Via LGM, the folks at Deadspin say “Nobody Wants to Host the 2022 Olympics“:
The next Olympics to be awarded, a little more than a year from now, will be the 2022 Winter Games. Rather than going to the strongest bid, the games may end up going to the last city standing—a long list of potential hosts have given up on their Olympic dreams because the whole thing is one huge, useless waste of money…
Three finalists down, two on the bubble (one of those is in Ukraine), and the two remaining “healthy” bids are… politically problematic.
Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
The Olympics(TM) could become like world’s fairs. Remember world’s fairs?
Two best sporting events I’ve attended were the USTF Olympic trials, so there’s that. But I suspect the FU Fairy is going to rain upon the Rio games like hellfire itself.
Perhaps we should stop “awarding” the Olympics and simply “inflict” them instead?
Ukraine, despite all predictions to the contrary, did a great job co-hosting Euro 2012. And the people got a bunch of good roads out of the deal.
You could do much, much worse.
makes me think that the IOC graft train may finally come down to where they have the Games at sites that have already hosted them and therefore don’t have to build the infrastructure to host them again. The whole bidding process appears to be one long bribery gravy train for the members to be seduced and suck up the grift from the competing cities.
I don’t mind watching the competition, no reason for a country to bankrupt themselves to stage it…..
Sad sidelight is that 2 of the world’s great sporting events are quickly be destroyed by corrupt bureacracies. No country in their right mind should host the Olympics and we’re starting to see countries reacting to that. Only dictators with a point to make would do it.
And there will never be a World Cup played in Qatar where FIFA awarded it. No soccer player in his right mind would play, and no club team in their right mind would let him.
The Other Chuck
Remember when people scoffed at San Francisco as being a bunch of elite snobs for turning down the Olympics?
Come on Fargo, you can win this!!
Mike in NC
Obviously they should hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Baghdad, or maybe Benghazi.
@BGinCHI: I am rooting for Viroqua, Wisconsin myself. How critical is it to have downhill skiing?
@Mike in NC: Eye infection would be the least of Costas’s worries.
Pick a permanent site. One for summer (Greece is the obvious choice), one for Winter. All the participants kick in for the needed facilities, which are reused and repaired for a minimum of 50 years.
@Suffern ACE: There are locations in WI for that. Well, they could stage Slalom and GS here. Super G and Downhill not so much.
@Suffern ACE: I’m sure there is some sort of virtual skiing they can sub in.
Or maybe they can ski down a mountain of Koch Bros cash? Walker has plenty.
@Omnes Omnibus: why does the race have to be continuous? They could ski down the 400 feet of Cascade MOUNTAIN, stop the clock, then ski down again.
It’s in the rules. Also too, Granite Peak would be a better location.
NBC/Comcast/Universal should just buy a country that has both winter and summer and stage them there permanently. I’ll bet North Korea could be picked up for a bargain.
Do Minorities Do Better Under Democrats?
More than anyone realized.
By Jamelle Bouie
The right way to answer the question of African-American loyalty is to treat blacks as rational citizens voting in their self-interest. And while the sluggish economy of the Obama years may seem like a bad case for Democratic loyalty, that’s not true of Democratic administrations overall. According to a recent paperfrom Zoltan L. Hajnal and Jeremy D. Horowitz—both political scientists at the University of California–San Diego—there’s clear evidence that when the nation is governed by Democrats, black well-being “improves dramatically” across multiple dimensions.
Specifically, looking at data from 1948 to 2010, Hajnal and Horowitz found that “African Americans tend to experience substantial gains under Democratic presidents whereas they tend to incur significant losses or remain stagnant under Republicans.” On average, under Democratic presidents, blacks gained $895 in annual income, saw a 2.41 point drop in their poverty rate, and a 0.36 point drop in their unemployment rate.By contrast, under Republicans, blacks gained $142 a year, along with a 0.15 point increase in poverty and a 0.39 point increase in unemployment.
What’s more, this was true in relative terms as well. As they write,
“[W]hether we look at the gap between blacks and whites or at the ratio of black to white outcomes, the patterns are essentially identical: Republican administrations were, on average, bad for African Americans and Democratic administrations were, on average, good for them, both in absolute and relative terms.”
The cumulative (i.e. year-after-year) differences are huge. Across 16 years of Democratic governance, the black poverty rate, for example, declined by nearly 40 points. Across 35 years of Republican governance, by contrast, it increased by 3 points. Indeed, during most years of Republican presidential leadership, black poverty grew and black unemployment increased.
@Suffern ACE: I’ve been to Viroqua! The crappy 3.0 4wd automatic-transmission Ford Ranger that I was driving at the time had a hell of a time on the hills in that corner of Wisconsin. Beautiful area though. The Amish basket sellers could make a bundle!
Heck, there might not even be a World Cup in Russia in 2018 the way things are going.
The other reason you only see countries with an, uhm, rather low level of democracy wanting to host the Olympics and the World Cup is that the IOC and FIFA basically dictate a number of laws at the request of their sponsors. Think you have a law restricting alcohol sales in your stadiums? Budweiser wants otherwise. (Wonder how that is going to work in Qatar, a country with one (1) liquor store.) Of course, that increases the chances that the USA will host these events in the near future, considering laws are written by corporations here anyway.
Winter Olympics are getting more difficult to host due to the increase in size anyway. Traditional winter sports resorts are becoming too small to cope with the influx of people the event brings, and the number of big cities with a few mountains nearby is fairly small.
I’ve long advocated a permanent relocation of the summer games to Greece, and the winter games to a likewise permanent venue (or 2 or 3 locations, to take turns hosting in rotation).
And peace in the mideast. I’ve long advocated that, too.
Now more than ever, the Olympics need Mitt Romney.
I’ve got a prediction for Greenwald’s ultimate Snowden revelation, now that’s he’s dropped a teaser that it’s names of Americans under surveillance by the NSA.
Back in the day, the NSA only watched over 100% foreign transactions, and internal groups like the FBI handled domestic. But then 9/11 happened along, and the NSA began to watch the gap of transactions between those two: foreign-to-domestic or domestic-to-foreign. This, I think, is at the heart of the Greenwald fireworks story, and I really hope I’m wrong.
Who is it that speaks a lot to foreign sources? Well, any number of professions, but the one that comes to my mind is journalists. I think the names we are going to see are ones like Christiane Amanpour, Matt Taibbi, and Glenn Greenwald himself, for that matter. Michael Hastings may be a particularly potent one to be on that list, since there are any number of conspiracy theories about his death that would explode with this kind of confirmation. And what about people like Digby or emptywheel? Any journalist or blogger that makes contact with a foreign source could be part of this watchlist, one that would look suspiciously like an enemies list for the NSA.
You can see the ghastly potential if I’m right. Not only would most of the names on my proposed list crank up their NSA scrutiny to 11 — and well justified they would be for doing so, it’s a horrendous overreach I’m proposing here — but newspapers and news channels would see an instant drop in their credibility among their sources, foreign or domestic. Their reporters would have been unwittingly made NSA intelligence gathering assets, something that would go over like a CIA vaccination program. Such intrusion on their reporters would affect their bottom line. And these institutions buy ink by the barrel full and broadband by the terabyte. They would NEVER let it go.
Good God, I hope I’m wrong. But it sounds too damn plausible to me. It fits too much of what we already know. Ugh.
ETA: This 2006 story about Amanpour and other journalists NOT being targets for surveillance:
But, you see, if they weren’t the “targets,” if they were only the medium to get to the targets, and the surveillance on them was constant and 100% invasive, then this story would be one whopper of a non-denial denial.
If I recall the best winter site was Sapporo Japan. Great snow, ice and transportation. Make it a permanent site. As for the summer, who even has stadiums with tracks anymore except major universities so building them for that purpose alone is stupid unless they can be converted for other sports later.
I’m still blown away by the Sochi price tag. 51 billion is mind boggling in everything that could have been done with that money to better the Russian people instead of spending 51 billion to feed Putin’s ego.
Also noisemax wondering if at 43, Rubio is too young to be President. As if that’s the only thing standing in his way. Who even thinks he’s a serious contender?
If Cole is on that list, I will laugh and laugh and laugh…
@Baud: Yes, that would be funny. Not funny enough for me to hope my guess is right, though.
@Joseph Nobles: we’ve already covered off foreign leaders, both enemies and allies. I thought we already had journalists covered with the whpc phone. Leftist critics are a no brainer, but not exactly broadly sympathetic. I’m going to guess CEOs and administration officials.
51 billion? pikers. The current budget for the Qatar world cup in 2022 is $ 220 billion.
The population of Qatar, for reference, is about 2 million, 3/4 of whom are men, and only about 278,000 of whom are actually Qatari. By rapid calculation, the government will spend about $800,000 per citizen. (!!!!)
Higgs Boson's Mate
Agreed. Think that rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming haven’t rendered the Olympics silly enough? The IOC is re-introducing golf as an Olympic sport at the 2016 Brazil Olympics. I look for video games to be a demonstration sport in 2020.
“Huh. Voting…in their self-interest.”
“Hey, maybe we should try that!”
@Fuzzy: Turner Field in Atlanta was used for the Olympics and then converted to a baseball field. So was Olympic Stadium in Montreal. And the Coliseum in LA (which kept the track for a while after 84, I believe). Not that difficult to do, if you have enough space on the field – unfortunately, a lot of stadiums have been trying to get seats as close as they can, so they might not have the space for a track anymore.
@efgoldman: with the use of NBC’s cable channels (MSNBC, CNBC, and NBCSN, and I think one other one), plus online viewing, you can watch pretty much anything you want now without the human interest part. Hell, they’ve shown some stuff online without commentators, just the whistles of the refs and the sounds of the game. You can get them live or on demand. The last couple of games, I barely watched NBC’s nightly coverage.
@efgoldman: Absolutely the same here. The Olympics are collapsing under their own self-serving, money-grabbing, parasitic weight, and I cannot wait for it to happen. Here is how bad it gets: I sometimes visit Ravelry, a web site for knitters and crocheters. The web site runs an informal competition for yarny people, with no prizes other than bragging rights, called the Ravelympics. Well, it WAS called that. In 2012, the Olympics sent its lawyers after the web site operators, and bullied them until they changed the name. Assholes.
I got 9 skeins of new yarn in the mail today and now I can’t wait to go home and be alone with it. Colorway is the purplish-gray Sea Urchin.
The LA Coliseum was originally built for the 1932 Olympics, so the city/county has definitely gotten its money’s worth from the initial construction.
@Suffern ACE: I’d say what I’m proposing is an order of magnitude higher than the WHPC phone, though that story would be part and parcel of this one.
I couldn’t care less about the Olympics. I remember as a kid being really excited about the Olympics and watching the track events. I don’t even know kids nowadays who care about the Olympics. It’s all been commercialized. Everything is about product placement and endorsements. And seriously, when you have McDonalds at the Olympics Village, it’s over. I do think, though, that the Summer Olympics should be held in Africa. Of course they won’t be now – especially with all the extremist Islamist crap. They could have been held in East Africa in the late 80s/early 90s in Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. No more with Al Shabaab and Boko Harom.
Throwing my hat in with the permanent facilities crowd. 3-4 countries in rotation for each. Greece, birthplace of the damn festival, should be #1 on the list. Hell, they could use the money…
I grew up in Spokane and was around when Expo74 kicked off. We broke even, got a nice park out of the deal, and a local ski resort snagged the chair lift that carried you from one side of the expo to the other. Not much remains now, and I can’t imagine what Sochi will look like in 40 years.
Edited to add…yeah I can imagine. If Soviet-era thinking predominates, it’ll look only marginally better than Chernobyl 40 years from now.
I’ve been to two Olympic Games. LA and Atlanta. I never thought I would see one much less two. I loved both even though there were serious issues surrounding both.
Teh Google is all whitey
How can you google and android users live with yourselves?
Y’all are being mean. I honestly think that the games (and the paralympic games) held in London were truly brilliant. I do not know if the city made any money but the London Pride that ensued during it was well worth every penny spent.
Makes me sad. I love the Olympics and always have. For two weeks I care about sports I have zero interest in the rest of the time. It’s fun to get caught up in the whole thing. I hate the commercialization of it. Like everything else, it’s so corporate and all about the money. I wish something out there was just about the love of the game or having fun. Guess that makes me a naive pie-in-the-sky wishful dreamer. Oh well.
I could use a little wishful dreaming since I spent the majority of my day dealing with my parents’ doctors and the nursing facility where my mother is and the various disasters that happened in the 12 hours since I left there. It was supposed to be my day “off” (as in, not caregiving) so I could deal with the backlog in my own life. I didn’t even get to eat anything until almost noon and it was 2:30 before I wasn’t on at least one phone, often two at a time.
Caregiving is hard, hard work.
While one can rightfully scoff at with the practice, it is an unfortunate side effect of the way copyright and trademark law is enforced.
As when Disney ‘goes after’ a day care center which sports a mural of Mickey Mouse, if Disney had been made aware of the use of their property absent permission and did not act then that could legally be used as precedent that Disney had actively abandoned the copyright.
No fan of the Olympics, but can understand why they asked the site to cease and desist (and still disagree with such stringent enforcement being the norm).
Got a copy of the sewer plans and attended the bidders information meeting. This is a complex job and the city has taken great care in the design. Now we have to see how many trees we and the neighbors will lose.
@Baud: Salt Lake Talks II ?
@Mnemosyne: The Mausoleum was built post WWI(the Memorial part) and was expanded for the 1932 Olympics.
Boris Johnson getting stuck on the zip line was one of my favourite parts of those Olympics.
Or he could just lie again. it’s not like anyone ever checks his “proof” anyway.
@Suffern ACE: Have the winter olympics in WI. Build a little hill and add pushers for downhill skiing. Make it a team sport. If it sells, they will come.
Good news that the
marchcrawl of progress is proceeding.
@Mnemosyne: My brother and I scored what must have been Russian tickets. We sat in the fourth row for Carl Lewis and Edwin Moses and got to see Joni Benoit Samuelson get her Gold Medal for the Women’s Marathon. We also partied all night with the Aussie swim team, got to see boxing, soccer and hoops as well as track and field.
In the Atlanta games I was able to walk to the soccer in Athens and saw every game except the women’s final and then got to see Carl Lewis win another gold in the long jump.
Advice for improving write time on SQLite? Anyone?
@dr. luba: and they have a shitty economy and lots of budgetary problems! so there’s that.
OMFG while looking for the above video I found this. Judy Dench doing send in the clowns. This is brilliant.
@Violet: Please take every opportunity to take care of yourself as much as you can. Because we don’t need three of you down!
I slacked off my herbs and supplements (for Adrenal Fatigue) and boy am I sorry. I barely could get through a normal day. Fortunately, I’ve gotten back to it and feel better.
So take extra Vitamin C, and maybe look into something like Arctic root for stamina. I’ve found that wearing a sleep mask does wonders for my healing sleep; and that’s a lot easier than trying to eliminate every light source in the bedroom.
@NotMax: Yea, the more we see the more we realize how complex this is. The entire neighborhood, including the school, drains through our backyard so we are lucky they are doing it at all. The bid range is $175-225 K so it’s a big deal.
@jl: exactly. Anyone can ski fast down big steep mountains. It takes a team to speed down a earthen ramp 3/4 mile long with a drop of 75 feet.
@WereBear: I’m taking a ton of Vitamin C. I am very aware I have to take care of myself and planned to do so today. And then all hell broke loose this morning. At least I got my walk in with my friend and neighbor before everything fell apart.
I wish I could wear something like a mask for sleeping but I can’t. Makes me crazy. Anything on my head like that ends up giving me a headache. I’m using magnesium oil and it’s helping with my sleep for sure.
I’ve broken out in some kind of itchy bumps, which I’m sure are stress related. They’re random all over my body and I get about one new one a day. Can’t figure out how some bug could bite me in these totally different places one every day. Just too weird. The latest one is my face on my cheekbone. It has to be stress.
@Trollhattan: Surprisingly, according to Wikipedia’s list, world’s fairs today seem to be about as common as they’ve been since the 1960s:
But there hasn’t been one in the US since the New Orleans one in 1984. Unless you count Disney’s Epcot Center, which sort of has the ambiance of a 1980s-vintage World’s Fair on a permanent basis.
The real heyday of the things was pre-1960 and especially pre-World War II.
Like most things money touches the Olympics have become a bloated joke.
I quit watching the Olympics in 1976 when it had become apparent that the games had descended into a cheat-fest for national bragging rights.
Maybe a new, scaled down, dispersed model is worth trying. Every four years hold all the events during the same two-three week period, but have one country host the track and field, another the gymnastics, and other countries each of the remaining events. Similar type events might all be held at one venue — for example, judo, boxing, free style wrestling, fencing, and Greco-Roman wrestling could all be at the same site. Instead of having one gigantic, bloated, excess-fest, the world could celebrate Olympics weeks. Over time, different countries could host different events, so the US might host track and field, and then, four years later, fencing, wrestling, judo, and boxing (and maybe other minor events of a similar nature that I’m missing). Swimming and diving could be held together, racket sports together, and so on. The division could be decided based on similarity of events and the types of facilities needed to stage them.
If that model were tried, there would be events being held around the clock and no one television network would have a monopoly on coverage.
Oh, I’d love it if they would dispense with the opening ceremony extravaganzas altogether. (Others undoubtedly would disagree.)
For my part, they could end the Olympics entirely and I wouldn’t care. But a dispersed model might be worth trying to save what has degenerated into one colossal waste of money.
The Winter Olympics might not be as easily divided up, and until Russia proved that it’s possible to spend almost unlimited amounts of money on staging the Winter Games in a place that probably should never have been chosen as an Olympic site to begin with, I might have thought the Winter Games were still manageable enough to be reasonably maintained at a single location. There really isn’t anything that money can’t ruin.
Just a thought.
@Violet: Watching a bunch of stunned UK people enjoying themselves was fun too. Never watched an event (maybe caught a bit of opening ceremony), kept up with The Bugle: all the sport I needed.
Shorter everybody: “RAWR! I’m so jaded because I know what hard is in this country where I throw away more than some people get to eat and everything is so corporately corporate! RAWR!”
Strip away the product placement, the mommy and daddy money in some sports, the corruption, and the knuckle headed human interest fluff pieces and you’re still left with some kid who has worked their ass off just for the chance to be the best in the world. That’s a helluva dream.
@Matt McIrvin: I went to the one in the 70s in Knoxville, home of the Wigsphere.
Don’t want to create additional worry, but if the bumps are all on only one side of the body, it may be shingles, which can manifest from stress.
@Violet: Sounds like hives? Histamine reaction?
I had a tough time finding the right sleep mask. There’s a ton on a website called Dream Essentials. I recc it for anyone trying to hunt down a sleep solution.
@WereBear: Oatmeal bath?
This is what the Olympics are about and why I end up loving them despite all the crappy corporate sponsorship and media stupidity. People work hard at something and someone wins and they’re so excited and happy. At their core, that’s what the Olympics are about.
@Litlebritdifrnt: and yet, less than four years later, fed up with London Pride, the scots are leaving the country. And smugly self satisfied with their Olympics, the Catalans are leaving Spain 24 years later. I sense a pattern.
@Suffern ACE: Jesus, diggin deep there aren’t you?
@NotMax: I’m highly aware of shingles at the moment since my dad has a bad case, in addition to his surgery. The bumps are completely random all over the body–not just one side, although they do seem to be slightly more on the left side than the right. But it’s just one bump at a time, so nothing like the rash of bumps one gets with shingles. I seem to be getting one a day. They itch for 2-3 days then die down.
@WereBear: I googled hives yesterday and they don’t look like the pictures of that. It’s one bump here and one there. First one was on my right hip. Then under my left arm. Then belly button. Then left leg. Today left side of face. One a day. So weird. I think it’s a stress/histamine reaction. To what I don’t know. Maybe I got bit by something and it went systemic due to stress. I don’t begin to have time to go to a doctor for myself. I’m too busy dealing with all my parents’ doctors.
I’m still convinced the Queen agreed to do the opening ceremony film so she could meet Daniel Craig. Because she may be old, and royal, and married (for almost 70 years), but she’s still a woman.
Also, too, I found out from “Six By Sondheim” that “Send in the Clowns” was written specifically for Glynis Johns, who originated the role onstage. Once you know that, you can really hear how the song was written to take advantage of her specific voice.
@rikyrah: Great article. A good rebuttal to all those Rightwingers who claim that the Democratic Party is a plantation and that Republicans are better for Blacks.
I wonder if some of our mayors and voters in the US will start having the same kind of awakening for building venues for sports teams. It’s nice to be naive.
And, I used to work for an Olympic sponsor and went to many different Olympics. The money the corporate sponsor spent was just mad money. The IOC might be the biggest grifters in history. However, the Olympics was a great way to see the world on somebody else’s dime.
I think I said this in an earlier thread, but you really need a cleaning lady right now, just to take some of the Ohmigod I have so much laundry/dishes/housework to do! pressure off. Let someone else do the stuff they can do so you can be freed up to do the stuff only you can do (like argue with Medicare/insurance).
” a earthen ramp 3/4 mile long with a drop of 75 feet. “‘
Woah there, pard. We’re talking Wisconsin, not Delaware. And I thought the idea was to keep the games cheap.
Well, good to rule that out. Cortisone cream can be your friend.
Just a random thought: if you have pets, it is flea season.
For about the last week, have been producing ear wax by the hogshead. This whole aging thing is a carnival of revelations.
Black people vote their economic self-interest. They do not allow shiny objects to be pushed in front of them. Once you get Black voters to the polls, they vote their economic self-interest. GOP bullshyt issues just don’t move the community, except for the usual suspects (Carson, Unca Clarence, The Kneegrows they parade on Fox).
True, that. But I think the whole corrupt IOC structure may simply have reached the point where it needs to be killed so that a new international system can develop that’s got more relevance for the actual athletes.
(Don’t worry, I know the odds of this happening are less than that of Deep Impact turning out to be a documentary.)
If blacks vote for the Democrats in spite of their rational self-interest, they’re dupes and stooges. If they vote because of their rational self-interest, they’re a selfish special interest group. Heads I win, tails you lose. The only group that is exempt from this rule is white men.
@raven: Can’t hurt.
Though I’m one of those people who do not find baths relaxing. The water is never the right temperature, whether I’m reading paper or electronic I worry about dropping it into the tub, and I wind up eager to get out, get dressed, and actually relax.
Hayes has a segment on the new NYU campus being built in Abu Dabi with basically slave labor.
The Olympics (and pretty much every international sporting event, I’m convinced) is just a front for grifting. Heck, if Mittens was involved in it, you HAVE to know that it was for the $$$ (and his own personal ambitions). I think it’s a telling sign that Brazilians have been rioting over how expensive it is to host the World Cup – and that is a country full of die-hard soccer fans.
At this point (particularly given that there’s very little public support for blowing huge chunks of cash on infrastructure that gets used once and is a sinkhole for maintenance costs thereafter), the IOC, FIFA, etc. should really just recycle previous locations. Unless a logical, legitimate location really wants to pony up the cash, there is no reason to even consider holding the Olympics in a place like Beijing (which, having been there personally, is a total fucking shithole with its usual smog cover). Places like Whistler, Lillihammer – these places make sense. Blowing tens of billions of dollars on these one-time shindigs is pointless, unless the facilities could be reused in a meaningful manner (which is why I find a potential NYC Summer Olympics bid to be fascinating – I feel like it could do a lot to reshape the city’s landscape. There are more than enough people to maintain and generate continuing revenue from new facilities).
Voters seem to be less eager to spend a bunch of money on new sports venues than politicians are.
@jl: just trying to make downhill work. It is very expensive to build a mountain. And wasteful. The skiers don’t actually use much of it. The track itself can’t be more the 50 feet wide. It might make sense to start it on one of the hills and then dig a windy tunnel.
@rikyrah: I’m pretty sure everything in the UAE was built with what is/was effectively slave labor.
On the note of sporting events, awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has to have been the dumbest idea ever. I wonder how much $$$ in bribes was needed to pull that idiocy off…why the fuck would you play soccer games in the middle of the summer in the middle of the fucking desert?
One of the reasons Los Angeles doesn’t have a football team is that the NFL has been making it a condition that the city or county finance the stadium, and both the city council and the county board of supervisors keep voting it down. The Staples Center (where they play basketball and hockey) has been enormously successful and was built with private money, so I don’t see the impasse breaking down anytime soon.
I was so happy when Chicago was taken out of the running for the 2016 games. The money coming in *could* be used in a way that would be good for the city, but it was quickly clear that it was all about finding new and exciting ways to move around tourists (rather than residents) and kicking the blahs out of the real estate south of the Loop by the lake.
I kinda like the permanent location idea. Besides not having to build and rebuild these facilities, during the downtime the areas could be a tourist attraction. Have exhibits about major Olympic moments and athletes, have demonstrations of the sports, perhaps athletes could use it as a training area. A fulltime figure skating show featuring ex-Olympians might bring in enough people to pay for the upkeep of the entire facility.
The only downsides I can think of are: 1) it’s a lot of space, and keeping it secure and maintained could be expensive. 2) If you live on the other side of the planet from the fixed location, you’re kind of screwed if you want to visit. I mean, of course you can do it, but it might be a good bit more difficult.
Still overall it seems like a good idea.
How much would New York actually need to build to be able to host the Olympics? The city already has a lot of major sports venues that could be used to host events, especially if you include the urban area rather than just the city proper. I remember somebody touting Los Angeles as an emergency venue in case another city couldn’t get their act together on time, and the claim was that the main thing we’d need to build would be a new natatorium for the swimming and diving events. Everything else could be done in existing facilities with at most some quick renovations. I would assume New York would be in about as good shape.
” the NFL has been making it a condition that the city or county finance [a Los Angeles] stadium, ”
I did not know that. Thanks for the info. I see why the NFL is so popular, it is truly the epitome of the U.S. corporate capitalist system.
@TG Chicago: You are talking about Lake Placid.
What makes that one work is that the venues are all within 45 minutes of each other, tops. That new thing where hours pass getting from the mountain to the track… I can’t see that working for anyone.
Why not permanent winter olympics in Antarctica? Could do it during the Southern summer, then it would be light all day and easier to schedule the events for $$$, and, hey, the snow and ice might be there long enough for the grandkids to enjoy the games.
Edit: thought it over, and I am filing a patent on it.
@Roger Moore: I’m sure you know that little was built for LA in 84. In addition, Ueberroth perpetrated one of the great frauds in history by convincing everyone that LA would be overwhelmed with visitors. My mom, along with thousands of others, was sure she was going to make thousands by renting out her condo. Factories and businesses closed for the entire games out of fear. The reality was that there most of the people that attended were from SoCal and it resulted in the best traffic in modern Los Angeles.
Atlanta and Athens (GA) was similar. I know many landlords who threw their tenants out that summer thinking they would make a killing. People rented tent space downtown to put up all kinds of concessions. We hosted soccer and people came in for the games and left and the greedy fucks lost their asses.
“Huh. Voting…in their self-interest.”
“We need to take their vote away.” – Real White Americans, sadly
@srv: Actually, that’s slightly better than the population as a whole, where 36.3% of the population is a minority.
ETA: That’s waaay better than where I work.
@Roger Moore: are we talking about the New York City that exists in the real world? Because if there is a way to figure out how to make something very expensive, that would be they. I’m sure they would build a natatorium that would require $100m in maintenance a year after spending 2.5 billion on the velodrome.
Sure. The 1984 Olympics were the first ones to turn a profit, and that was largely because they were able to avoid the massive construction costs associated with building all-new facilities. My gut feeling is that the massive cost of the Olympics is generally a result of people wanting to spend money more than a response to genuine need for the games. What winds up happening is that the Olympics serve as an excuse not just for building new venues but also for a general civic improvement program for the host city. The city government winds up buying all the toys they’ve had their eyes on for decades but have never been allowed to get, and the result is a massive orgy of spending. If they’re willing to do the minimum necessary to host the games and keep a close eye on the budget, they can get away with spending a lot less.
@Roger Moore: LAX was pretty much rebuilt for the 84 games. The upper deck roadway was added and the Bradley terminal was built.
I traveled via LAX a bit pre, during and post the Olympics since I was in Seattle for gradual school.
@Roger Moore: Atlanta didn’t do too badly. The Olympic Village was turned into dorms, first for Georgia State and now belonging to Tech. The soon to be abandoned Ted was used for track and field and then turned into a baseball stadium. UGA’s Sanford Stadium was used for soccer and the whitewater facilities are still in use on the Ocoee. Not too shabby but the bombing and problems with the concessions mad them less than “the best ever”.
Hell, put ’em in Salt Lake again. Let Romney run them so he can feel like an
impoteimportant President of something.
Now about multiple sites instead of just one? They could hold some events in one country and other in other countries. Not only would this reduce the cost/headache the OCC would be able to get bribes from many more cities!
As for taxpayer rogering for stadea – Here in MN the no new taxes gooper legislature ignored a law passed specifically to require taxpayer approval for taxes for billionaires. They passed a bill requiring the residence of one county to raise $300 million in taxes to buy a ball field. It passed with everyone except the reps from that county voting for it. It increased the value of the club by $125 million (what a deal! less than -50% ROI!). Of course they HAD to have this new palace so they could remain competitive. They had a winning record the first year there (before revenue from it would have arrived) but have lost 90 or more games every year since.
@Schlemizel: What are you some kind of commie?
@raven: Yes, yes I am. I didn’t used to be but when I see how pathetic it is to be called a socialist these days I decided I really had to be a commie!
I would go with a hemispheric rotation. Something like Greece for Summer, Canada for Winter, then Africa or Australia for Summer, then Patagonia for Winter. Then rotate through again. Find venues that for the most part already have Olympics infrastructure in place; if they don’t, provide them a solid financial subvention to do what needs doing.
As for “home country” advantage, well, as a U.S. citizen I could easily get behind a Canadian host city and make it the semi-permanent North American Winter Games. I’ll bet a lot of South American cities could do the same for a Winter Olympics in southern Chile and/or Argentina. Where geography permits, make it a multi-national hosting. Have a Greek venue for Summer Games be promoted as European (EU) hosts writ large. Call a venue in the Antipodes the ANZAC Olympics or something. It’s crazy that cities bankrupt themselves for two weeks of TV coverage.
@Schlemizel: I think that would have made sense for the World Cup. Each Persian gulf state builds a stadium. Problem solved.
For the Olympics, though, I think it’s important to have them in one place. Otherwise it’s like each individual sport’s world championships.
Where are you on unicorns?
Bob In Portland
Reports that 80 Kiev troops surrendered to the rebels. Also, reports that some mines around Lugansk are on strike.
Nothng from the western press about Ukraine. It’s as if the west decided that Ukraine isn’t news anymore.
US Troll Federation? Tennis? Trampoline?
@Suffern ACE: Its sort of that way now. Other than the opening & closing the celebrities come and go as their events happen (and sometimes they don’t even show for the open/close. It seems much more like a bunch of separate events and less like a single one.
I don’t think you’ll have to wait that long: given the hurry (and the grafting incompetence) involved in getting the Sochi facilities banged together, it will probably look only marginally better than Chernobyl six years from now. If not sooner….
I, too, was happy beyond words that Chicago lost the Olympics. They really thought they would get to evict all those Black folks. I am still mad that they did all that bullshyt and closed Michael Reese, cause they wanted that land.
Interesting! It would probably bring in more total people that way. If Salt Lake City has all the games, people might not be as motivated to check out, say, fencing. But if SLC only has fencing, then people will go. (in theory)
@Violet: When the Olympics were in Atlanta residents could order tickets ahead of time. Since I was on a budget, I ordered low profile tickets, canoeing, hand ball and the like. I was able to get tennis and one track event. The most fun was at handball. The teams and spectators were amazing. I also went to the opening of the Special Olympics in which Gore spoke. Except for the fact that my son was there during the bombing, it was a great event.
btw, The worst case of itches I had was from poison ivy. It got in my blood stream and you could watch the little boils erupt all over. There are steroids for that though.
Take care. .
::darkly:: Not for all that long, though.
@Roger Moore: Long Beach is upgrading Belmont Plaza, and USC and UCLA have really good aquatic venues. So, that could be easily taken care of too
I wonder if they could even spread them across one country, say Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Milwaukee for summer games. Or toss in Colorado for downhill/bobsled and do up the winter games. Heck, events like hockey or basketball could have games in different arenas.
@SiubhanDuinne: Yeah, the Braves break ground in July for a new stadium in Cobb County with 8000 fewer seats and tax increases on everything near the new site including apartments.
Ethnicity-wise, sure. Gender-wise, it’s terrible. (Seventy percent male? WTF?)
During the Atlanta Games I spent just about all my time with Team Canada and a variety of Canadian dignitaries (well duh, because I was employed by the Government of Canada at the time). But my most favourite, memorable moment was coming across Muhammad Ali at the Olympic Village, quite accidentally. Happened to be my 56th birthday. I’ve never forgotten it.
That sucks so hard. And last night the Cobb County Commission refused to allow opponents or critics of the plan to have their say. They were escorted out, TYVM.
@PsiFighter37: @Roger Moore:
Actually, New York’s last serious bid for the Olympics was fairly well-thought out (with one major exception, though): the City has a ton of usable or convertible facilities – though here, too a big swim venue would have had to be built: they even plotted out the possible traffic/transit patterns, and figured (IIRC) that it would only be moderately worse than a normal summer tourist season (yeah, riiiight!!). The only major glitch, though, was that New York itself had no suitable Olympic Stadium of its own (for opening/closing and track & field), so then-Mayor Bloomberg tried to use the Olympic bid as a prod to revive the shambling-zombie plan for the long-unawaited West Side Stadium – a 45,000-seat venue planned for the West Side of Manhattan, right by the Lincoln Tunnel. To everyone’s relief, the Olympic rejection also finally staked the Stadium plan. Such a shame….
@Belafon: Now that I look at the distributions, all I can say is that’s still better than the companies I work at. I’d be shocked if the companies I work at, including my current job at a government contractor, would publish something like that.
That is one of the best renditions.
@Bob In Portland:
From the landing page of news.yahoo.com (i.e. the general, not international, news page):
That’s what I came up with before I got bored with scrolling. Maybe you should try looking at the “Western press” for yourself instead of believing everything Russia Today tells you.
Apparently, the term–the friend zone—is now a misogynistic rant according to bspencer on LGM. I’m glad he got some pushback on this. This is getting stupid. It’s becoming a witch hunt.
Gin & Tonic
@Bob In Portland: Those “reports” of yours wouldn’t have sources, would they?
Wondering how you feel about the Chechens being brought in to support the “Donetsk People’s Republic.” You were all over the non-existent Blackwater mercenaries, but you’re silent about the (filmed, self-admitted) Chechens. Or how about this, showing the plans of your “federalists?” They just want a little more local control, right? That’s probably why the BBC filmed them destroying ballot boxes and telling the reporter “we don’t believe in Ukraine.”
Pretty darned annoying of those fascists in Kiev to hold elections, don’t you think? Or for the Ukrainian people to give a whole 2% of the vote to Svoboda and Pravy Sektor combined. Hard to tell the fascists without a scorecard.
@mai naem: South Africa would be a great place for the Summer games–especially considering they successfully hosted the World Cup.
I’d suggest it as one of the rotating permanent places people are talking about. Spread ’em around the globe.
@SiubhanDuinne: That is really special.
mike with a mic
The Olympics are a toxic mix of nationalist bragging, grift, corporate greed, excuse to do all your infrastructure projects, and a jobs program. How good it is for the host nation and local population depends entirely on where the main focus is.
It’s entirely possible to have an Olympics that really delivers on stuff like roads, improved water/electric/telecom, and some facilities that can later be for public use. Or you can ramp up the pomp and glitz to a million just to show that you can throw the most rocking Olympics ever. The problem is that the sort of nations that can afford or want an Olympics are really focused on using it for nationalist dick waving.
If you wanted to be smart about it, you’d want the US to have a location it always nominates for winter and one it always nominates for summer. Ideally that already have a good portion of the facilities. Then every time you get to host the Olympics you use it as a chance to catch up on X years of infrastructure you couldn’t get approved, and jazzing up your facilities as a jobs program. Create sort of a super sports mecha and cash in on it. Hell spruce up Detroit.
@mike with a mic: The pride that citizens have in their country amazed me. Since I’m an American, I always thought we were the chosen ones. The two countries that I remember showing the most nationalism was Egypt and Sweden. That was in 1996 though.
@Gin & Tonic:
Hmm. Something awfully familiar about that flag.
ETA: For those guessing, no, not like a nazi flag. But close.
It really was, and was completely accidental. I was in a very small group of people (Canadians) who were invited to tour Canada House at the Olympic Village. We were walking across the green to CH and saw a small clot of people buzzing around, coming the other way. When we got close, we saw it was Ali and four or five acolytes. Both groups stopped and chatted for several minutes. Ali was incredibly gracious.*
*I had actually run across him briefly a couple of times before, decades earlier. He used to own, or co-own, a Howard Johnson’s in Benton Harbor, MI, where I used to stop for dinner on my frequent drives between Flint, MI and Oak Park, IL. This was back in the late ’70s, and evidently he was a kind of hands-on owner, because he showed up at least once and I think twice when I was eating my fried clams :-) But except for a “Hey how ya doin?” I can’t claim to have had any interaction with him back then. In Atlanta there was a true conversation.
Gin & Tonic
@Citizen_X: I know, right? Looks just like a slightly rotated Norwegian flag.
Poison ivy is almost as bad as shingles. I’ve had both. They both suck.
Be careful. Say the wrong word and you’re done. It’s our modern day McMartin preschool debacle. Bill Maher has this right. Really, come on. I don’t agree with these assholes on the right, but let’s have some sense here.
@SiubhanDuinne: Yea, shingles are bad. Worst pain I’ve experienced.
@SiubhanDuinne: The problem with poison ivy is that if it enters the blood stream, then it can become really bad. Since I’m at risk, I get steroids pretty easily to contain it. Shingles there is no easy treatment. ugh..
@JPL: I prefer benadryl spray to cortisone cream.
The R in NRO stands for Racist doesn’t it? I’ve always thought so.
Also too there was this:
R.I.P., Maya Angelou, Proud Gun Owner and User, by Tim Cavanaugh,…
NRO trolling the death of Maya Angelou, would we expect anything less?
30% female? That’s better than about 50% of the bay area tech companies I’ve worked for.
I live with myself quite well, thank you.
@J.Ty: SQLite write time? What platform. Have you visited stackoverflow yet? It’s the place to go for stuff like that.
Red Apple Smokes
@SiubhanDuinne: My mom met Ali at our local bank. He was signing autographs while my mom waited in line to do some banking. Mom finishes her banking and turns to leave. There wasn’t much of a line for autographs because it was the end of the day, and Ali sees my mom leaving. He stops her and asks if she wants his autograph, and she actually tells him, “no she’s in a hurry and needs to get back home”. Ali takes her by the arm and signs the back of two random pieces of paper that my she had in her purse. She came home and told me this story and I almost fainted.
The Other Chuck
Try doing PRAGMA journal_mode=WAL;
@muddy: I’m the type that gets shots and pills. I agree with out you though that, if possible, that is the better approach. My approach now is long sleeves, gloves and a shovel. I’m real careful. They are sneaky bastards.
also.. My former father-in-law would scour the woods in a former house I lived in, because he felt so bad for my reactions. The ex not so much.
Higgs Boson's Mate
@Gin & Tonic:
Why do you bother? You’re better informed about the situation in Ukraine and you, among others, have given him the right of things numerous times only to see him continue to respond with bullshit. Differing viewpoints I can take all day long. This guy is in “Am I in the right room for an argument?” territory. He’s either getting paid or he’s suffering from a mental disorder.
I finally pied his ass. That worked where logic, fact, and reason all had failed.
Gin & Tonic
@JPL: You and me both, I’ve visited the ER more than once, and I know very well what it looks like and how I react.
@JPL: I woke up this morning with a sensation that something was on my arm. I was half asleep and I spotted a spot on my arm. I brushed at it, unaware if I was still dreaming. It held tight, and I realized it was a tick. I captured it and flushed it down the toilet.
Gin & Tonic
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: I can’t help it, I guess. I know it’s a waste of time as far as BiP is concerned, but I also know there are lots of folks who read this blog and never comment, so if I can dissuade one or two of them from believing the Putin propaganda, then I will have done a service.
@Violet: Maybe it’s hives?
Edit: I see WereBear got there first.
@NotMax: I think shingles are really painful, so I’m guessing not.
@Mnemosyne: Oh, that yarn sounds delicious. Your color is very nice; the whole range of colors is great. What are you intending to make with it?
Um, my 54th birthday, not 56th. I may never have forgotten the encounter, but apparently I forgot how to do simple arithmetic.
Not that a soul but me cares.
@ulee: haha.. I pulled one out of my ear lobe.. ick.. I hate those suckers.
I want to make Veronik Avery’s Travel Shawl. I’m making one now but I don’t really like the yarn, so I think I may finish it and then do a second one with this new yarn.
People snickered when I kept pushing the skein at them going, No, really, feel it! but they had to admit it was like a kitten’s whiskers once I convinced them to touch it.
ETA: The yarn I’m using now is also a cotton/alpaca blend, but it’s stiffer than I’d like.
Me too. I’ve had all my teeth extracted. I’ve had my neck sliced open to take out a couple of tumors. I’ve had quadruple bypass cardiac surgery.
I’d do them all again before I’d willingly subject myself to another bout of shingles. And my case was supposedly mild.
@Red Apple Smokes:
LOL, what a great story. I never asked for Ali’s autograph and he never offered it.
By 1996 he was pretty far gone with Parkinsonism, so he may not have been doing much signing.
@SiubhanDuinne: I remember it well. It was the mid nineties. These weird marks started showing up on my face. Then the pain became intense. The emergency room people gave me some narcotics. They helped, in fact the world became very very groovy. I went back for more The staff at the hosptial gave me a handful but said no more for you. I’m glad I had some decent staff to wait on me, otherwise I might now be an addict.
@Bob In Portland:
Putin’s taking what he can and leaving the table, Bob. Time for you to find a new conspiracy theory.
@Roger Moore: Could be that NYC would not need to build much in the way of venues…. BUT it would be anarchic mayhem to get people from venue to venue. Schedules would have to include a lot of travel time for attendees to get from place to place. And no, the current subways and bus routes would be incapable of handling the new load.
@Morzer: I don’t think he needs a new one. He can fit these facts into his overarching “It all traces back to the Gehlen Org.” theory.
Which reminds me, I must make sure the Jill von Biden Sturmabteilung is ready to deploy tomorrow. Busy, busy times!
This. It will be a shame if international marketing corruption drags down a number of sports who encourage people to dream big, work hard, and achieve.
It’ll be the same as all his other revelations – something normal, legal, and slightly overreaching at worst that he will then describe in horrific terms that the document does not support, and followed by misusing his lawyer’s credentials to claim it is unconstitutional when it’s actually settled law. Oh, and he’ll describe anyone who points that out with a trollishly insulting strawman. His description of four thousand mistakes in how search terms were entered as admitting four thousand times the NSA targeted Americans was a fine example. Or revealing the never secret decades old practice of security organizations alerting each other to start an investigation if they encounter lawbreaking outside their jurisdiction, but making it sound like fabricating backgrounds for illegally gathered evidence.
To be fair, the major cultural wedge is Republicans spitting on blacks. Self-interest lines up with non-economic factors.
Maybe his car elevator can host it.
Wow. It’s as if free-market capitalism and the cult of competition in all things is a cancerous blight upon society and even the most honorable expressions of it are tainted and doomed.
That’s a rather simplistic way to characterize Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev is quite popular, although the Presidential elections that Kaz keeps holding have been ridiculous frauds. People asky why he keeps cheating when he almost certainly would win by a comfortable margin in a real free election. As someone who has spent a bit of time in that country (I lived there for 8 months), I think it would be a good place for the winter Olympics. If you’re going to restrict the Olympics to first-world democracies, then the pool of hosts countries is pretty small and it is not really a world event anymore.