Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics https://t.co/NNLPT1IH38 pic.twitter.com/PKFPhjT3PT
— TODAY (@TODAYonline) May 5, 2021
I’ve been catching news updates about the already-postponed-till-this-July ‘2020’ Tokyo Olympics as part of my daily coronavirus update reading, especially since the official 100-day countdown in mid-April. While I understand how important this event is to the athletes involved — at this level, athletic perfection is as evanescent as any cherry blossom, and another postponement / cancellation will be devastating for them — right now, it’s not looking good for the IOC…
Two officials in Japan’s ruling LDP party say changes could be coming to the Tokyo Olympics. One suggested they still could be canceled, and the other said even if they proceed, it might be without any fans.
by @mariyamaguchi and @yurikageyama >> https://t.co/uYmMLaMAOj pic.twitter.com/hY9g5EVqqi
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 15, 2021
… So, because this *is* the IOC, they’ve decided to attract more media attention in just about the worst possible way:
The Olympics will now BAN any athlete who wears a BLM shirt, kneels during the national anthem or raises a fist to oppose racism. This sends the WRONG message about basic human rights & I urge the Olympic Committee to reverse this decision! https://t.co/Arfbpr32UQ
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 5, 2021
After all, such fiats have worked out so well in the past.
Sally Jenkins, sportswriter for the Washington Post — “Japan should cut its losses and tell the IOC to take its Olympic pillage somewhere else”:
Somewhere along the line Baron Von Ripper-off and the other gold-plated pretenders at the International Olympic Committee decided to treat Japan as their footstool. But Japan didn’t surrender its sovereignty when it agreed to host the Olympics. If the Tokyo Summer Games have become a threat to the national interest, Japan’s leaders should tell the IOC to go find another duchy to plunder. A cancellation would be hard — but it would also be a cure.
Von Ripper-off, a.k.a. IOC President Thomas Bach, and his attendants have a bad habit of ruining their hosts, like royals on tour who consume all the wheat sheaves in the province and leave stubble behind. Where, exactly, does the IOC get off imperiously insisting that the Games must go on, when fully 72 percent of the Japanese public is reluctant or unwilling to entertain 15,000 foreign athletes and officials in the midst of a pandemic?
The answer is that the IOC derives its power strictly from the Olympic “host contract.” It’s a highly illuminating document that reveals much about the highhanded organization and how it leaves host nations with crippling debts. Seven pages are devoted to “medical services” the host must provide — free of charge — to anyone with an Olympic credential, including rooms at local hospitals expressly reserved for them and only them. Tokyo organizers have estimated they will need to divert about 10,000 medical workers to service the IOC’s demands.
Eight Olympic workers tested positive for the coronavirus during the torch relay last week — though they were wearing masks. Less than 2 percent of Japan’s population is vaccinated. Small wonder the head of Japan’s medical workers’ union, Susumu Morita, is incensed at the prospect of draining mass medical resources. “I am furious at the insistence on staging the Olympics despite the risk to patients’ and nurses’ health and lives,” he said in a statement…
The predicament in Tokyo is symptomatic of a deeper, longer-lasting illness in the Olympics. The Games have become a to-the-very-brink exercise in pain and exhaustion for everyone involved, and fewer countries are willing to accept these terms. Greed and blowout costs have rendered it an event that courts extreme disaster. In September, a report out of Oxford University’s business school found that the IOC has consistently “misled” countries about the risks and costs of hosting. Example: The IOC pretends that a contingency of about 9.1 percent is adequate to cover unforeseen expenses.
The true average cost overrun on a Summer Games? It’s 213 percent…
Tachikawa Sogo Hospital in Tokyo
The sheets say: "Medical care has reached its limit – NO OLYMPICS!" "Give us a break – NO WAY OLYMPICS CAN HAPPEN!" pic.twitter.com/8mY4Bjafz9
— Steve Harris (Tokyo) (@futsal1958) May 3, 2021
Of course, the dual IOC/USA repressions didn't scare Smith and Carlos in 1968, despite the risk of becoming blacklisted and outcast. I find it hard to believe that many black US athletes will be intimidated in 2021, when they will likely be regarded as heroes by many, if not most
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) April 22, 2021
Does nobody see the hypocrisy of mandating one form of political speech (anthems, flags and loyalty rituals around them) and forbidding the other? Politics is an ENORMOUS part of the Games. Politics of adulation and nationalism. Politics of protest should be as well.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) April 22, 2021
The Olympics should have been cancelled last year and not brought back. If they get cancelled again, how many athlete’s lives (many of whom don’t get paid much of anything) will have been effectively wasted over the past year?
Hopefully, this whole saga ends up putting the ridiculous boondoggle that the Olympics have become to rest. Only host in cities that have done it before and have the facilities, and move on. It’s unseemly to see old men line their pockets off of sports that hardly anyone gives two shits about.
I hope Japan is able to hold the games safely, but unless they postpone them another 3-6 months it’s hard to see that happening. Even without spectators.
The IOC is just about the most corrupt international organization there is. Except for maybe FIFA. And F1. And the NFL. And …
“They” should take the games away from the IOC, hold them annually in Greece, and take the politics and corruption out of it. Whoever “they” are… Why should athletes only get 1 or maybe 2 chances to compete against the best in the world? Make it annual, and make it about the athletes rather than the “spectacle” and TV and the zillion ways that the hangers-on can get their vig.
Hey, I can dream, can’t I?? :-/
The IOC is garbage.*
*H/T Baud, paraphrased from his near-daily comment on the NYTimes.
Auditing the IOC will reveal that the entire organization is staffed with clones of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner right up and down the line. It’s a criminal organization staffed by morons who would have driven the whole thing into the gutter decades ago if not for their ability to hide behind “the noble ideals of amateur sport”, which they use the same way Trump used the image crafted for him on “The Apprentice”.
Only because it’s an open thread:
I signed up today for a four-week Zoom class (90 minutes every Thursday morning during the month of May, starting tomorrow) through Emory University’s Lifelong Learning program. The class? “The Genius of Gilbert & Sullivan.”
In all modesty, I have taught classes on G&S, have performed in several productions, and even produced a 46-week radio series on the operettas. But there are a lot of G&S experts out there, and I’m hoping the professor is among them. I hope to gain some new insights or angles, and in any case I’m really looking forward to a weekly wallow in one of my favourite musical theatre genres.
The only problem for me is Zooming at 10:00 am. I’m completely out of the habit of doing my personal grooming much before noon, so this means setting an alarm. Ugh.
Huh. You should have been around during the reign of horror of Juan Antonio Samaranch. We in Atlanta got to know him all too well during the years leading up to the 1996 Centennial Games. What an arrogant bastard he was.
What does Touch up my appearance do on zoom
Best zoom filters
@SiubhanDuinne: Hey! No fair!! That’s like when I took a Russian lit class in college with a couple of native Russian speakers and they were allowed to read the assignments in Russian!!1
Have a great time!
Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics twice, we’ve run a profit each time. That does not count the infrastructure improvements for the Olympics(mostly LAX), but those changes were overdue anyway.
@SiubhanDuinne: have fun! So awesome you can follow your passion, even with the early start :)
Thanks. Bookmarked. But I really think the only solution is for me to get caught in that cat filter the viral lawyer guy was in a couple of months ago.
“It was, it was, the cat.” (“They’re right — it was the cat.”)
@?BillinGlendaleCA: I guess the good thing about hosting it a third time is being able to reuse a lot of stuff. Also, since only LA and Paris were interested in the 2024 and 2028 games, maybe the IOC lost the leverage to insist on some of their more ridiculous contract requirements.
Oh yeah, it’ll be fun. Thanks.
You are the very model of something, something, something.
Sounds very different, and possibly very fun. Enjoy!
Sports open thread? OK!
The Phillies won their fifth straight one-run game and beat the Brewers, the Sixers ran away from a hapless Houston team that could suit up just seven players and the Padres
are two up in the bottom of the ninth over the Pirates.beat the Buckos.
Ta, I’m sure I will!
@dmsilev: True, but LA even ran a profit on the 1932 games.
I’m ok with it as long as all the athletes wear helmets.
The three most corrupt organizations in the universe…1a) IOC, 1b) FIFA, 1c) the GOP.
@Poe Larity: Good idea!
I had a brilliant idea years ago that American football players should have to play in giant hamster balls. How passing and catching was going to work was something I didn’t quite work out…
Making divers wear helmets might finally break the trend of having increasingly stunted and malnourished divers win all the points (since they’re too small to make a splash)…
I hadn’t seen that before. I have now. There is more than one — the one I actually watched was a lawyer at a legal hearing and the judge explained how to turn off the filter. Modern Times.
I hope no one was affected by Hurricane Ashley on this Cinco De Mayo.
@patrick II: I occasionally catch bits of congressional hearings on C-SPAN Radio when I’m commuting. Just about every one – still – has some technical issue or the chair has to remind members – multiple times – to mute their mics when they don’t have the floor.
It’s kinda sad that they’re not any better at this stuff (even with their staffs) than we are. I’m not optimistic that the software is going to get better – where’s the pressure for them to do so? “Hey, it works great in our commercials. Have you tried rebooting your PC??”
Oh wow! I wish I’d known about that course. I owe a lot to Gilbert and Sullivan. My parents met in 1925 during a production of the Mikado.
Oh wow! I wish I’d known about that course. I owe a lot to Gilbert and Sullivan. My parents met in 1925 during a production of the Mikado. In junior high school.
Between the ages of 8-13 I was a snickersnee bearer, a midshipman (twice!), a pirate crew member and a gondolier. My dad and I spent a lot of time on stage together.
A few years ago, there was a (very) small fad of dressing up in sumo wrestler suits, or costumes: big inflated bodysuits, complete with a headpiece sporting the sumo hairstyle.
I saw a talk show where the guests put on the suits and tried to wrestle. They bounced off one another like balloons. It was one of the funniest things I ever saw.
If football mandated everyone wear a sumo suit, I’d watch every game there was to watch. And probably bust a gut laughing.
@CaseyL: Those would be some massive sumo suits.
Last night you linked to some goat herders in Wyoming and I watched the Youtube video and commented how very smart the one lady goat herder was. Youtube kicked up another video today about her — she has two bachelor’s and a master’s degree and is a land management expert who happens to like to herd goats.
I think this is a big reason the Olympics are always such money losers. It’s less about the stuff that’s strictly necessary to host the games and more about the host city using the Olympics as an excuse to go on a building spree. That’s more or less what I’m hoping for with the 2028 Olympics: LA will use it as an excuse to finish a bunch of light rail projects earlier than they otherwise would have.
You’ll definitely enjoy Greg Judy, another fascinating land and ivestock manager.
ObOpen [not Nope, stupid autocorrect] thread…
Popehat is bouncing his head off his desk…
@SiubhanDuinne: Oh….surely you meant Juan Antonio Sonofabitch
Hide the children and then tell me what the fuck is attacking Marsha Blackburn’s head.#MisguidedAlienReboot
The Twins meet The Marshall Tucker Band.
And they get a little philosophical halfway through.
Sports in general is deeply corrupt. We only have the ridiculousness that is amateur college athletics because of the Olympic requirement of “amateurism.” Before this, minor league teams were sponsored by local companies, who gave “jobs” to the athletes. This conflicted with Olympic rules, so the idea of supporting “amateur” athletes at least through their college careers began. Of course, the Olympics are no longer amateur, but the US is still stuck with a college athletic system that distorts our educational system from top to bottom.
Dump it all.
Please wait three years.
@SiubhanDuinne: “..And to end on a happy note, one can always count on Gilbert And Sullivan for a rousing finale, full of words, and music, and signifying nothing.” -Tom Lehrer
And I’d vote for Switzerland for the permanent home for the Olympics. Neutral, better organized, and has the winter sports angle fully covered.
@Another Scott: Wow.
This made me laugh out loud, He sounds just like the former guy
@Roger Moore: Quite a few cities build lavish sports complexes for the Olympics, we don’t do that in LA. In 2028, we’ll use SoFi, the Colosseum and other existing facilities. Metro is looking to finish a bunch of rail by 2028(though if the Crenshaw line is any indication, they won’t).
I don’t think this is historically accurate. Rather amateurism at both the collegiate and Olympic level was a result of the same underlying classism. Sports were supposed to be an activity for the leisure class, who created rules to keep out competition from the poor masses. Of course the leisure class also wanted to win, so the were various subterfuges to bring in ringers.
The main thing holding up a lot of LA Metro construction is funding. Metro builds on a pay-as-you-go basis, so cost overruns turn into construction slowdowns. The hope is we’ll be able to convince the federal government to either give us a bunch of money for Olympic infrastructure or at least get federal loan guarantees so we can borrow against future Measure M and Measure R revenue and build the rail network now instead of in the future.
@Roger Moore: Well, maybe for the Olympics, but amateur status for college sports is about keeping the educational task first. We have rules limiting employment on campus for the same reason. School is the primary activity and everything else is secondary. These rules predate the modern Olympics.
Even Californias view toward compensation for student athletes doesn’t shift them into the category of professional athletes, just amateur athletes that are compensated for the use of their likeness. So they aren’t doing sports as a job, but they can collect royalties from games that use them. It’s more an extension of CAs talent labor laws than sports employment.
@lgerard: she probably said that to him after picking up his dry-cleaning…..
@patrick II: @HumboldtBlue:
You both know what you did…
Plus it never hurts to look at Christopher Plummer.
@Geoduck: No. They should be held in fully neutral territory. Antartica for the winter olympics, and international waters for the summer. I’m open to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, low earth orbit, and any extraterrestrial bodies as well.
I’m laughing out loud with joy!
And singing along.
Olympic games need to freshen things up by including Calvinball.
@trollhattan: She looks like Trump halfway through his combover routine.
@trollhattan: commenter “helle woods” won that thread:
“puttin the Q in Aqua Net”
Why has Japan only vaccinated 2% of it’s population? It’s not like they’re a country with 0-yen GDP. What’s the hangup?
J R in WV
I’m thinking NO FQN WAY there is an Olympic Games in Japan later this summer. If they were serious about that, they would have a vaccination from hell underway in the subway, no ride without a shot.
Too late now!
@J R in WV:
I concur. Japan simply does not have all its ducks in a row. It’s already too late to be ready in time. But I expect that, fearing to lose face, it will postpone admitting the obvious and cancelling the Games until it’s too late — and the eventual global humiliation will be all the greater for its dithering.
@Feathers: college sports predate the olympics and are not that related. College sports exist because people like them. They will not go away. Other countries don’t do them, which proves they aren’t related to the olympics. They just happened, now they are traditional, and have a lot of good points. The corruption when it happens, happen because it involves people not angels, and the as normal, we have to learn and evolve rules to reduce corruption as time passes.
Football may have to be changed massively or ended because of the concussion issue, but it’s going to take time for society to come to a new agreement on this. It’s not so much the corruption as a lot of people just think it’s fun, including especially the players.
@Gvg: The most corrupt aspect of college sports IMO is requiring college participation in order to play in the NBA. Baseball and hockey manage to have college and professional leagues without doing this. It is so obviously done as a money grab for colleges on the backs of the best players.
Yes yes yes yes…
(From memory! :^D)
Baron Von Ripper-off? Didn’t Keenan Wynn voice that character in a Rankin-Bass Christmas special?
On the college sports amateurism rules. They were instituted because of the Olympics. The case of Babe Didrikson Zaharias showed that America’s amateur rules, which allowed for corporate sponsorship of amateur athletes, was incompatible with Olympic rules. So we got “student-athletes” instead, where athletes were allowed to not meet the general standards for admission or academic performance. Yes, there were college sports before the Olympics, but the current NCAA cartel, student athlete exploitation, and lowered standards were formalized to meet Olympic requirements and have outlasted the loosening of Olympic standards.
@Feathers: I thought that the NCAA’s student-athlete rules were put in place to keep the athletes from being professionals. That paying an athlete with a scholarship created legal exposure to all of the laws regarding employees and employers. Hence ‘Student-Athlete’. They’re students, not employees, sort of.
I also know that the real cash cow when all this came about was football, which is not an Olympic sport. The NCAA couldn’t have cared less about Modern Pentathlon or the Long Jump when it was trying to nail down the notion of Student-Athlete.
J R in WV
@lgerard: This made me laugh out loud, He sounds just like the former guy
And of course, Pompeo displays his typical stunning ignorance here.
Sexuality is not the correct word here at all, he means a usage that requires the word “gender” — which no senior female CIA analyst would misuse in the way Pompeo does in his fabricated quote.