The Edmond Sun

Sports

May 27, 2014

Nobody wants to host the Winter Olympics

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press reports that, facing public opposition and allegations of official corruption, Krakow, Poland, is withdrawing its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It follows Stockholm, which pulled out in December due to concerns over costs.

This leaves four cities officially in the running: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, China; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway.

Let's just assume that given current political realities, Lviv doesn't have a realistic shot at this. Oslo is also looking like a bit of a nonstarter. According to AP, the government has yet to secure financing for the bid and one of the parties in the country's governing coalition has come out against it.

We know from 2008 that China is capable of putting on a good show, but its bid is problematic for a number of reasons. For one thing, there aren't any mountains — and lately, not that much snow — in Beijing. The plan is to hold the indoor events in the capital and the snow events more than 100 miles away in the northern city of Zhangjiakou, requiring a new high-speed railway to be constructed. The IOC also usually doesn't give the games to the same region twice in a row — South Korea will host in 2018.

Almaty, which also bid for the 2014 Olympics and was initially considered a long shot, is starting to see its prospects rise. It claims to already have many of the facilities in place and with a booming oil economy the Kazakh government should be able to afford more. After all the criticism surrounding Sochi, the IOC might be reluctant to award the games to a former Soviet autocracy with a poor human rights record, but frankly China's an even worse choice on that score. Winning the Olympics would be something of a crowning achievement for Kazakhstan's 73-year-old strongman, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in office since independence in 1991.

If we do end up watching slopestyle from the Central Asia steppes in 2022, it will likely be because it's becoming clear that nobody in Europe wants to host these Olympics anymore. In addition to Krakow — where 70 percent of voters rejected the Olympics in a recent referendum — and Olso, public opposition also scuttled bids by Munich and Davos, Switzerland.

Publics may finally be getting wise to the fact that the long-term economic benefits of hosting mega-events like the Olympics or the World Cup are usually negligible at best. This is going to mean that fewer democratic countries will make bids for them and the ones that do, like Brazil, will do so in the face of widespread popular opposition. For the Winter Olympics, where thanks to weather and geography, the number of potential hosts is small (and thanks to climate change getting smaller), the problem will be more acute. Increasingly, the only governments excited about hosting these events are the ones that don't have to worry about public opinion.

Unless the skyrocketing costs of these mega-events can be contained, expect to see a lot more Chinas, Russias, Qatars and Kazakhstans hosting them in the future.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • spts-DC Brock Ruminer dive TD catch.jpg Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A

    With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
    Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
    Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
    The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
    The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.

    July 28, 2014

  • spts-OSU Yurcich.jpg Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
    Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing  Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
    “Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    Alternates
    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Photos