with US East Coast prime time. Sunny Kim agrees. The Euro and Asia-Pacific bidders all withdraw in disgust, leaving the fight between New York, Rio and last minute bids from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Medellin, Colombia (who drop out a week before the vote). New York's stadium plan falls through a few months before the vote and Rio sneaks through to snatch the hosting. Unfortunately, it is also hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2007 Pan-Ams and preparations start to make the 1990s Greek efforts look dynamic. In 2011 the games are awarded to the best prepared back-up host, Los Angeles.

2016 _ Bids still coming in. Early speculation has Busan, South Korea, as strong favourite ahead of Beijing, Brisbane, Bangkok and Baghdad. Oh, and Rio is demanding a second chance.

Edited by roltel
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