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TheLastWolf

International Events VI: Glorious Anarchy and Chaos!

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Posted (edited)

I did not contradict myself.  NYC at that time had a council that represented 'their' people, and stopped it.  We also had a vote on it -- he forced a referendum vote on it three times, and lost each time. Then tried to go around that.  By that time, as I said, and you ignored, cities learned what a toll having the Olympics left a hosting venue in terms of everything from debt and literally financial losses -- the revenue never made back what they spent, and it had to be paid for by somebody, and guess who that was? Paid for by loss and cut-backs of all kinds of essential services from teachers, to libraries to mental health programs, you name it.

Simone Biles is among those generations of gymnasts abused by Larry Nassar -- who is still in prison, thank goodness, and I hope he never gets out.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/simone-biles-says-she-was-molested-gymnastics-doctor-larry-nassar-n837806

But the point here is that Biles is the ONLY one of those girls who continued on to a competition career.  THE ONLY ONE.  This is what this shyte does to people.  The layers and levels of abuse and corruption isn't confined in the least or maybe even the most to greedy 0.001%ers to get even more for themselves via land development deals and other contracts.

Edited by Zorral

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36 minutes ago, Zorral said:

By that time, as I said, and you ignored, cities learned what a toll having the Olympics left a hosting venue in terms of everything from debt and literally financial losses -- the revenue never made back what they spent, and it had to be paid for by somebody, and guess who that was?

I ignored this?

4 hours ago, Padraig said:

It used to be a thing that every big city wanted to host the Olympics (I remember wild stories about Dublin in the 1990s).  But the costs kept going up and as smaller (or less wealthy) cities continued to host it occassionally (e.g. Athens and Rio), there were some horror stories. 

Horror stories wasn't strong enough?

Fragile Bird's Montreal example is possibly the most famous one.  But I went for the more recent events since they drove the recent reforms.

41 minutes ago, Zorral said:

NYC at that time had a council that represented 'their' people, and stopped it.

If you don't want to agree that you contradicted yourself, would you agree that this supports my position that if it the Olympics are so onerous, more and more cities will do what NY did?

While what happened to those gymnasts is horrendous, is this just a random example of people being terrible?   It seems tangential to the Olympic discussion?  Or am I missing something?

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19 minutes ago, Padraig said:

am I missing something?

Yes. To say 'random example of people behaving badly' ignores that this is fairly systemic throughout -- not at all confined to the US.

And yes, a lot of cities are choosing not to have the Olympics absolutely, leaving the countries / cities asking for it those who are fairly rotten to their populations and always have been, like the authoritarian cruel racist rulers of places like Brasil. Or places who still somehow think hosting an Olympics provides global cachet and status and respect.

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This thread reminds me that Icarus was a really good watch. Streaming on Netflix.

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11 minutes ago, Zorral said:

And yes, a lot of cities are choosing not to have the Olympics absolutely, leaving the countries / cities asking for it those who are fairly rotten to their populations and always have been, like the authoritarian cruel racist rulers of places like Brasil. 

Poor old Lula and Dilma Rousseff.  You do know that Bolsonaro wasn't President of Brazil when it hosted the Olympics? 

Brazil still is a democracy (with flaws), despite electing a terrible President.  I would think somebody from the US would understand that.

The other recent hosts also don't fit your narrative but now i'm just going round and round in circles. :)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Yes. To say 'random example of people behaving badly' ignores that this is fairly systemic throughout -- not at all confined to the US.

And yes, a lot of cities are choosing not to have the Olympics absolutely, leaving the countries / cities asking for it those who are fairly rotten to their populations and always have been, like the authoritarian cruel racist rulers of places like Brasil. Or places who still somehow think hosting an Olympics provides global cachet and status and respect.

Yeah not just anyone could host the Olympics, there’s a level of prestige attached to it.

But ultimately the image prestige doesn’t translate into real-world benefits for the hosts besides having the bragging rights 

When the Tokyo Olympics are complete I’m fairly certain a familiar pattern will emerge.

The Olympics will be  proved to be a drain on the host city.

Again

The IOC will make some gesture to some lukewarm reforms that they say will adequately address the problems that have come with hosting the Olympics.

Mainly it being a drain to the host city

https://www.dw.com/en/the-40-planned-olympic-reforms-in-overview/a-18115897

There will insistence that the IOC would try to benefit the city hosting them after the documented history of the Olympics being a drain. Because for sure the people who run corporate entities are never short-sighted and engrossed in getting the most they can in the moment. 
And the Olympics will still prove a drain https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/over-budget-and-fraught-problems-tokyo-games-spark-calls-olympic-reforms

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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Another comment about Montreal. For decades they had the reputation of having the worst roads and other infrastructure in Canada because, you know, they couldn’t afford to repair anything or build anything. Bridges had concrete falling off of them and an overpass collapsed, killing people. The major bridge connecting the island of Montreal to the south shore had to have traffic restrictions on it for ages because people were worried about the amount of weight it could carry. The federal government had to provide infrastructure money to replace it.

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It's a fact that not only are the Olympics very expensive, but the cost overruns are generally huge. To be clear, between 1968 and 2016, only three Games had an overrun that was truly under 50% (Salt Lake City, Beijing, and Vancouver). That's less than the times the overruns went above 250% (Montreal, Lake Placid, Barcelona, Lillehammer, and Sochi).
The horror stories are the rule, not the exception, and no one in their right mind should want the Games to be hosted in their city.

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Posted (edited)

I had some of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of my life at London 2012. And I remember being very excited when we won the right to host it.

 

 

Edited by Spockydog

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Olympic discussions are overshadowing other equally, if not more important events... :mellow:

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5 hours ago, Spockydog said:

I had some of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of my life at London 2012. And I remember being very excited when we won the right to host it.

 

 

Yeah have to echo this. Personally I never cared about the olympics and was bemused by all the fuss , but it does seem like our hosting is it now viewed as a ‘golden age’ for the UK, when everyone loved each other and we all had something to be proud of.. before it all fell apart.

I don’t really remember it in that way, but I feel like it’s the narrative for a lot of people. 
 

Sure it created a few white elephants but it has also been quite transformational for parts of london.

Im sure West Ham fans are not quite so happy about the Olympic legacy however 

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6 hours ago, The_Lone_Wolf said:

Olympic discussions are overshadowing other equally, if not more important events... :mellow:

Go for it - be the change you want to see in the world.

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14 hours ago, Rippounet said:

It's a fact that not only are the Olympics very expensive, but the cost overruns are generally huge. To be clear, between 1968 and 2016, only three Games had an overrun that was truly under 50% (Salt Lake City, Beijing, and Vancouver). 

Didn't Los Angeles in 1984 make a profit?    And a number of Olympics since then have made money too.

I think people should be careful about reading history with today's perspective.  Historically, nobody expected to make money from hosting an Olympics.  As Varys said, it was the prestige.  Bringing people from all over the world to your city and celebrating your city/country, as well as some of the best of human achievement.

I doubt World Fair's made money when they were huge either.

Los Angeles woke the world to the idea that the Olympics could make money but also mass tourism changed the dynamics.  Bringing people to your city/country was no longer unusual.  Even TV changed things.  We had travel programs, documentaries and movies showing the world your city.  There was less need to host the Olympics as a mass marketing device.

The cost kept going up and then sustainability became more prominent.

But there was still some very embarrasing stories.  Greece wanted to host the Olympics for sentimental reasons.  Understandable but it was a bad idea.  And Brazil wanted to prove that it was on the same level as Western countries.  Unfortunately, it proved the reverse (or was at the same level as Western countries in the worst of ways).  After that, the Olympics would have wished that Tokyo would be a huge success (like London) but it didn't work out that way.

Now using Tokyo as a platform to suggest that reforms have failed is a bit ridiculous.  Clearly COVID-19 dwarfs the effects of everything else.  Not that there wouldn't be some learnings from it.  But I wouldn't base the future on it.  The Winter Olympics are going to have a difficult ride though.

Overall though.  No city is forced to host the Olympics.  You may suggest that all these major cities like London and LA are deranged but we're just random people on the internet. :)

 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/2021/07/29/simone-biles-larry-nassar-fbi/

Quote

 

. . . .The trouble with the phrase “mental health” is that it’s an abstraction that allows you to sail right straight over what happened to Simone Biles and, in a way, what is still happening to her. To this day, American Olympic officials continue to betray her. They deny that they had a legal duty to protect her and others from rapist-child pornographer Larry Nassar, and they continue to evade accountability in judicial maneuvering. Abuse is a current event for her.

It’s a perilous endeavor to project what Biles, the most uniquely superior gymnast in the world, is feeling or thinking at this juncture. But she has been frank about these things: her profound lingering distrust of USA Gymnastics and the USOPC and her conviction they will not do right by her and other athletes of their own accord. Remember, if it wasn’t for Biles bringing her clout to the issue, these users would still be making women train in the buggy squalor of the Karolyi Ranch, the USOPC-sanctioned hellhole where they were molested.

As Biles told NBC’s Hoda Kotb in a recent interview, one of the main reasons she came back for another Olympics at age 24 was to try to ensure some accountability. “If there weren’t a remaining survivor in the sport, they would’ve just brushed it to the side,” she said.

It was only two weeks ago that the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report on the Nassar case, in which Biles learned in new infuriating detail how corrupt officials hushed up evidence that the gymnastics doctor was a serial sex assaulter and how then-USAG chief Steve Penny traded favors with local FBI agent Jay Abbott to bottom-drawer it.

Documents produced in a long-stalled civil suit against USOPC and USAG have brought other aggravating recent revelations. One in particular is worth looking at, in light of what happened to Biles on the vaulting floor in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. That’s the day Biles became so disoriented on her vault that she couldn’t risk competing in the team finals.

As chance would have it, that’s the same date that, six years earlier, Steve Penny threw her to the wolf.

If you think conduct like this is past tense for these organizations, think again. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the USOPC and USAG have perpetuated their coverup with civil court motions. They have hidden from accountability with bankruptcy proceedings. They have demanded that in exchange for any civil settlement, Biles and others who suffered Nassar’s assaults issue blanket liability releases that would protect a rogue’s gallery of well-known abusers, as well as Penny. And they have fought to keep the depositions of Penny, Blackmun and former chairman Larry Probst under seal.

Under seal.

Does that sound like these organizations have turned over a new leaf and become more “athlete-centered?” They had the nerve to feign support for Biles this week. They are not her supporters. They are her tormentors. . . . 

 

Fortunately, some have come to reverse their initial attitude about Bile's taking herself out of the competition:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/28/simone-biles-diana-nyad-olympics-gymnastics-withdrawal/

Then, the financial debt the people have to pay -- and pay in so many ways, particularly in cuts to essential services.

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1029327/british-charity-blast-government-for-failure-to-repay-london-2012-olympic-debt

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/economics-hosting-olympic-games

Quote

. . . .These costs have led to renewed skepticism, and a number of cities have withdrawn their bids for the 2022, 2024, and 2028 games over cost concerns. Oslo and Stockholm both backed out of their 2022 bids upon realizing that costs would be higher than originally estimated. Boston withdrew from consideration for the 2024 Games, with its mayor saying that he “refuse[d] to mortgage the future of the city away.” The 2024 finalists, Budapest, Hamburg, and Rome, also withdrew, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris. In an unprecedented move, given the lack of candidates, the IOC chose the 2024 and 2028 venues simultaneously in 2017, with Paris and Los Angeles taking turns hosting. . . .

https://www.investopedia.com/news/who-actually-pays-olympics/

Quote

. . . .For the 2012 London Games, public sector funding contributed £6.7 billion ($8.7 billion) toward costs. Boston also pulled out of the 2024 Games bidding when Mayor Marty Walsh found out locals could be held accountable for run-off costs.[4][5] . . . .

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/sports/before-the-london-games-the-grumbling-about-money.html 

Quote

 

. . . .that message has not been universally popular in a place where the government is trying to cut, not spend, its way out of financial trouble. While some Britons are approaching the Olympics with excitement and pride, others think that in a time of retrenchment and pain, the last thing the country should be doing is splashing out on what is essentially a 17-day party for the rest of the world.

“The need to bung another £40m into whatever all-singing, all-dancing spectacular the director of ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has in mind demonstrated how fundamentally the organizers have misjudged so much about these Games,” Richard Williams wrote in The Guardian, referring to the film director Danny Boyle, who is orchestrating the opening ceremony.

Writing in The Economist, the Bagehot columnist called the Olympics “a juggernaut controlled by an unaccountable sporting elite.”

“Perhaps sporting success will neutralize public resentment, and the country will feel only pride at hosting a spending games, fuelling new confidence in Britain’s future,” the column said. “But, for now, the Olympic debate revolves around material costs and benefits rather than glory.”

Griping about the Games’ cost is so common among citizens of host countries that it could almost be its own Olympic sport. And it is clear that even in flush times, the Olympics carry a considerable financial burden. The 1992 Barcelona Games left Spain with a $6.1 billion debt. Athens estimated that the 2004 Games would cost $1.6 billon, but in the end it was $16 billion. . . .

 

There has been so much reporting about this in the 21st century it is astonishing that some think it's not and never has been a problem for any cities, or even for the athletes. Nor have we even touched upon the relentless drugging scandals that have emerged in every Olympics since the 90's -- as in the other global sports competition. It's disheartening to see people I respected casually handwave away relentless sexual abuse with the word 'random event.' Evidently admitting sexual abuse, drugging, and financial shenanigans-for-the-profit-of-few, are actually how their entertainment is provided. Like tRumpisters with the NFL players and the pandemic. This is a mindset that doesn't respond to research, thus continuing the discussion is wasted time and effort. 

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3 hours ago, Week said:

Go for it - be the change you want to see in the world.

Hey I'm going to be a politician. And we talk, talk, talk more. And then some more.

Spoiler

Did I mention talking? 

OK I'll take up your suggestion

Which city's bombed, which forest is burning, which celeb misplaced her million dollar lipstick, who's killed, any more 'natural' disasters? 

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3 hours ago, Padraig said:

Didn't Los Angeles in 1984 make a profit?    

Los Angeles woke the world to the idea that the Olympics could make money but also mass tourism changed the dynamics.  

 

Los Angeles made money for two reasons, they didn’t have to build a stadium (nor many other facilities, because they had them) and the US has fabulously wealthy companies located in California who sponsored the games. Not too many regions in the world have so many billion and trillion dollar companies in the area that can open up their wallets and donate. Also, a third reason - Mexico hosted the games in 1968 on a shoestring, and the LA organizers studied the cheap techniques used in Mexico City, like using buckets of paint to decorate neighborhoods instead of more costly decoration and, believe it or not, the creative use of cardboard. They even did creative things like using local flowers in bouquets instead of the traditional roses. There have been suggestions that with the droughts in California, cactus plants should be given in the next games….

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@Zorral

Hamburg had drop its bid after the municipal goverment lost a referendum (check upthread), embarassingly almost all the parties on the City council backed that lunacy. (on a somewhat related note, goverment experience is such a big boon, right Olaf [Scholz]?) Costs played no small part in the NOlympia campaign (again check upthread), but not the sole reason. If the Olympic camp had won that referendum, they would've pushed on with that madness.

Boston had to drop its bid, after it became apparent, that a majority of Bostonians didn't want to host the games, once they knew what it actually entials. Marty Walsh (who was Boston's Mayor at the time) was initifally pretty pro Olympics. He was more or less faced to make a u-turn, because the idea to host dropped in popularity. When he finally pulled the plug hosting the Olympics was polling almost as unfavorable as the former guy's approval rating. So Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker had to quietely climb down from the Olympic bandwagon. Costs were once again one big argument, but not the only one.

The idea of hosting the Olympics was equally unattractive to the people of Budapest. Apparently it was unpopular enough for Orban to walk away from it.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, L'oiseau français said:

Los Angeles made money for two reasons, they didn’t have to build a stadium (nor many other facilities, because they had them) and the US has fabulously wealthy companies located in California who sponsored the games. Not too many regions in the world have so many billion and trillion dollar companies in the area that can open up their wallets and donate. Also, a third reason - Mexico hosted the games in 1968 on a shoestring, and the LA organizers studied the cheap techniques used in Mexico City, like using buckets of paint to decorate neighborhoods instead of more costly decoration and, believe it or not, the creative use of cardboard.

Well yes, I think that is the focus these days.  On cities that have most (if not all) facilities already in place.  Given globalisation, I think the sponsorship issue is less of an issue but sure, useful.  (Wikipedia does claim that other cities post-LA also made profits).

That does mean that the Olympics are more likely to be in mega cities like Tokyo and LA.  But obviously Brisbane can manage it too.  But Australians do love their sport, so they must have a lot of facilities in place too.

The IOC will certainly hope for better luck in Paris and LA (after Rio and Tokyo).  But I really don't think it will be costs that stops the Games.  OTOH, you just have to read the news to see many other threats.  But if those lead to the Olympics been stopped, we'll have way bigger worries to deal with.  Its an interesting story for the media though.

Zorral, I imagine everyone on this board supports Simone Biles.

Edited by Padraig

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Padraig said:

 (Wikipedia does claim that other cities post-LA also made profits).

This is incorrect. Profit was made, indeed, but very rarely by the host cities (nor does wikipedia claim that).

Based on that wikipedia page alone, you'd thing Sochi and Pyeongchang both made a profit for example. This is not the case. In fact, -according to my googling- both the Sochi and Pyeongchang Games led to massive debt for the city or province, that had to be paid by the taxpayer.

It's part of why the organisation of the Olympics is in fact a problem. See, the IOC can make a significant profit and the host city can still end up with a massive amount of debt. That's because it's up to the city to make a convincing bid... and then to shoulder the consequences. The IOC will give back some of its profits, but will not cover all expenses... and definitely not the overruns...

It's part of the reason why LA actually made a profit in 1984: not only the city had some decent infrastructure (hence a smaller investment for its bid to begin with), but after the disaster of Montreal (1976), there were fewer bids and LA was able to negotiate a better deal with the IOC.

This is why several people here have been talking about corruption and transparency. Games can be profitable... But for whom? Who counts, and how? The devil is in the details.
Given the way the Games work, it's easy to see that the host cities will spend public money and that private companies will generate a profit. Politicians will get kickbacks of course.
Private profits, socialized debts. The story is familiar to anyone who's paid attention.
You may find counter-examples. Vancouver seems to be one for example. But again, that's the exception, not the rule.

This article is a bit old, but explains things well:

Quote

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/economics-hosting-olympic-games

A consensus has grown among economists that the Olympic Games need reforms to make them more affordable. Many have pointed out that the IOC bidding process encourages wasteful spending, by favoring potential hosts who present the most ambitious plans. This so-called winner’s curse means that over-inflated bids—often pushed by local construction and hospitality interests—consistently overshoot the actual value of hosting. Observers have also criticized the IOC for not sharing more of the fast-growing revenue generated by the games.

 

Edited by Rippounet

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7 hours ago, The_Lone_Wolf said:

Hey I'm going to be a politician. And we talk, talk, talk more. And then some more.

  Reveal hidden contents

Did I mention talking? 

OK I'll take up your suggestion

Which city's bombed, which forest is burning, which celeb misplaced her million dollar lipstick, who's killed, any more 'natural' disasters? 

...

Week: “That boy is our last hope.” 

Yoda: "No. There is another.”

-_- Phew. 

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