A tone deaf IOC won't hear what cities do: hosting the Olympics sounds like sour notes

A tone deaf IOC won't hear what cities do: hosting the Olympics sounds like sour notes

How’s that Olympic Agenda 2020 thing working out, Mr. Bach?

All that hot air about reform and cost-cutting in both bidding for and staging the Games that filled a Monaco conference center in 2020, inflating a balloon of self-congratulations that has been leaking ever since?

“Like most people, I am sick and tired of hearing the mantra of Olympic Agenda 2020,” Canada’s Richard Pound said in an email.

Pound is the senior member of the current 95 in an International Olympic Committee presided over by Mr. Thomas Bach since September 2013.

Agenda 2020 was rushed to a vote in December 2014 after cities in five countries either dropped out of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics or, in one case, dropped even the idea of a bid after public opposition.  That left just the capitals of two authoritarian nations in a race Beijing won over Almaty, Kazakhstan, despite serious environmental and logistical issues related to having skiing events in a low-snow area miles away from the host city.

And, then Mr. Bach, it was barely six months after your IOC membership rubber-stamped Agenda 2020 that cities in the 2024 Summer Games race began laughing at an emperor who still had no clothes.

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Will only fools - and dictators - rush in to bid for Olympics?

Will only fools - and dictators - rush in to bid for Olympics?

If the International Olympic Committee thought the bidding process changes in its Agenda 2020 reforms would end the negativity about the prospect of hosting 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 Summer Games race on financial grounds make it clear the IOC still has a long way to go in convincing citizens of democracies that taking on the ever-more-bloated Olympic Games is worth the time, money and hassle.

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