Thursday, December 11, 2014

Olympic Agenda 2020 approved

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the Olympic Agenda 2020. The recommendations of the agenda include reducing the cost of the games and improving their legacy as well as some ethical recommendations.

One of the recommendations was allowing to have some sports organized outside the host city and in exceptional cases outside the host country. That would enable more use of existing venues. I hope the compactness of the Olympics doesn't suffer a lot from that. In my opinion, all sports should be within a reasonable distance from the host city, say three hours by car, unless there are some geographic reasons, like sailing far from an inland host city. I am fine with having some sports outside the host city, as long as there remains a clear main host city, hosting most important sports like athletics, swimming, and basketball. Though, in the case of team sports played in multiple arenas, I think also other sports than football could have matches in different cities around the country. For example, in the case of ice hockey, it doesn't always make sense to have two hockey arenas in the host city but another round robin group could be played in another city with an existing hockey arena.

As for allowing having sports outside the host country, I think it is a good decision. If a host city is situated close to a border and there is some existing venue right behind the border, it doesn't make sense to build a new venue to the host country. Yet those venues abroad should be within a reasonable distance. Again, I think something like three hours by car should be the maximum. And there should be no visa requirements between the countries where the games are hosted.

Another recommendation aimed to cut the costs is to move from a sport-based to an event-based programme. Instead of capping the number of sports, the number of events will be capped as well as the number of athletes and coaches. The organizing committees are allowed to propose additional events to their edition of the Olympic Games.

I am not so sure capping the number of events and athletes is a better way to prevent the costs increasing than capping the number of sports. To fit the new limits, athletics and swimming may need to drop some events off. I don't like the idea of dropping triple jump and race walking off as they are distinguishable events within athletics. Besides, I doubt reducing the number of athletics and swimming events reduces the costs a lot, the athletics and swimming venues are still needed. I think reducing the number of sports and thus the number of venues needed would cut the costs more effectively. As for the organizing committees being allowed to propose events, it enables having sports of local interest but I don't like the idea of adding sports only for one Olympics. I would prefer a stable Olympic programme with new sports being aimed to become permanent Olympic sports.

No comments:

Post a Comment