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  • The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

    Surprised that this isn't getting more discussion.

    The members of Team USA hockey are introduced in this photo gallery over at SI.com.

    Residents of Vancouver are getting buyer's remorse about these Olympics.

    The Vancouver Canucks will also be forced into the longest road trip in the history of the NHL.
    Better Dead Than Red Beyotches

  • #2
    Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

    The US Snowboarding teams were announced the other day...

    Sadly the Men's SnowboardCross team will not include Shaun Palmer He literally missed making the team by a single finishing spot. If he had gotten a 2nd, instead of a 3rd place in last week's Stoneham World Cup, he would have made the team... I really wanted to see him get a chance to compete for a medal in a sport he pioneered...

    He was also in line to make the 2006 team before blowing out his Achillies Tendon on a training run on Friday, Jan. 13th, 2006... I guess it was his destiny to not make the Olympics...
    It's never too early to start the Pre-game festivities

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    • #3
      Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

      Originally posted by GopherRock View Post
      Surprised that this isn't getting more discussion.

      Residents of Vancouver are getting buyer's remorse about these Olympics.
      The original cost estimate was $660 million in public money. It's now at an admitted $6 billion and steadily climbing. An early economic impact statement was that the games could bring in $10 billion. Price Waterhouse Coopers just released their own study showing that the total economic impact will be more like $1 billion. In addition, the Olympic Village came in $100 million over budget and had to be bailed out by the city.
      What a shock! To quote the late Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, "The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby." They're still paying in Montreal nearly 30 years later!
      Growing old is mandatory -- growing up is optional!

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      • #4
        Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

        Originally posted by RaceBoarder View Post
        Sadly the Men's SnowboardCross team will not include Shaun Palmer He literally missed making the team by a single finishing spot. If he had gotten a 2nd, instead of a 3rd place in last week's Stoneham World Cup, he would have made the team... I really wanted to see him get a chance to compete for a medal in a sport he pioneered...
        I graduated High School with one of the SBX team athletes; Nick Baumgartner.
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        • #5
          Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

          Be careful when you throw Olympic numbers around.

          The Olympic Games themselves usually aren't that costly to stage, and they usually more than pay for themselves with the TV, sponsor, ticket, and merchandising revenue they generate.

          What IS really costly are the infrastructure projects that host cities take on when they get awarded the Games - things like new highways, new waterfronts, new transit lines, airports, housing developments and and urban renewal projects. These infrastructure projects often get lumped in with the Olympic costs, making realistic analysis difficult. Cities like getting the Olympics because it gives them a seven-year "Mother of All Deadlines" to get big infrastructure projects done that would otherwise not happen, or be delayed for a long time.

          The grey area where some cities have also run into trouble are the costs of Olympic venues. Some cities smartly re-purpose old venues or build temporary venues for lower cost and just build the new permanent venues they actually need (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Turin) while other host build lots of new venues, and don't always have a sustainable plan for some or many of them once the Games are over (Athens, Beijing).

          The Olympics are a great thing for some cities. When well conceived, financed and managed, they can provide a set of legacy benefits that last long after the Games are over - global exposure for tourism, investment and image enhancement, new infrastructure and quality of life enhancement that comes with economic development. They also provide an unbelievable "back-stage" where movers and shakers from all over the world can meet and set the stage for future investment deals. Want Procter and Gamble or IBM to build a new plant in your country? The Olympics are a perfect place to introduce your country's president, finance and commerce minsters to the heads of large multinationals, etc.

          Done poorly, they can also be an albatross on a city - debt, white elephants, etc. Like any other major venture, the Olympic legacies are a reflection of the quality of the people who made it happen.
          Last edited by Puck Swami; 01-28-2010, 01:34 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

            Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
            Cities like getting the Olympics because it gives them a seven-year "Mother of All Deadlines" to get big infrastructure projects done that would otherwise not happen.
            It also moves a lot of costs around that would have been accrued anyway. Vancouver could practically claim its entire operating budget from 2010, 2009, and probably 2008 as "Olympics-related" for a variety of legitimate (and dicey) economic and political reasons.

            But stop spoiling a perfectly good simplistic rant.
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            • #7
              Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

              ESPN is running a Vancouver pick'em fantasy game if anyone is interested.
              The Poster Formerly Known as Purple_and_Gold10©
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              • #8
                Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

                On an aside, I went up to Vancouver for a day when I was still living in Seattle.

                Seattle's a gorgeous city, but Vancouver made Seattle look like Des Moines. If the weather gets nice, NBC will have spectacular shots to fill their cameras.
                Better Dead Than Red Beyotches

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                • #9
                  Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

                  596 GB of storage space on an external to connect to my TV card in my laptop.
                  Bring on the TV time, NBC.

                  I'm looking forward to hockey, curling, ski events (downhill, biathlon), bobsled and skeleton.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

                    Originally posted by GopherRock View Post
                    Seattle's a gorgeous city, but Vancouver made Seattle look like Des Moines. If the weather gets nice, NBC will have spectacular shots to fill their cameras.
                    The harbor view alone, with the city skyline backed by the coastal mountains, is worth getting a window seat on the plane for.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

                      I'm a hockey guy at heart (of course), but the event in the Winter Olympics I love to watch is the Ski Jumping. The air those guys get is danm impressive!

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada

                        Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
                        Be careful when you throw Olympic numbers around.
                        ...
                        What IS really costly are the infrastructure projects that host cities take on when they get awarded the Games - things like new highways, new waterfronts, new transit lines, airports, housing developments and and urban renewal projects. These infrastructure projects often get lumped in with the Olympic costs, making realistic analysis difficult. Cities like getting the Olympics because it gives them a seven-year "Mother of All Deadlines" to get big infrastructure projects done that would otherwise not happen, or be delayed for a long time.
                        ...
                        Like any other major venture, the Olympic legacies are a reflection of the quality of the people who made it happen.
                        I'm not a financier by any measure, especially in the reahlm of public finance, but understand a little bit about how projects with large investments are paid for. Is not the cost of these projects depreciated over many, many years on purpose? So that the entire amount in billions, while a lot, is not necissarily the cost all at once or even reflective of the true cost when all is said and done?

                        I'm not saying that it might not put a burdon on a goverment/region for years to come, but how it is paid for is can also be a reflection of the quality of people that make it happen.
                        Alumni of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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                        • #13
                          Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Can

                          Originally posted by redheadzeb View Post
                          I'm not a financier by any measure, especially in the reahlm of public finance, but understand a little bit about how projects with large investments are paid for. Is not the cost of these projects depreciated over many, many years on purpose? So that the entire amount in billions, while a lot, is not necissarily the cost all at once or even reflective of the true cost when all is said and done?

                          I'm not saying that it might not put a burdon on a goverment/region for years to come, but how it is paid for is can also be a reflection of the quality of people that make it happen.
                          The biggest problems come when governments try to take on too many infrastructure projects all at once to meet the deadlines, costs overrun, and sometimes things don't get finished on time (Montreal) and the public blames it all on hosting the Olympics in the first place. The debt can take years to pay off, and the public blames that on the Olympics, too.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Can

                            Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
                            The biggest problems come when governments try to take on too many infrastructure projects all at once to meet the deadlines, costs overrun, and sometimes things don't get finished on time (Montreal) and the public blames it all on hosting the Olympics in the first place. The debt can take years to pay off, and the public blames that on the Olympics, too.
                            Well, if the city hadn't hosted the Olympics, then they wouldn't have had the debt, right? How is that unfair?

                            If people are complaining about the debt, then they obviously don't think that the infrastructure improvements were worth the cost, Olympics or not - nobody complains about price when they think they're getting good value. Since the Olympics tipped the balance toward the city's making the decision to go into debt, it seems completely rational to "blame" that on the Olympics.
                            If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Official Thread of the Run-Up to the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Can

                              Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                              Well, if the city hadn't hosted the Olympics, then they wouldn't have had the debt, right? How is that unfair?

                              If people are complaining about the debt, then they obviously don't think that the infrastructure improvements were worth the cost, Olympics or not - nobody complains about price when they think they're getting good value. Since the Olympics tipped the balance toward the city's making the decision to go into debt, it seems completely rational to "blame" that on the Olympics.
                              It all depends on whether the infrastructure would have been eventually completed without being awarded the Olympics. Highways, airports and transit lines tend to get built eventually or renovated with or without the Olympics. Having the Olympics just tend to push those projects up in priority and speed. Urban renewal projects are trickier and often need the Olympics to get enough civic willpower and funding to get them done. For example, Atlanta bulldozed a whole decaying neighborhood to make the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park as an anchor for downtown re-development. Barcelona used the Olympics to speed the re-building of a massive waterfront and beach project that probably would not have happened without the Games. A decaying East London is being revamped for the 2012 games. Hard to know if these projects would have ever come to fruition without the Games as incentive...

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