You think FIFA is corrupt? What about that quadrennial time-suck and fund-waster known as the Olympic Games? Luckily, more and more cities are realizing that the last thing your town needs is to play “host” to this collection of international grifters who make a living exploiting largely amateur athletes. Let’s start with the Winter Olympics:
After several potential host cities with a democratically elected government pulled out of the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the only two candidates left are Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China. On Monday the International Olympic Committee released a 137-page evaluation of the two bids, and while it’s generally positive, it’s also open about the numerous problems the two cities face.
Since 2013 cities in Poland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Norway all dropped their bids, many over concerns that spending millions in public money on the Olympics isn’t worth it.
Oslo was the last of these European cities to stay in the competition. Last year an IOC working group graded all three bidding cities (Oslo, Beijing, Almaty) in a wide range of categories. Oslo was the runaway winner, with Beijing second and Almaty a distant third. In a sign of just how much the IOC needed Oslo to stay in the running, the organization released a blistering statement slamming Norway when they pulled their bid.
Good for the Norwegians. Let the organizers enjoy the winter hospitality Beijing or Almaty. Just one little problem with Peking, though:
Beijing is the favorite to win when the IOC announces a 2022 host at the end of July, but it faces one significant problem: there’s no snow. “The mountain venues would rely completely on artificial snowmaking for the Games,” the IOC report says.
In addition, the evaluators concluded that Beijing’s bid underestimated the amount of water it’d actually take to make all the snow necessary for competition. Since that part of China is “increasingly arid,” the report says, diverting so much water for snowmaking could impact regional water resources.
It’s also going to look bad on TV.
There you have it.