Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Congratulations Sochi - Bring On The 2016 Bidders

Before I get too critical, I want to congratulate Sochi, Russia for their victory in the 2014 Olympic Winter Bid race. They set a goal, worked hard towards it, and deserved to win. They gave the IOC exactly want they want (and not what they say they want). That brings me to my point.

The IOC and their Executive Committee keep insisting that they want future Olympic Games to include less "white elephants" and have less risk by reusing existing venues or making temporary venues. They say that they want to keep costs down to make the Games more accessible by more countries. That's what they say.

Then they vote today for the 2014 host and immediately reject Salzburg, the one city who offered this.

Then, they elect Sochi, the bid spending the most money with the biggest risk.

Well, the 2014 bid is over - take note 2016 bidders, now you know the score.


Jean-Philippe said...

Congrats to Sochi.
I just noticed a trend:
The 1976 Summer Olympics in Canada (Montreal) were followed by the 1980 Summer Olympics in Russia (Moscow) - followed by the 1988 games in Seoul, Korea.
Now the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada (Vancouver) will be followed by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
Is history repeating itself? Will Korea (Pyeong Chang) bid again and win for 2018?

dclarkfan1 said...

Rob you made a good point, but you have to look at two things.

#1 North Korea has been such a power keg in the last year or so, the PyeongChang bid was the real "longshot", and not Salzburg. I know PyeongChang is in South Korea, but its not too far from the border. In fact I am amazed that the IOC continued to honor the bid after what all has happened in North Korea. The games would have been a HEAVY security risk. It was in all likeness that a boycott was almost certain if PyeongChang had won the bid.

Side Note: Because of two straight defeats by narrow margins, it is unlikely that the Korean Olympic Comittee will allow PyeongChang to bid for 2018.

#2 Salzburg gave the IOC what they asked for, existing venues and temporary venues. The problem is thats an endless circle. You have to BUILD venues first before they can be existing venues. And safety of temporary venues come into question. On top of that, temporary venues do not look very nice. Some athletes said that the venues in Albertville were the worse they had ever competed in, cause they were temporary venues.

Side Note: This makes an Austrian bid unlikely to succeed in the future, unless construction of permanant venues are part of future bids.

I can recall only one bid in the history of the games that won on the promise of temporary venues. Albertville, France 1992.

Unfortunatley, there is now NOTHING that shows the games were even held in that reigon. Most of the venues were dissmantled when the games closed. If Albertville had had PERMANANT venues, France may have had a serious bid for the 2016 Winter Games.

I watched all three final presentations, and I have to be honest. The ONLY one that impressed the hell out of me was Sochi.

PyeongChang tried to win the bid on playing on the emotions of the IOC, for coming up four votes short in the 2010 race.

Salzburg, while I enjoied their final presentation, they proposed too much temporary and not enough permanant to attact attention, hense why they were the first city eliminated from the race.

My hats off to Sochi. Only time will tell if the people of Sochi will keep their promises. There is one line that Herb Brooks said once during the try-out phase of picking the USA Hockey team in 1980. "I'm not looking for the best players, i'm looking for the right players"

The IOC isn't looking for the best bid, its looking for the right bid. In this case the right bid was Sochi, Russia. Good luck to them and hope you give us a hell of a show in 2014!