Wanted: A city to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Getting bidders for the Olympics used to be easy. But no longer, and particularly for the Winter Games.
Six European cities pulled out of official bids or possible bids when the IOC sought candidates a few years ago for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Cities balked over soaring costs, political unrest or a lack of public support as expressed in referendums.
That left the IOC with only two proposals, both from authoritarian governments that backed cities devoid of winter sports traditions: Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China.
Beijing narrowly won, but that set off alarms at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“The 2022 (bidding) certainly highlighted the problems we were facing in attracting cities, particularly winter cities,” IOC member and former vice president John Coates said. “We had to do something to address the cost of the games. Increased costs have forced our hand.”
Coates said the International Olympic Committee is doing a “total rethink” over the way the games are presented to potential bidders, and how they’re sold to the public.
The Switzerland-based Olympic body is trying to rebrand, billing itself as user friendly and at the service of host cities — and not the other way around. Officials are talking up flexibility and cost cutting, trying to change the IOC’s image of pressuring cities to build new sports venues that quickly become unused “white elephants.”
Four cities have shown preliminary interest for 2026: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; and Sapporo, Japan. Calgary and Sapporo have hosted previous Winter Olympics, and Stockholm held the Summer Olympics in 1912. Sweden has never held the Winter Olympics.
“We are saying, come around and dialogue with us,” said Christophe Dubi, executive director of the Olympics.
Dubi said Norway, Austria and the United States had also shown some interest — if not for 2026, then for 2030.
U.S. Olympic officials say the nation won’t bid for the 2026 Games, with Los Angeles hosting the Summer Olympics in 2028. Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno, Nevada, are expected to consider 2030 bids.
Richard Brisius, the CEO of Stockholm’s exploratory committee, told The Associated Press he believes the IOC’s changes are “real,” not a cosmetic makeover.
“They (IOC) are taking big steps to change for the future.” Brisius said. “That means for a small, democratic country like Sweden, we feel now we have a good chance at this.”
European and North American candidates probably have an edge for 2026. Sapporo held great Olympics in 1972, but putting the games in Japan would come just after Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, and after two winter games in Asia: Pyeongchang and Beijing.
Coates joked that letting cities talking informally before bidding formally with the IOC eliminated “the schmoozing” and back-scratching that has gone on, driving up costs for cities that eventually win the bid — and even for losing cities that don’t.
Chicago, the losing bidder for the 2016 Summer Olympics, is reported to have spent $100 million on paperwork and consultants — and got nothing from it.
Winning bidders have wound up with even larger tabs. Rio de Janeiro spent about $13 billion in private and public money to host the 2016 games, though some put the cost at $20 billion.
Sochi famously spent $51 billion to prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics, a price tag that scared off many bidders; particularly cities in Europe and North America.
Last year, the IOC awarded two Summer Olympics simultaneously to Paris and Los Angeles — 2024 and 2028 — in one bid process. Dubi said it was “too early to speculate” if it might do the same for the 2026 and 2030 Winter Olympics.
Simon Chadwick, who specializes in Olympics research at the University of Salford in Manchester, England, says the IOC has a sales job on its hands.
“At best, the scientific evidence suggests that the economic benefits associated with bidding for and hosting the Games are marginal,” Chadwick said in an email to the AP. “As such, the case for hosting is open to debate, hence there has been an increasing trend for European countries to put bidding decisions to a popular vote via a referendum.”
Voters in at least two European cities — Munich, Germany, and St. Moritz, Switzerland — turned down referendums to pursue bids for 2022. The Munich vote was embarrassing for IOC President Thomas Bach, who is from Germany.
“The costs are not just financial,” Chadwick wrote. “People often perceive that there are social, legal and environmental costs too.” He also added “opportunity cost,” meaning money spent on the Olympics could have been spent elsewhere.
China spent at least $40 billion on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Chinese are spending big again on the Winter Games.
Bach has cautioned China to rein in spending and “stick to the reforms.” But he also lauded organizers for raising so much money.
The IOC generated almost $6 billion in revenue in the last Olympic cycle — 2013-2016 — but uses just a fraction of that to help host cities.
“We have already discussed with the Beijing organizing committee about different venues, about the location for venues, about the scale of venues, in order to reduce costs,” Bach said days before the Pyeongchang Olympics opened. “On the other hand, we have to say we are really almost overwhelmed by the marketing success of Beijing 2022.”
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org
Pornhub And Tinder Traffic Surges More Than 400 Per Cent During Winter Olympics
PORNHUB and Tinder have seen their traffic sore by more than 400 per cent during the Winter Olympics.
Visitors to the adult entertainment website and dating app have skyrocketed with some of the world’s best athletes in PyeongChang.
Getty Traffic to adult entertainment site PornHub has increased during the Winter Olympics
Tinder has reported its usage has risen by a mammoth 348 per cent since the start of the Olympics.
And PornHub saw traffic spike by 85 per cent – despite pornographic websites being banned in South Korea.
It is believed that male bobsledders and female snowboarders are the most popular on the dating app.
And it is athletes from Great Britain, the United States and Sweden that are on there swiping left and right most frequently.
Getty Images Lindsey Vonn has been looking for a boyfriend during the Winter Olympics
Getty A whopping 110,000 condoms have been dished out to athletes
Arsenal Star Jack Wilshere ‘the Most Overrated Player On The Planet’, According To Manchester United Legend Roy Keane
JACK WILSHERE is “the most overrated player on the planet”, according to Manchester United legend Roy Keane.
The England ace, 26, was Arsenal‘s captain for the night in the disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Ostersunds in the Europa League last-32.
EPA Roy Keane has branded Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere the world’s most overrated star
Wilshere – who was hauled off after 77 minutes – saw his side go 2-0 early on as the Swedish minnows threatened a shock upset.
However, a goal from Sead Kolasinac saw the Gunners through to the last-16 of Europe’s second tier, 4-2 on aggregate.
Yet it was still not enough for Republic of Ireland assistant manager Keane, who launched a withering attack on Arsenal – and Wilshere in particular.
Speaking of the Gunners’ performance after the game on ITV, Keane said: “Where do I start?
PA:Press Association Roy Keane launched a withering attack on both Arsenal and Jack Wilshere
“I think Arsenal are a great example on how not to start a game of football.
“We can talk about being a shambles but they’re so slow out of the blocks – poor attitude.
ANDERNOTHER ONE Jose Mourinho’s long history of feuds with club doctors after his Ander Herrera rant
“The manager summed it up. No energy, no desire, you’re looking for your senior players to lead by example.
“I always think, when Wilshere’s your captain, to me, probably the most overrated player on the planet.
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal were ‘complacent’ after losing to Ostersunds in the Europa League
PA:Press Association Jack Wilshere was Arsenal’s captain for the 2-1 defeat to Ostersunds
Who Is Eve Muirhead And Does Team Gb Curling Skipper At The 2018 Winter Olympics Have A Boyfriend?
TEAM GB’s women curlers are on the hunt for Olympic glory again – and Eve Muirhead is hoping to better the bronze they claimed in Sochi.
Effectively bowls on ice, curling becomes a national obsession during the Winter Olympics and the country famously held it’s breath during Rhona Martin’s dramatic final stone in 2002.
Reuters Muirhead’s GB team are going for gold in Pyeongchang
This years competitors are hoping to emulate that gold medal performance in South Korea.
Who is Eve Muirhead?
STILL only 27-years-old, Eve Muirhead is the youngest ever skip to win an Olympic curling medal.
Born in Perth, Scotland in 1990 and the daughter of an international curler, Eve had success in junior championships before representing Scotland from 2008 onwards.
And just a year later she picked up the BBC Scotland Young Sports Personality of the year for her early achievements on the ice.
Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow Eve is a four-time world junior champion
PA:Press Association The Scot has also been a competitive bagpiper
A famously gritty and fierce competitor, the Scot has won an an unprecedented four gold medals at junior World Championships, with her last coming seven years ago in 2011.
That saw her fast-tracked into the Team GB system and she has skipped in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics.
They crashed out in the round-robin in Vancouver, but in Sochi fought their way to a bronze medal.
PA:Press Association She led the Team GB team to bronze in Sochi
As well as her Olympic achievements, Muirhead is a world champion after she defeated Sweden in 2013, which made Eve the youngest skip to ever win the World Women’s Curling Championship.
An accomplished bag-piper, Muirhead formerly played off a scratch handicap on the golf course – but has slipped back to a still excellent 3.
She turned down two scholarships from US universities to become a pro golfer, instead opting to concentrate on curling.
Getty Images – Getty Muirhead is also a talented golfer 💰How to claim your FREE £30 bet💰
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When did she become curling skipper?
EVE was appointed skip in 2010 – whilst she was still participating in junior competitions.
After losing out in the Vancouver Olympics, she returned to the junior World championships in Scotland – and thrashed Canada 10-3 in the final to pick up a fourth title.
Does she have a boyfriend?
THE TEAM GB skip likes to keep her private life out of the news and any boyfriend remains a mystery.
After her bronze medal win in 2014 she was on the lookout for love, telling fans: “I am still single and I guess, now the busy time is over, I am going to take time off and enjoy myself.”
World Champion curler Anastasia Bryzgalova works out for the Winter Olympics and shows us her best shot
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