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Archive for July, 2009

Potential 2016 Host: Tokyo

July 30, 2009 1 comment

City: Tokyo, Japan

Population: Estimated at 12,790,000

Has City Hosted: Yes, 1964 Summer Games

Country Last Hosted: 1998 Winter Olympics (Nagano)

Pros: As one of the leading cities in the entire world in terms of culture, commerce, not to mention population, on the surface Tokyo appears to be a great place to host the games. Having the games in Tokyo would mean a revitalization of a part of the city–Tokyo would turn a waterfront area from a landfill into a lush forest area that would serve as the headquarters for equestrian and rowing events. Tokyo is currently building two roads around the city to ease traffic congestion and pours money into it’s public transportation. It also has roughly 17,000 hotel rooms near the proposed Olympic site, providing ample accommodation for spectators. One other main attraction is Tokyo is touting these as the “Green Games” meaning they will try to conduct the games in an environmentally friendly way. For example, the proposed Olympic village would run completely on solar and other renewable energy. Perhaps they can power it by other means.

Cons: While Tokyo’s massive population could prove to be a problem, there are two huge potential stumbling blocks: one is Tokyo’s previous hosting, in 1964. Another is that Beijing just hosted the 2008 games. Having two games in Asia 8 years apart would be extremely rare, not to mention the fact that the vote takes place less than a year after the Beijing games, leaving them fresh in the IOC’s mind. Not to mention that logo is horrible.

Chances: On the surface Japan’s bid appears strong, but the 8 year gap plus the fact that Japan would likely campaign to get baseball and softball back into the games, casts a shadow of doubt in my mind. If it’s based on bid strength only, however, Tokyo should be the city.

Categories: Summer

Potential 2016 Host: Madrid

Over the next week or so I’ll be taking a look at the four finalists for the 2016 Olympics, with some help in analyzing the United States’s potential host. Today’s city however, is Madrid, Spain.

City: Madrid, Spain

Population: 3,093,000

Has City Hosted?: No

Country last hosted: 1992 Summer Games (Barcelona)

Pros: The aforementioned Barcelona games were one of the most successful in the history of the Olympics. Just 8 years after the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when the future of the games was in doubt, Barcelona cemented the Olympics future. That Olympics both brought together people (Germany competed under one flag for the first time since 1964) and brought new people (a then record 10,563 athletes, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia all competed under their own flag for the first time). Also, the torch lighting was the coolest one ever. Madrid would have excellent stadiums for sports such as soccer (Real Madrid is perhaps the largest soccer club in the world) and field hockey, as Spain is a perennial power in that sport.

Cons: Unfortunately, with the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia, 2016 in Madrid would place three games in a row in Europe, which is highly unlikely. Also, the competition venues for the games would take place in two different areas: one would feature just the olympic stadium and aquatic center, and the other would be by the Manzanares (Spanish for “apple orchards”) River and would host most of the rest. And according to the results of Madrid’s bid to get the 2012 games, their transportation infrastructure needs to be updated. And last, but not least, there is the fact that Spain is perceived to be a very racist country, and they certainly haven’t helped themselves with the basketball team’s photos, and Spanish soccer coach Luis Aragones’s comments regarding Thierry Henry.

Chances: I think Spain has a good bid, but ultimately I think they are the weakest of the four cities, but could be kept in the running until very late due to the IOC’s heavy Western European bias.

Categories: Summer Tags:

Descenza The Story Of This Year's Worlds?

The US’s Mary Descenza was one of the best college swimmers of all time, winning the 200 fly all four years she was at Georgia. She has also never won an individual medal at the world championships. She is also now the world record holder in the 200 butterfly, going 2:04.14 in the prelims. Descenza has been to five world championships, but did not make the Olympic team in 2004 or 2008. Still, it’s nice to see her get the record in a race she has worked so hard on over the course of her life.

Categories: Summer Tags:

Soni Wins 100 Breaststroke

American Rebecca Soni posted the second fastest time ever today, a 1:04.93 mark that won her the gold medal at the FINA World Championships in Rome. Soni said she never really thought of herself as a 100m swimmer, but it appears that this win, coupled with her skills in the 200, cements her as the best breaststroker in the world.

Fellow American Kasey Carlson won the bronze in what was the first major race of her career.

Categories: Summer Tags:

Breaking: Pellegrini Breaks WR

Italy’s Frederica Pellegrini just broke the world record in the 200 freestyle in 1:53.67. She absolutely hammered the field in the semis, and didn’t even look like she was going full speed. The United States’s Alysson Schmidt took 2nd in the semi, and Australia’s Stephanie Rice surprisingly finished last in the semifinal.

Categories: Summer Tags:

Phelps Loses First Major Race In Four Years

Germany’s Paul Biedermann set a world record in the 200m freestyle, but Michael Phelps was the story as he could manage only the silver. His time of 1:43.22 was just over a second slower than Biedermann. This record was already the 12th set at this year’s world championships. Biedermann was gracious in victory, pointing out how much of an effect the suits have on the speed of the racers, and noting that Phelps probably was not in tip top shape due to his long layoff after the Olympics.

In the next two races, world records 13 and 14 were set.  Gemma Spofforth of Great Britain set the world record in the women’s 100m backstroke with a time of 58.12, and then South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh broke the 50m breaststroke record in the semis of that race, posting a time of 26.74 seconds.

Categories: Summer Tags:

United States Women Into Water Polo Semis

Behind three goals by Brittany Hayes, the U.S. downed Spain 9-6 to reach the semis vs. Greece, who got four goals by Angeliki Gerolimou to down Australia.

The other semi features Canada and Russia.

More at Universal Sports.

Categories: Summer Tags: