Adding more seats to its gravy train costs the IOC way more than it seems

Adding more seats to its gravy train costs the IOC way more than it seems

Sometimes things are hidden in plain sight.

And sometimes you find them deep in a publicly available document.

And sometimes they come to your attention because the keen eye of a colleague points them out, as, in this case, David Owen did for a recent blog on insidethegames.biz.

And the case in question is just another example of how International Olympic Committee members and those non-members who serve on IOC commissions live off the fat of the land.

And all these people are volunteers, ostensibly inclined to get involved with what is pretentiously called the Olympic Movement (capital “M” in IOC documents) out of an altruistic desire to help athletes in Olympic sports.

Altruism, it turns out, has its financial rewards, shared by an ever-growing number of people, as Owen detailed.

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IOC dips an OAR in the water for symbolic 2018 Olympic punishment of Russian doping

IOC dips an OAR in the water for symbolic 2018 Olympic punishment of Russian doping

Let’s get this straight at the outset.

The International Olympic Committee’s unprecedented Tuesday decision on Russian participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics is, as yet, no big deal in any way eventual followers of the upcoming Games will find significant.

The IOC did not ban Russian athletes for the country’s involvement in systemic doping.  It banned a symbol, depriving Russia of the chance to show its flag or have its medalists honored with their national anthem or wear the country’s name on their uniforms.  Russian athletes undoubtedly will win medals of all colors, and, despite all the feel-good mantras about participating in the Olympics, results are what count.

Yes, it’s the first time such an action has been taken against an entire country because of doping.

But the IOC already has made its most important decisions regarding Russian Winter Olympic athletes by banning and taking medals from many involved in manipulation of tests at the Sochi Olympics.  If all these athletes lose their medals after appeals are exhausted, it will knock down Russia’s official medal count for the 2014 Olympics from 33 to 22.

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Chances grow of two-for-one Summer Games (2024-28) deal

Chances grow of two-for-one Summer Games (2024-28) deal

The chances have increased substantially for the hosts of both the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to be named at the same time this September.

That was the takeaway both from an action the International Olympic Committee executive board took Friday and also the statements IOC President Thomas Bach made in a press conference after the meeting at the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In his first public comments directly on the possibility of a joint award to Los Angeles and Paris, the 2024 candidates, Bach made it clear the IOC would do well “to exploit a positive situation” of having “two excellent candidates from two major Olympic countries.”

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On the defensive, IOC president plays alternative facts trump card

On the defensive, IOC president plays alternative facts trump card

Funny what you will find while looking for something else.

I was searching the International Olympic Committee’s web site to check a reported fact about how much the IOC charges cities to bid for the Olympic Games when I came across the headlines pictured above on a story posted the day after the Sept. 15, 2015 deadline for 2024 Summer Games bids to be submitted.

Eighteen months later, that headline looks like an IOC version of something Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway would have explained away as “alternative facts.”

A rejection in a public referendum (Hamburg), fiscal priorities (Rome) and the threat of a referendum (Budapest) have reduced the competition to just two world-class cities (Los Angeles and Paris) and made a mockery of the IOC’s self-congratulatory headlines.

In an interview last week with the German magazine Stuttgarter Nachrichten, IOC President Thomas Bach blamed the dropouts on the “anti-establishment movements we have in many European countries.”

Or, alt facts.

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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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