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  1. #21
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    And nowadays, the IOC wants the venues for the major, high-profile events (swimming, gymnastics, basketball, track & field, etc.) to be clustered together in an "Olympic Park" complex -- which means that even cities or regions with acceptable venues will likely have to build new ones, because their existing venues probably won't be bunched together.
    Exactly right. Which is why Sochi's Olympics was so far from their city center. It was the only place that they could bunch everything together.
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Gates House (House H for you old timers)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    And nowadays, the IOC wants the venues for the major, high-profile events (swimming, gymnastics, basketball, track & field, etc.) to be clustered together in an "Olympic Park" complex -- which means that even cities or regions with acceptable venues will likely have to build new ones, because their existing venues probably won't be bunched together.
    And yet they wonder why cities are dropping out...

    Seriously, do any of these people ever take the time to step back and objectively analyze what they are saying/doing? These people are living, breathing self-parodies.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by AncientPsychicT View Post
    And yet they wonder why cities are dropping out...

    Seriously, do any of these people ever take the time to step back and objectively analyze what they are saying/doing? These people are living, breathing self-parodies.
    Precisely. What legitimate, cosmopolitan city anywhere in the world has the space to practically build 6-8 major sports venues in the middle of town? What a joke.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Precisely. What legitimate, cosmopolitan city anywhere in the world has the space to practically build 6-8 major sports venues in the middle of town? What a joke.
    The irony is that much of this can be traced back to a decision made during the preparations for an Olympic games years ago, which rejected ambitious construction of new facilities.

    Hard as it may be to believe now, 30 years ago the Olympics were on life support. Three straight Olympic games had been marred by tragedy and controversies both political and economic -- the 1972 Munich games (massacre of Israeli athletes), the 1976 Montreal games (boycotted by most African nations, massive cost overruns that left huge amounts of debt), and the 1980 Moscow games (boycotted by most Western nations, also had cost and debt issues arising from construction of new facilities and infrastructure).

    Things weren't looking up as the 1984 Los Angeles games approached, with another boycott looming (this time, a retaliatory Soviet-led boycott by Eastern bloc nations). The organizers couldn't do anything about the boycott, but they could address the money issues, and they did it in two ways -- first, they lined up a bunch of "corporate partners" to contribue much-needed funds in exchange for prime advertising placement and use of the "official Olympic sponsor" label; and second, they relied mostly on existing facilities like the L.A. Coliseum (opening and closing ceremonies, track & field), The Forum (basketball), Pauley Pavilion (gymnastics), Long Beach Arena (volleyball), the UCLA campus (athletes' village), and other municipal and university arenas and facilities around the area. The only new facilities they built were an outdoor pool and stadium for the swimming and diving events at USC, and a velodrome -- and those facilities were built with corporate sponsor money and named for the companies that ponied up the dough.

    Well, we all know what happened -- the 1984 Los Angeles games were a smashing success. The Russians and their allies weren't here (except for Romania, which defied the boycott), but nobody cared. China made its first appearance at the Olympics since the 1950s (and its first appearance in large numbers ever), which was a big story in and of itself. And with the Olympics on U.S. soil and the Americans winning just about everything in sight, the home nation audience ate them up. This was Reagan-era America at its peak, and the dollars flowed. The L.A. games basically saved the Olympic movement, though they also irrevocably changed it. After L.A., the games were now a commercial endeavor at least as much as they were an athletic one.

    In hindsight, what we have now is a largely predictable evolution of the paradigm shift that began in 1984. The L.A. games touched off an arms race among subsequent host candidates to make the Olympics bigger, brighter, and more spectacular -- and the IOC has been happy to let that race proceed unchecked and ride the wave of cash that it brings in. But now, the event has gotten so big that it's priced its way out of the reach of all but the largest and most flush nations. Remember that whole Greek debt crisis? A non-trivial part of that arose from the 2004 Athens games. Greece's debt was already high before the games, but the borrowing and spending undertaken for the games and related expenses like security and infrastructure (a new airport, new metro system, etc.), coupled with a healthy dose of mismanagement and graft, exacerbated the problem badly. (Here are a couple of articles from Business Week and USA Today that talk about this.) We're talking about a country with the population of Ohio and the GDP of Wisconsin -- is it really a surprise that an event as big and ambitious as what the Olympics have become in the 21st century might be just a bit of a stretch for them?

    I don't know what the answer is, but recent events seem to be confirming that the ever-escalating model isn't sustainable, especially in the wake of a global financial crisis whose ripple effects are still being felt. The sooner the IOC develops a little self-awareness about this, the better.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Precisely. What legitimate, cosmopolitan city anywhere in the world has the space to practically build 6-8 major sports venues in the middle of town? What a joke.
    London, and possibly Paris.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post

    In hindsight, what we have now is a largely predictable evolution of the paradigm shift that began in 1984.
    Shouldn't the London Olympics be the blueprint for a new paradigm. From the minute they won, they were planning for the legacy of the games. The permanent new venues were successfully repurposed, temporary venues were dismantled and sold, and the village was turned into housing. Tennis (at Wimbledon) and soccer (throughout the UK) were held at existing venues. They didn't build anything that couldn't be reused, resold or removed.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Maybe it is just me, but you say Beijing and skiing isn't the first, second, fifth, or nineteenth thing that comes to mind. The skiing events would be held at a pair of resorts, one 90 km from Beijing and the other 220 km from Beijing. So much for easy access to multiple events.

    It is also worth noting that Beijing has horrible, terrible, wretched air pollution problems... which are at their worst in the winter months.

    About the only reason I can think of to vote for Beijing would be if they stuffed envelopes of money into the hands of the people doing the voting. Wait...

    -Jason "and no one is surprised... that's the saddest part" Evans
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  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Maybe it is just me, but you say Beijing and skiing isn't the first, second, fifth, or nineteenth thing that comes to mind. The skiing events would be held at a pair of resorts, one 90 km from Beijing and the other 220 km from Beijing. So much for easy access to multiple events.

    It is also worth noting that Beijing has horrible, terrible, wretched air pollution problems... which are at their worst in the winter months.

    About the only reason I can think of to vote for Beijing would be if they stuffed envelopes of money into the hands of the people doing the voting. Wait...

    -Jason "and no one is surprised... that's the saddest part" Evans
    I have no idea why people would think there's any sort of air problems in Beijing during the winter...

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