In long term, radical change needed to reduce Olympic host burden

In long term, radical change needed to reduce Olympic host burden

If the International Olympic Committee thought the bidding process changes in its Agenda 2020 reforms would end the negativity about being a host of the Summer or Winter Games, it has been sadly mistaken.

The frightening new financial projections about the cost of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and Rome’s withdrawal from the 2024 race on financial grounds make it clear the IOC still has a long way to go in convincing citizens of democracies that being a host of the ever-more-bloated Olympic Games is worth the time, money and hassle.

 The italicized passage above was the opening of my Friday column, which dealt with short- and long-term solutions to a mess so bad that six of the 10 official candidates to be host of the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Games withdrew after formalizing candidatures – and another, Boston, dropped out before filing its paperwork.

In the short term – for the 2024 vote coming next September – I borrowed an idea from my colleague Alan Abrahamson, who posited that the IOC should award the next two Summer Games at the same time, with Los Angeles getting 2024 and Paris 2028.

I suggested that the order makes no difference (click here for that column).  The important thing is doubling down will give the IOC more time to sort out its future.

The long-term answer?  Dramatic changes should be considered.

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The Time Has Come To Make Allyson Felix The Toast Of The Sports World

Allyson Felix after winning the 400 meters at the 2015 World Championships

Allyson Felix after winning the 400 meters at the 2015 World Championships

Bob Kersee does what he calls the bar test to assess name recognition.

Walk into a moderately crowded bar, the celebrated track and field coach says, and toss out the names Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Carl Lewis. Someone in the crowd will be able to fill you in on each of those sports superstars.

“Even if it’s only one person who knows,” Kersee said.

Now put Allyson Felix into that mix.

Kersee knows the result almost certainly will be blank stares, and that is enough to drive a man to drink.

“It’s time for Allyson to be recognized in the same way as some of the great American athletes, if not world athletes, of all time,” Kersee said.

Why should she be?

Since winning a senior national indoor title three months before her graduation from Los Angeles Baptist High School in 2003, Felix has been one of the world’s top sprinters. No woman in history has won as many world outdoor championship gold medals as her nine. No track and field athlete in the last three Olympics has won more medals than her six – four golds, two silvers.

Read the whole story at TeamUSA.org

Wagner, Gold resigned to morning skating at 2018 Olympics

Wagner, Gold resigned to morning skating at 2018 Olympics

BOSTON - The news that figure skating competition would begin at 10 a.m. at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea left the two leading U.S. women singles skaters resigned to deal with situation, although Ashley Wagner adopted that attitude more grudgingly than 2014 Olympic teammate Gracie Gold.

“This is all fresh to me, and right now I’m annoyed, because it’s a difficult thing to ask the skaters to do,” Wagner said after her Tuesday evening practice before the World Figure Skating Championships that begin Wednesday at TD Garden.

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