Friday, January 11, 2013

Russell Mark chooses the Olympic City

While I don't agree with his politics, he having being a pre selected Liberal candidate for a Sate Parliament seat, he is an otherwise intelligent fellow. Well I thought so.

I heard him offer this gem today. The Olympic host city for 2020 is down to three cities, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. He wrote off Istanbul, well I wouldn't although it is unlikely to succeed. Tokyo has financial problems, he suggested, and so he has punted for Madrid.

Tokyo has financial problems? Perhaps, but has he forgotten where Madrid is? Like Spain, one of the Euro countries in serious financial difficulties which may have to be bailed out by the EU.

Japan does have issues, but it is a rich country and can afford to have issues. Spain is broke. Where would the money come from? With cheap labour costs, I therefore put Istanbul back into the mix. While Turkey is a secular country, it is also notionally Moslem, and to have the Olympics in a Moslem country might be a first.

You pick?

16 comments:

  1. Hello Andrew:
    The financial situation of all three cities, for very different reasons, seems uncertain at best. There may well be a hidden political agenda which will ensure the success of Istanbul.

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    1. JayLa, and of course it will be a clean and scrupulous process. T consider the process an absolute disgrace.

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  2. An article in today's AGE says Japan's government debt in 2011 had reached 233 percent. Shocked me. Don't know how much of that is due to the tsunami meltdown, but it's a fairly impressive achievement. That would buy a lot of pink batts.

    Turkey would be interesting as it had adopted more modern attitudes last century and then swung back again [if I remember correctly]. It might be quite a positive move for Turkey.
    Is beach volleyball a fixed sport on the menu, or discretionary?

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    1. FC, very little to do with the tsunami, I think. It has been a theoretical economic basket case for a long time but that seems to have no effect. I think most of their borrowings are internal rather than overseas.

      Beach volley ball? I always think the worst. Sports bras are only so good up to a point.

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  3. I am surprised that Madrid has not withdrawn from the ballot as there seems to be a lot of anger and unrest there about the financial situation. I think Tokyo last held them in 1964 but it would be a first for Turkey. My money is on Istanbul.

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    1. Fun60, I have heard a good bit of Greece's problems stem from Athens games. While it may stimulate the Spanish economy, how can they really afford it. Istanbul is warm favourite.

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  4. I'd like to see Istanbul win because it would go along way in cementing a better relationship betweem Muslim countries and western countries.

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    1. Agree Windsmoke. I don't deny there are problems in Turkey, including serious human rights issues, but it could present itself very well. A friend who went there was amazed at what a liberated place it is at seaside towns, rather like Tel Aviv, I think.

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    2. Windsmoke

      Agreed.

      Madrid is fantastic, but the unemployment is crippling and the national debt is worse. I was there again in 2012 and couldn't believe how many young people had left for France or were hanging around waiting for businesses to open.

      Istanbul was even more fantastic and although I haven't been there for 12 years, the Games would be a great opportunity to go again. I was there for 5 days and still didn't see all of the city.

      But all this begs the question. The short list was created before the GFC and things have changed since. Perhaps there is time to rethink the location for 2020.

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    3. Hels, thanks for your informed input. I think it might be time to rethink the way the Olympic Games are financed as hosting the games seems to now be prohibitively expensive for any city barring major Western cities.

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  5. We are always hearing how the Olympics will lead to improved relations and understanding. It never happens. How many remember that the two Koreas (North and South) marched out together in the Opening Ceremony at the Sydney Olympics. Where is their improved relationship now?

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    1. Victor, I am not up with the detail but until the latest antagonistic behaviour by the North, quite a bit of aid was flowing there from the South. While I am evading you main point, it is in the South's interest for the North to not collapse entirely.

      Anything to do with the Olympics stinks to high heaven, imho.

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  6. I'm not interested in the Olympics enough to hold an opinion here, I didn't even know they were already considering cities for the next round of games.

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    1. River, this is for 2020 and I had no idea eith apart from the above mentioned radio report, but I found the diversity of the three competing cities interesting.

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