- City Versus City
March 3, 2004 9:58 AM   Subscribe - City Versus City. With the Athens Olympic Games less than six months away, the competition is heating host the 2012 Summer Games. Follow the political jockeying here. Will it be one of the powerhouses (New York, Paris, London), or does anyone think that Moscow or Havana have any chance at all? Also nice to look at are each city's "bid books" which are available in PDF format.
posted by jmcnally (10 comments total)
The Olympics are nothing but a bunch of asshole actors patting each oth... oh wait, sorry, that's the Oscars.

Carry on.
posted by jon_kill at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2004

I know that a lot of people see the Olympics as hopelessly compromised by rampant commercialism, corruption and drugs, but frankly, so is the world. I'm still a sucker for the ideals behind the Olympics (and the world, for that matter). Try not to use this thread for an extended attack on the IOC or "elite drug-fuelled athletes" or whatever else might be getting your goat about the Olympic Games.
posted by jmcnally at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2004

They will see how the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Square, and Olympic Boulevard have spurred the transformation of Manhattan’s bleak Far West Side into one of New York’s most exciting places to live, work, and visit.-from the NYC bidbook. I'm gagging--that's my neighborhood they're talking about ("bleak" -- feh!). People are organizing to stop the stadium, thus dooming our bid chances for 2012 (and I say good--how many cities have actual longterm benefits to citizens from hosting anyway?)
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2004

how many cities have actual longterm benefits to citizens from hosting anyway

Well, look how well Saraje... never mind.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:05 AM on March 3, 2004

London seems to be squarely behind the bid, with no organised opposition to it (according to the bidbook anyway.) The Greater London Authority seems to be putting its money where its mouth is regarding investing in sport, recently insuring the short term future of the Crystal Palace sports centre, home of UK athletics and London's only Olympic-sized pool. It's a shame the centre is not being proposed for any of the actual Olympic events, but then I'm biased.
posted by cbrody at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2004

I hope London gets it then : >
posted by amberglow at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2004

I think we can all get behind the Olympic movement's campaign to escape the shackles of official geography. In a world of beach volleyball, ought not Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel?
posted by liam at 11:41 AM on March 3, 2004

liam, I don't understand what you mean: with the exception of Israel and the US (very recently), no other country or (more importantly in this case) international organization, accepts Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Tel Aviv, as far as the UN is concerned (and thus the Olympic Committee) is the capital of Israel:

"Though Israel ...designated Jerusalem to be its capital, that designation was regarded as a breach of international law and not accepted by the diplomatic community (with just two exceptions) nor by any international state organizations, all of whom continue to regard Tel Aviv as the de jure Israeli capital, as a result basing all their embassies and consulates there"

The really original geographical interpretation in the page you linked to, is the rather amazing transportation of Israel to Europe...
posted by talos at 4:29 PM on March 3, 2004

Israel has traditionally been lumped with Europe in international sport (such as soccer). The problem of lumping them instead with their ostensible geographic neighbors should be obvious.

The real question at hand is whether the Athens Olympics will be such a disaster that the movement overall is tarnished. I think it was Montreal which for some time was the poster boy for overspending on the Olympics; Ueberroth's corporate sponsorship model, impressed for the LA Olympics (and considered radical at the time), has been followed slavishly ever since; some Olympics have made a profit (which doesn't mean that the detritus of the games hasn't provided endless shenanigans, such as how to reuse the Olympic Village dorms and such -- wasn't Atlanta arguing about that until very recently?).

As for Havana, clearly there's no way. But Moscow is such a robber baron's delight I'd be unsurprised if they came up with a winning bid, especially to balance the politics of giving them to Beijing.
posted by dhartung at 10:55 PM on March 3, 2004

Here in Houston, we spent a rather large amount of money on a proposition that we voted on that would prepare the city for the 2012 olympics. Needless to say the olympic commitee turned us down fairly early.
posted by LoopSouth at 11:11 AM on March 4, 2004

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