SBD/Issue 19/OlympicsPrint All
Probst's Lack Of Experience
In Sports Cited By Gilbert
CHANGE WILL DO YOU GOOD? Gilbert said that the USOC "could ask Congress to intervene" because the organization "operates under congressional mandate as the U.S. national organizing committee for the Olympic movement." He added that the NGBs have been "concerned with the USOC's direction for several months but remained silent during Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/8). However, USA Team Handball Chair Dieter Esch "offered a dissent" to the call for Probst and Streeter to resign immediately. Esch: "There is too much at stake to just call for resignations" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8). USOC spokesperson Lindsay Hogan said that the organization's board is "scheduled to meet later this week and would have a response at that time." In DC, Amy Shipley notes NBC Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol "made the first public call for a leadership change hours after Chicago became the second straight U.S. city to finish fourth in the international race for a Summer Games." Ebersol has said that the USOC's "failure to connect with the international sports community and the perceived arrogance of its leadership doomed Chicago's bid" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/8). SI.com's Brian Cazeneuve wrote Streeter's resignation is "really just step one" for the USOC. For a country that "often wins and always contends for the top of the medal count at each Olympics, the United States has relatively little administrative clout beyond the dollars that television and sponsorship money can generate" (SI.com, 10/7).
Dick Ebersol Believes Streeter
Should Leave USOC Quickly
WHERE DID WE GO WRONG? In Chicago, Philip Hersh writes the issue surrounding last Friday's IOC vote "no longer is whether Chicago could have beaten Rio if both had been in the final round," but rather how Chicago "got far fewer votes than anticipated." Some Chicago 2016 officials before the vote believed that the bid had "up to 33 votes in the first round," but Chicago instead pulled in only 18. Chicago 2016 Chair Pat Ryan: "I don't think it was miscounting. I think people changed their mind once they got in the closed session." Former TOROC COO Luciano Barra, who lobbied on behalf of Chicago 2016, said that members who shifted their votes to Tokyo "may have included Arab members from countries belonging to the Asian Olympic group who wanted to show regional solidarity." Barra also suggested that some IOC members "might have rejected Chicago out of petulance over security inconveniences caused by the presence" of President Obama and his wife, Michelle. Taiwan IOC member C.K. Wu said, "The IOC should in the future really study the (voting process)" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/8). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman notes Chicago's fourth-place finish "may have marked the nadir of the USOC's power." IOC members had "long ago grown resentful of USOC leadership, believing that it didn't respect the IOC's leadership and did little to engage them in talks over revenue issues." Olympic consultant Chris Welton, who formerly worked with the IOC, said, "There was 25 years of animosity that was built up in that vote" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/8).
Furlong Impresses IOC With
TICKET FEVER: Furlong said that the "appetite for tickets has been voracious" for the '10 Games. During the "last public offering of 150,000 tickets, VANOC's website experienced 1,500 hits every second for four hours -- making it the busiest website in the world during that period." Furlong said that a "further 150,000 tickets will be made available soon, mostly for preliminary-round hockey and curling contests." The GLOBE & MAIL's Gary Mason notes after VANOC's presentation yesterday, IOC members were "treated to a fashion show of Olympic gear designed by Mizuno that IOC members will be wearing in Vancouver" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/8). Meanwhile, VANOC Exec VP & Deputy CEO Dave Cobb said that organizers "will decide in the next few weeks whether to allow resellers to make money if they use the official Vancouver 2010 resale site." Cobb: "We're concerned that if we don't allow people to post tickets at a price greater than face value, that they'll go somewhere else to do it and if they go somewhere else to do it, buyers will not know whether they're valid tickets or not." He said that there is a "balance between ensuring the official resale program is attractive and ensuring there are enough affordable tickets available to anyone who wants to come to the Games." Cobb: "We think we've done that because they've been sold at our pricing" (CP, 10/7).
IOC Member Expresses Concern Over
Level Of Security At '10 Vancouver Games
GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: In Vancouver, Ivens & Inwood report Univ. of British Columbia ophthalmology professor Chris Shaw "launched a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court yesterday that asks a judge to strike down parts of the city of Vancouver's controversial Olympics bylaw." The bylaw "forbids anyone from displaying a sign not deemed to be 'celebratory' of the Winter Olympic Games on a number of major Vancouver streets or six city sites" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/8).
Michelle Wie Will Campaign
For Golf At IOC Session
MAKING THEIR PITCH: The AP's Mattias Karen noted both golf and rugby "need majority approval in separate votes by the full IOC assembly of 106 members." Golf officials consider the Olympics a "way to spread the game to developing countries and increase its popularity in South America and Africa." Rugby officials also are "looking to increase the fan base, and both sports will benefit from better sponsorship deals and government funding in countries that only give public support to Olympic sports" (AP, 10/6). In Manchester, Owen Gibson noted some IOC members are concerned about "whether the Olympics would be the pinnacle of achievement for golfers ahead of the four majors." But Dawson said, "We have been able to allay that fear by emphasising the broad support among the world's top players. There is only one Olympic tournament for every 16 majors." Meanwhile, the Int'l Rugby Board "looks sure to win approval for rugby sevens after promising to ditch the format's World Cup if it wins inclusion" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 10/7).
READY FOR THE GOLD JACKET? PGATOUR.com's Stan Awtrey wrote there is "no reason to believe" golf will not be approved. While some IOC members wonder "whether making golf an official sport would elevate the status of a gold medal" for golfers, they would be "short-sided to base their decision on such criteria." IOC members need to "look deeper and think about how golf's inclusion in the Olympic Games would help the sport on an international level." Awtrey noted it "probably won't hurt the push" that Argentina's Angel Cabrera and South Korea's Y.E. Yang won two of golf's four majors in '09 (PGATOUR.com, 10/7). However, Cabrera indicated that there is not a "suitable course in Rio -- or Brazil -- to handle a major golf event." Cabrera: "There are not any in Rio right now." He added that there "may be some logistical challenges for Brazil to host golf as an Olympic sport." Cabrera: "They would probably have to build (a course)" (GOLFWEEK.com, 10/6).