2024 · IOC · Olympic bids · Summer Olympics

And Then There Were Three

Well, Rome’s out.

Perhaps for decades.



As was thought, CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee) got out of the bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The bid didn’t have the support of the city’s mayor Virginia Raggi, who is more interested in fixing some legit problems like trash collection and corruption. The lack of support means that CONI president Giovanni Malago had to tell the IOC, Look, we’re going to “interrupt the candidacy.”

What does that mean? Well, it means that Rome got its stage 2 information in before the deadline, and they had to ‘fess up and say, Yeah, we don’t have a ton of local support, you know, right now, with this mayor and everything–but then the language Malago used somehow seemed to convey, But if you think we should keep going, IOC, (wink, wink) just let us know.

And then Malago dissolved the bid committee.

What? How can you keep a bid going when you’ve dissolved the committee?

Does he really think that they could get the bid back together if the IOC wants them to keep moving forward?

Maybe it’s poor translation. Maybe Malago might be trying to save some face here and spoke über-diplomatically. Rome dropped out of the 2020 race too, and perhaps that makes them look a little bad, getting the IOC’s hopes up for a nice competition (not to mention the $150,000 stage 3 fee they’re going to lose). Maybe he was just sad about the failure and tried to phrase it in the best light possible, since hope never dies.

At any rate, we’ll know for sure in December when the IOC announces who’s moving forward in the bid process.



2024 · IOC · Olympic bids · Summer Olympics

Who’s Going to Bid?

This Friday is an important milestone in the timeline of the 2024 Summer Olympics: It’s the day the bid cities submit their second round of bidding info to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

According to Around the Rings, in this round, bid cities will let the IOC know just how the city plans to pay for the Games, as well as a bunch of legal and governance issue. Finally, they’ll let the IOC know what the people and businesses think of hosting the Games.

This last item is kind of a big deal–if the people and businesses don’t support the Games, the host committee is going to have an uphill battle. It’s been a straw that’s broken the camel’s back for some cities (see: Boston), and is currently an issue in Rome, where the City Council recently voted to withdraw its support for the Games.

This would shrink the number of bid cities from four to three–Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are still in the running–but New Europe reports that Rome may continue its bid anyway.

This doesn’t mean that Rome’s a lock as a bid city–the IOC’s going to look at these bid updates and decide whether or not each city will be allowed to move on to the third round of the bid. Question is, does the IOC want to deal with cities where the bid is diametrically opposed? Or are they so worried about candidate cities dropping like flies (Hamburg’s the latest) that they want more cities to be a part of the bid process so that they don’t get caught in another situation where one city is the only bidder (Los Angeles 1984), which causes them to lose the upper hand?


IOC · Montreal 1976 · Olympics · Summer Olympics · Uncategorized

Field Trip: Celebrating Montreal 1976’s 40th Anniversary

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and managed to catch the three exhibits around Montreal’s 40th anniversary of hosting the Olympic Games that are on until the end of September. It’s fascinating to look at how this event truly put the city into a financial crisis–and, one can argue that future cities have never learned, and that no one has challenged the IOC to say, Hey, we know you have a lot of money and want this whole “Olympic standard” atmosphere, but the Olympics ain’t immune to financial difficulties either, so we’re going to cut back a little bit.

To which the IOC generally says, No problem, we completely understand you. Here’s another five sports you need venues for. You can come up with something that’s more world-class than what you have today, right?

But I digress. Montreal’s celebrating its hosting at three museums that are all within proximity of each other:

  1. Souvenirs from 1976 – at Olympic Stadium (Parc Olympique Metro) (stadium tour included; going up in the tower is extra) Here you can walk through each day of the Olympic Games and learn about some of the big events of that day. Thre’s a bit about the building of the stadium as well to prepare you for your tour.
  2. The Builders Behind the Montreal Olympic Games, Exceptional Men and Women – at Maison de la culture Maisonneuve (4200 Ontario Street East) Here you’ll learn how the Olympics could be broken down into 140 different projects (some really quite massive), and how they all came together.
  3. The Olympic Park, Architecture Worth Celebrating – at Musée Dufresne-Nincheri (4040 Sherbrooke Street East) This exhibit is all about the building of the Olympic Stadium and really makes you wonder how anyone ever thought this building was a good idea (thought: blame the 1970s). This exhibit is actually on until January 8, 2017, so you do have a little more time to check it out.

Continue reading “Field Trip: Celebrating Montreal 1976’s 40th Anniversary”

Rio 2016 · Summer Olympics

Rio 2016: DVR Roulette

Yes, I’m still watching Rio footage. It’s kind of fun because I’m watching random competitions out of order, which I actually don’t mind. For example, today I watched some BMX preliminaries. Never mind that I’d already watched the finals on livestream–it was Olympic coverage!

Perhaps this would be annoying to some, but I’m having fun with it, especially since I’m focusing on sports I don’t get to see on a regular basis, since the US is a nation of baseball/football/basketball/hockey and not really a nation of badminton/handball/rowing/judo.

It’s also fun because even though the DVR guide says what’s taped, I don’t ever really know what I’m going to see. Click on a “diving” episode, and you get men’s gymnastics. Diving is supposedly showing up at some point, but over half of the episode is something else, including “fun” with Ryan Seacrest.

At any rate, it’s good background noise and a fun way to keep Rio alive for a little while longer, particularly since it’s pretty much impossible for any one person to watch all of the coverage they aired in real time. Our blogcasting center may have have been dismantled after the Closing Ceremonies, but Rio can still live on in our hearts.


Athletes · Gymnastics · Olympic Sports · sports · Summer Olympics

The Interesting Geopopularity of Sports

Our case of Rio Olympic Fever is starting to wane, but that doesn’t mean the flame in our heart will die out. Over the next couple of years, we’re going to be looking at different aspects of the Olympics and of sports in general.

One element of sport that really interests us is geography. Fiji’s a powerhouse in rugby. The US still dominates basketball. Brazil is known for football excellence, etc. While we do some research into how and why different sports grow popular in different countries or areas of the world, let’s take a look at Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar. Karmakar’s the first female gymnast to represent India at the Olympics, and she took fourth in the vault.

India’s not known for its gymnastics prowess, so Dipa had a lot of issues to overcome, reports Firstpost, such as not having access to a vault to learn how to vault. Her coach improvised one for her out of second-hand springs, old scooter shock absorbers and mats. She would get cast-off equipment (up until earlier this year, she reportedly practiced on a six-year-old vault, which may not seem like a big deal, but vault technology has apparently improved since then) and little funding or attention, particularly because she’s a woman.

Earlier this year, she did get funding and new equipment that allowed her to train properly.

By all accounts, she did well in Rio. Fourth is nothing to slouch over, even if India was hoping for a medal. Even with fourth place, she can continue breaking down barriers to help future generations of Indian girls participate in the sport.

Here in the US, Karmakar’s story is dumbfounding. Gymnastics is hugely popular here, and women’s gymnastics even more so than men’s. Our top gymnasts get access to high-quality training and equipment (perhaps you saw some of the million minutes devoted to the Karolyis on NBC). But I’m sure that in a sport like, say, handball, our athletes also suffer the same as Karmakar. Can every country have decent participation and funding for every sport? Should they?



Rio 2016 · Summer Olympics

Day 3: A Zillion Hours of Coverage? Bring It.

11:30 PM EDT

I don’t know about you, but I’m watching some Equestrian eventing. What’s killing me is that the coverage picks up a rider mid-course, and the announcers say, “She’s already had two refusals.” Wait, isn’t that a moment to show?

I’m not going to get into whether Equestrian is a sport–or is a sport that should remain in the Olympics (talk about expensive hobbies), but here it is, and it’s fun to watch (even the dressage), particularly this course, which looks insanely difficult. There are multiple jumps in a little body of water. What the what?!

And HOLY SHIT! I thought it was scary to see a gymnast fall on her head. That’s nothing compared with a horse doing a somersault on its neck.

10:35 PM EDT

After looking at SBNation for the Lilly King controversy, I got sucked into another one of their articles on the gymnastics all-around competition. Rodger Sherman does a great job of explaining why Gabby Douglas, even though she’s got high scores, can’t be in the all-around final, since she’s #3 in America. In the spirit of globalization, countries can only qualify two gymnast for the finals. It really sucks that this competition won’t be the best gymnasts in the competition, as Douglas actually has better scores than some of the others who made it through, but rules are rules, and here’s why.

10:15 PM EDT 

I’m back to rowing. Men’s single sculling heats. I know–why am I bothering to watch heats of rowing when I will happily skip swimming semifinals? Well, it’s because the entire sport of rowing doesn’t get as much coverage and press as say, Michael Phelps. NBC will tell me about 25 times tonight how well Phelps did. What I won’t hear 25 times is how Indonesia rower La Memo got into rowing after spending time in prison, how he “turned over a new leaf and discovered rowing,” according to NBC’s female rowing commentator.

Wait a sec! What?!?!? How do you not do some sort of profile on him?! Oh, I get it. He’s not on Team USA. But still. Prison –> Olympian. That’s a story.

10:00 PM EDT

It’s 11 PM in Rio. There’s a swimming final on. Man, that has to be tough to compete at that time of night. But, it’s the Women’s 100m breaststroke. This is my stroke, so I’m stoked about this race. And it’s got Lilly King, who never got the memo that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Wait, that’s gold medalist and Olympic record holder Lilly King to you and me.

9:50 PM EDT

So I’m still catching up on Saturday’s coverage–mostly because I want to watch the rowing competition. I didn’t realize how open the rowing course was. I mean, I knew that Sunday’s competition was canceled due to high winds, but I didn’t realize just exactly how the course was pretty much in this lake, instead of the river/canal we’ve seen in past Olympics. Where are the people on bicycles riding down the course? The people cheering along the way? I can hear them, but there’s definitely something missing in this opening session.

9:40 PM EDT

Like most people, I have a day job, which I had to pay attention to today, so I recorded a whole bunch of stuff to add to the list on my DVR. Let’s see what we can get through, OK?

More swimming is on tonight. There’s semifinals (turn on the DVR) and finals (watch live), and it’s hard to know what to do when. But! People are winning medals, and that’s cool. Give it up to South African Chad le Clos whose “start hard, hang in there” strategy paid off for a silver medal in the 200m freestyle.

But hey! I see that Brazil has won its first gold medal of the Games! Good on you, judoka Rafaela Silva! I hope your event’s somewhere on my DVR! The Rio 2016 site has five things you don’t know about Silva (just five?). I think they’re proud…and really, they should be. This Olympics reminds me of Athens–host nation not particularly known for their gold medal prowress, so I’ll cheer for you to get medals. You deserve something for hosting this show!