2022 Olympic City List Gets Shorter (In a Bad Way)

I came across an interesting post on Yahoo Sports noting that on October 1st, Oslo withdrew its bid to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. What’s so interesting about the Norwegian’s changing their minds, you ask?

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing
2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball

Well, with their exit, notes the author, Danielle Elliot, the IOC is down to two options for host cities:

There’s Beijing, China, which doesn’t actually sit within 120 miles of a usable ski mountain, and there’s Almaty, Kazakhstan, which in its bid touted itself as “the world’s largest landlocked nation.”

It’s down to these two cities not because the IOC narrowed the field, but because every other city in the entire world said no.

Seriously, every other city said no.

That even includes cities that previously said yes and made it deep into the bidding process only to stare directly into the corrupt, humiliating voting system, not to mention eventual unnecessary construction costs, environmental effects, blown resources and white elephants built to opulent IOC code. They promptly high-tailed it the other way.

While I enjoy the Olympic sports as spectacle, I have long been a critic of the cronyism and corruption that rules not just the IOC but FIFA, FIA and many other international sports “non-profit” organization. Apparently, the insanity of spending billions on wasteful and unneeded events (chronicled well in the 1996 book “The New Lord of the Rings” by Andrew Jennings) is finally starting to catch up with the IOC.

As the author goes on to note about Germany’s earlier pass on being an IOC host:

“The vote is not a signal against the sport, but against the non-transparency and the greed for profit of the IOC,” Ludwig Hartmann, a German politician said when his country said no. “I think all possible Olympic bids in Germany are now out of question. The IOC has to change first. It’s not the venues that have to adapt to the IOC, but the other way around.”

It makes no sense for nations that are barely climbing out of dismal economic positions to be vying to spend fortunes to host a three-week long festival of sport and corruption. I, for one, and glad to see Oslo pull out. That said, my prediction is that the IOC will select Beijing once again, because the Games are about the flow of cash as much as medals these days. The summer Games cost the Chinese a reported $44B, so spending $50B or so in 2022 for the Winter Games is probably a good deal for China and the IOC combined.

In the meantime, I hope the IOC pays for Chinese classes for the directors, since I have a feeling the Games will be coming back to China many times in the future.

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