By Ken Reed
Dan Wetzel is one of my favorite sports columnists. His columns are almost always well-researched, informative, insightful and witty. But he might’ve outdone himself with his recent column on the ego-inflated IOC and the 2022 Winter Olympics bidding process.
Due to worries about crazy costs associated with hosting the games, and concerns about dealing with the arrogant IOC, numerous cities have dropped out of the 2022 bidding process. Only two cities remain, Beijing, China, which conveniently boasts an Olympic-worthy ski mountain only 120 miles away, and Almaty, Kazakhstan. That’s it. Every other city has told the IOC to get lost.
It’s not that hard to understand when you consider that Russia reportedly spent $51 billion hosting the 2014 Winter Games. Or, when you consider that you have to deal with IOC pooh bahs for a decade or more, including during the bidding process.
Wetzel summed it up well when he wrote, “Essentially the entire world has told the IOC it’s a corrupt joke.”
But Wetzel was just warming up.
“The IOC has billions of dollars laying around and billions more coming because to most people the Olympics is just a television show and their ratings are so high that broadcast rights will never go down,” wrote Wetzel.
“The IOC doesn’t pay the athletes. It doesn’t share revenue with host countries. It doesn’t pay for countries to send their athletes. It doesn’t lay out construction or capital costs. It doesn’t pay taxes. It basically holds caviar rich meetings in five star hotels in the Alps before calling it a day. That and conduct weak investigations into corruption charges of the bidding process, of course. ‘No evidence uncovered’ is on a win streak. It’s a heck of a racket. Only FIFA does it better.”
The IOC’s collective arrogance is evident in the list of demands they make for prospective hosts. Wetzel listed just a few: an IOC-only airport entrance, traffic lane and prioritized stoplights. Of course, they also need a five star hotel for all IOC representatives. But that’s not enough.
“IOC members will be received with a smile on arrival at hotels,” the IOC demands.
Wetzel concludes his piece by saying it’s clear the world is giving the IOC the middle finger.
Here’s hoping Beijing and Almaty eventually follow along and tell the IOC to get lost.
It would be fun to watch the IOC pooh bahs choke on their caviar.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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