IOC changing its formula? and rules
How’s this for changing the rules mid-stream? The focus of criteria for selecting Olympic Games host cities included a central theme, rather than criteria, of games and venues legacies and compactness – the notion that a high proportion of venues should be relatively central to the city and afford reasonably short time spans for athletes transport movements.
This was a key pledge in the cities successful bid and was seen as an important legacy of the Games. This was the case for 2012; and for 2016; and for 2020 with Tokyo being selected very much on the basis of a plan to deliver well against those expectations.
Now, with the recent 2020 Agenda being developed by the IOC, we have senior IOC officials turning those themes and criteria upsidedown… it is now thought the benefits of saving money and expenditure by holding the events elsewhere would outweigh the legacy benefits.
Tokyo 2020 organisers have been urged to move Olympic and Paralympics events outside the host city in order to save costs. They are being presented with a path to change tack, adopting new Olympic Agenda 2020 proposals. This comes as increasing construction costs are forcing Tokyo organisers to rethink plans to build 10 new venues within eight kilometres of the Olympic Village.
As one of 40 Agenda 2020 recommendations which have been put forward for approval by the membership next month, the IOC Executive Board are seeking to permit "the organisation of entire sports and disciplines outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country notably for reasons of geography and sustainability".
How would you feel, as a runner-up in the city selection process based on now-amended criteria, when in fact your bid of the day may well have ‘conformed’ much more than the anointed city? Guess that’s the ‘lot’ of Olympic host contenders. The IOC’s new Agenda 2020 may go some way to address those matters; and should create an improved context, over time.
"[The IOC] has come out and specifically said said IOC Tokyo 2020 Coordination Committee chairman Coates following the visit, as reported by Reuters. IOC vice-president John Coates has said that, according to the IOC, “we should make the maximum use of existing facilities.”
"That, so far as I am concerned, overrides the eight kilometre philosophy which we had as part of the bid,"
Just a nudge and wink maybe, but one that can cost a host city an enormous amount in terms of legacy. And a major re-planning of games venues, logistics and operations.
There are 14 Working Groups set up by the IOC to push forward its Agenda 2020, by way of 40 recommendations/proposed reforms. Working Group 1, Bidding Procedure, is reviewing 3 recommendations:
1. Shape the bidding process as an invitation
2. Evaluate bid cities by assessing key opportunities and risks
3. Reduce the cost of bidding
While Working Group 2, Sustainability, has these recommendations to pursue (surprise-surprise)
4. Include sustainability in all aspects of the Olympic Games
5. Include sustainability within the Olympic Movement’s daily operations
Others that caught my eye are:
10. Move from a sport-based to an event-based programme
12. Reduce the cost and reinforce the flexibility of Olympic Games management
19. Launch an Olympic Channel (this one being led by Thomas Bach, IOC President)
26. Further blend sport and culture
29. Increase transparency
34. Develop a global licensing programme