Tag Archives: IOC

Countdown to Tokyo 202x Olympics with “Scene Report” on CKNW Radio, Vancouver

Get your ears on and listen to Tokyo Olympics “scene report” chat with Jody Vance on Vancouver news/talk radio 980AM from July 12th afternoon PST, July 13th 9-ish AM JST.

A few notes to go with: 

Covered a lot of ground but so much more. Looking forward to keeping you up-to-date from regular folks’ point of view as #Tokyo2020 gets underway.

Tokyo 2020, for many reasons will be a very unique iteration (understatement!) of the Olympics with very few spectators, loads of precautions and a host city in 4th state of emergency.

Importantly: truly hope events occur w/o public health consequences.

Lots of anxiety / frustration about IOC hubris & government waffling.

(I realize) it’s not unusual for Olympics to get off to a rocky start that’s for sure and once they get going, a lot of the negativity fades and good times prevail.

For record, at +/- 16% vaccination rate in Japan.

In “better news“: Since anybody watching (aside from oligarchs & bureaucrats) will be watching on TV (regardless of all the things going outside of the sports venues), fancy new technology will make sports (including a few new ones *skate, surf, rock*) look really great on TV – might as well get to know crazy tech – cameras, clouds, microphones etc. 

Hey that was fun! could talk with Jody Vance for an hour (one tech hiccup when my phone *automagically* connected to wife’s car via bluetooth – ooops :)) 

We didn’t get to riff about the extra challenges for athletes coming from Delta-heavy countries, the onerous participant waivers athletes have to sign, and IOC chief Bach’s visit to Hiroshima and other gaffes…

Any Vancouver or elsewhere media on the ground needing a high-five, hit me up. Happy to listen to any comments, questions, musings, concerns about Tokyo2020 and IOC / Olympics in general. Continue reading Countdown to Tokyo 202x Olympics with “Scene Report” on CKNW Radio, Vancouver

Tokyo Olympics (+ Beijing) and IOC Hubris on theBreaker.news podcast

a lonely Tokyo Olympic sign spotted in a library Aug 2020

theBreaker.news Podcast: Five-ring circus controversy in Japan and China

I talked about the Tokyo Olympics with Bob Mackin – who I first connected with leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics when he did an article featuring Kris Krüg and I talking about citizen documentation campaign which eventually became True North Media House. This segment also explores the human rights issues about Beijing 2022 Winter Games. (off record, we talked about IOC scrambling for relevancy). 

Since then, I interviewed Bob for the Olympic Outsider, podcast (as we both headed home on the Seabus amongst revellers to Lynn Valley, North Vancouver and i also appeared on his TheBreaker.news podcast in August 2020 talking about these same subjects + baby Ichiro Stanley Thorvald. 

Anyhow, i’ve shared a lot about this topic on other channels including recent convo with Jody Vance on CKNW 980AM radio Vancouver but a few notes:

In brief, pushing ahead with Olympics in Japan call into question:
* health & safety of residents
* economic “handcuffs” & sovereignty
* fairplay for all athletes (esp from countries in crisis)
* funded junkets for dodgy operators
* rude / vague double-talk & IOC hubris
* no fun for residents who made this happen

Curious to hear your views after listening.

My riffs start at 6:00-ish mark (and consider supporting Bob “the hammer” Mackin as he holds governments to account).

May 30, 2021:  Should the Tokyo Olympics be postponed or cancelled?

Should the Beijing Winter Olympics be moved or boycotted?

The future is now for the five-ring circus. On this edition, host Bob Mackin ponders the pandemic in Japan and China’s human rights abuses. Guests Dave Olson in Okayama, Japan and Ivy Li of the Canadian Friends of Hong Kong.

Plus Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.

theBreaker.news Podcast: Five-ring circus controversy in Japan and China

More notes (social riff round-up): 

A lot of the “IOC family” are wealthy, privileged, vaccinated and aren’t necessarily worried about the impact they have on Japan after they leave. They’re staying in hotels, not a bubble, using public transportation and surely will be going out and about.

Easy to tell them but very difficult to enforce in any way. And punishment? These wealthy/privileged folks don’t give a fck about a fine. IOC Officials roll with basically diplomatic immunity during the games

…Especially the athletes coming from countries currently in crisis. What a dilemma for them to leave their families and support networks behind in such bad situations! Then possibly bringing variants back to medical systems which are unable to handle more chaos. :(

I am less concerned about the athletes who will likely be diligent about staying in the bubble and way more concerned about the “IOC family“… 60,000 executives, fat-cats, VIPs and sponsors rolling in with no quarantine requirement or vaccination and no bubble. Stay home IOC!

Related: 

*Of course* there are lots of articles discussing the Olympic topic from various “major media expected new sources” like Japan Times, Washington Post, Asahi Shinbun blah blah blah but this one from Teen Vogue with particularly awesome so I’m gonna share this *and definitely not* gonna get carried away with a laundry list of resources. {If curious, you can check my various Twitter channels, I’ll assume you can figure that out (look in right side bar if needed) oh and follow for Olympian and author of NOlympics @JulesBoykoff and former VANOC comms guy @GraemeMenzies who wrote a treatise about modernizing the event.

Anyhow, Teen Vogue is slaying, ergo:

The Olympics Devastate Host Cities and Need a Permanent Location This op-ed argues that the impact of the Olympic Games on host cities has become too devastating to ignore.

BY EMILY BURACK
JUNE 1, 2021

The Olympics are broken. Nowhere is this clearer than in Tokyo, where polls have indicated more than 80% of Japanese citizens oppose the upcoming Summer Games and the Japanese government has declared a state of emergency. As of late May, just 3.7% of the population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and Japan is grappling with a “fourth wave” of COVID-19. There’s never been an Olympics so deeply unpopular with a host city — and so dangerous to hold — and yet by all indications, the Tokyo Games will go on as scheduled.

Even without a pandemic, the impact of the Olympics on host cities has become too devastating to ignore.

Talking Tokyo Olympic conundrums on CKNW Radio, Vancouver

Oh listen… i talked about Tokyo Olympics and various conundrums with Jody Vance on CKNW AM Radio in Vancouver.

Wanted to share the feelings of deceit and frustration the the residents of Japan are feeling with IOC’s demands for “sacrifice”, more doctors, volunteers and threats of penalties if cancelled/delayed. Suggestions: delay until Oct or later and/or IOC “family” stay home. Also thoughts about athletes from countries in crisis. Is it fair for them to leave family to try to focus on competing. Sigh. Anyhow, was a treat to share as an erstwhile representative of my new home country. Get your ears on…

Listen above in browser (skip the creepy news bit at the beginning) and/or download archived audio via John B below. 

Note: awarded from Jay S “Bonus points for the use of the words “bromide” and “coterie”” and happy to get in namechecks of Whalley, Lynn Valley and Ichiro Stanley as well as my home city Okayama, Japan. 

UPDATE: 

Just did another audio hit on theBreaker.News with Bob Mackin about Olympics conundrums and IOC hubris in Japan. Now featuring more Dick Pound (ugh) thwarting sovereignty and lack of fun times and excitement. Seems much of the world doesn’t know the low-down in Japan and other Asian locations.

If you have questions (&/or need a guest to riff), hit me up at the “studio”.

studio has character but lacks some modern conveniences

PS check my (rather prescient) previous convo with Bob about Olympix etc last August (and our convo on the Seabus during Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media via Vancouver Sun

NOTE: Former VANOC communications chief Graeme Menzies shared his opinions about IOC’s constantly changing policy of controlling social media content (both from athletes and citizens) on behalf of rights holders and sponsors and, (often) against wishes and rights of locals.

Article shared below for posterity along with comment for your perusal. Comment written/posted just after the opening of Rio 2016 Olympics.

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Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media | Vancouver Sun by Graeme Menzies, June 30, 2016

As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans across the globe will use social media to observe and participate.

As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans in Rio and across the globe will use social media to observe and participate in the experience.  It promises to be, in the words of brand marketing executive Brian Yamada the “largest social media event ever.”

He’s half right. What it’s really going to be is the most branded social media event ever.

Maybe also the most profitable for media moguls.

Perhaps it was inevitable, but I’m nevertheless disappointed that the IOC and all its corporate and media sponsors have hijacked social media for their own purposes.

It certainly didn’t start off this way.

Back in the months leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics — what would eventually become the world’s first social media Games — people had the idea that social media was “the people’s media.” Part of the thrill and promise of social media at that time was that anyone could publish without approval of editors, gatekeepers, or censors.

Everyone could be a reporter. Everyone could express an opinion.

The whole notion of “official media accreditation” was challenged. Some social media activists rejected the officially-sanctioned rules and roles of media participation in Olympic events, and created the True North Media House — a voluntary, self-accrediting cohort of non-tradition citizen-reporters. There was also the W2 Culture + Media House, an alternative media centre located in the Downtown Eastside, which aimed to create a place where both traditional and non-traditional media could merge and meet for mutual gain.

Social media at this time offered a potent, exciting, new way for people outside the IOC family to engage in the Games and to share their views and experiences with each other and the world.

There was a sense that power, and a voice, had been returned to the people. And there was a dream that the sport event audience could become more than traditional observers and consumers of organizational and corporate narratives … that the audience could in fact be co-creators of the event and help define the media narrative.

Oh how innocent we all were.

Things have not unfolded as we hoped they would. The IOC has moved from passive social media observer to dominant social media player. In 2009 they were content to watch the local organizing committee launch the first official social channels. Today local organizing committees take a back seat to the Olympic giant: the @Rio2016 Twitter handle has a mere 295K Followers compared to @Olympics 3.5M

Unsatisfied with dominance over mere organizing committees, the IOC also engages global brand marketing agency VML to actively promote the Olympic movement and help with their social media strategy.

The IOC’s controlling hand extends to persons not on their payroll: during the period of the Games, and especially while on official venues, all athletes and accredited persons must adhere to the IOC’s social media guidelines. Live-streaming applications like Periscope are prohibited inside Olympic venues.

Mainstream media corporations are also getting in on the action, eager to turn sports fans into revenue streams. Comcast has made a deal with Snapchat to broadcast highlights from the Rio Olympics on the NBC Rio Olympic channel on the Snapchat Discover platform. The media giant is also talking with Facebook and Twitter about similar deals. Reports say Comcast has already scored a billion dollars in national advertising sales for the Rio Olympic Games.

Its all big business now. The citizen-reporter, the alternative media centres, are no more.

Sadly, the opportunity for regular sports fans to meaningfully shape the event narrative is weaker now than it was six years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but that was as open, unfettered, and non-commercial as an Olympic social media experience was ever going to get.

Graeme Menzies is an international youth marketing professional, and frequent writer on sports and cultural topics.

Source: Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media | Vancouver Sun

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Comment from Dave Olson:

Since Graeme published this article, I’ve wanted to write a appropriate response but, realized that the story of “Olympics and the social media” is almost gone.

It also occurs to me that it doesn’t matter to the IOC who are in the business of hamstringing cities into debt under the guise of utopian amateurism and sport.

Indeed, Vancouver will go down not only as the high point of participatory journalism but maybe as the “last reasonable Olympics” (despite the endless snide comments from foreign media who derided the games as not quite glamorous enough for their fickle tastes).

Each Games is preceded with a barrage of negative news pointing at the organizational foibles and these stories often overshadow the social justice and civil rights issues which locals pound the drum about eager for a voice at the table. Then, inevitably, everyone rolls their eyes at the cost and complaints, until the Games begin and then, through an odd sense of quasi-patriotism (jingoism) and excitement of seeing the youthful athletes making maximum efforts, the negative stories recede after the events end.

The media decamp before the Paralympics begin, the clean up crews deconstruct the endless white tents, and the agencies/countries hosting the hospitality houses count their impact. Then, the various levels of governments figure out the wreckage and the long term impact to the region.

While Olympics are catalyst to create infrastructure (which often should be built anyhow), the social justice issues which were raised before fade as quickly as the black SUVs disappear.

The stories of crippling debt from Montreal to Athens, and the excess and hubris of Beijing and Sochi, leave a sour taste in the most ardent sports fans’ mouth. And now Brasil is next in line to suffer the indignity and abject loss which is part and parcel to an event which is really only bid upon by cities with enough money that the fallout doesn’t matter.

Some folks put forth that the Olympics should rotate around 6 venues or build a special venue to be used each time, but these miss the point… the Olympics are a 2 week+ TV commercial for the host city, and a windfall of contracts for specialized companies to build and organize the events, and another 4 years of junkets for the IOC and their elite sponsors in thuggery. Its just not fun for the regulars.

Keep in mind, from Nagano onwards, i’ve actively contributed content (pod, blogs, snaps etc) to the commentary and dialogue, and did so from a point of view which accepted the Olympics at face value and as “inevitable, so let’s make sure the unknown stories are told” point of view. My efforts included wrangling the True North Media House campaign which resulted in social content produced by hundreds of amateurs on their own to a quantity and variety which eclipsed anything VANOC, IOC or the various protest groups managed. We did the whole campaign for about $15 ($50 if you include beer).

Now, i’m just worn out of seeing cities buy into the scheme and the athletes used as tools for profits of endless parade of acronyms of various sports associations and authorities that, despite legions of bureaucrats, still cannot provide a clean, fair games. Seeing athletes in one sport struggle for any support while across the way, millionaires line up in the “spirit of sport” … just makes no sense how it makes no sense.

Digressions aside, back to the original point about social media: IOC has changed positions and enforcement each Games… both in terms of what athletes and teams can post, but also what spectators, and even regular people living in the host city, can share without evoking the wrath of lawyers. As a result, the story is not complete (the TV networks sure don’t tell it) and the issues which were critical before the Games, vanish afterwards.

The IOC is adding “youth-ish” sports to the games to remain relevant for future generations but they again, miss the point and the zeitgeist of youth and the way communication occurs in contemporary context. But i also realize the TV rights fees and sponsors money keeps increasing which is the IOC’s real game – the sports are just a product to market.

Thanks anyway IOC, but i’m not interested anymore. Go amateur athletes (!) go far somewhere where you are treated fairly and compete on a level playing field which is clearly not the Olympics forte (or purpose).

NOTE: I first met Mr. Menzies (the author of the article) when he was obliged to reply to my offer (on behalf of Alternative/Independent media makers) of assistance, coupled with insistence in being included in an event which impacted our city and tax bills.

More: 

  1. True North Media House Olympics and Social Media
  2. Partial archive of the Olympic and media-related communiques
  3. More video content http://ow.ly/WET4302ZV1f
  4. Mr. Menzies’s dossier: http://ow.ly/arRy302ZV2G

Putin’s Games – The Passionate Eye

Putin’s Games – The Passionate Eye

Twitter Olympics Infographic by Fiasco Design – Muddywall Social Media

Twitter Olympics Infographic by Fiasco Design – Muddywall Social Media

NOTE: Link broken, seeking update, not archived by Internet Archive Wayback Machine or Google cache.

How Media Training Could Have Saved Five Olympic Athletes by @allenmireles | Spin Sucks

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.

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How Media Training Could Have Saved Five Olympic Athletes by @allenmireles | Spin Sucks

Olympics and Social Media: The View From London

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context. 

Olympics and Social Media: The View From London BY SAM LAIRDAUG 04, 2012

Your Twitter Guide to London 2012 | Professor Andy Miah

Your Twitter Guide to London 2012 | Professor Andy Miah

London vs Vancouver: who hosted first ‘social media Olympics’? (with poll)

London vs Vancouver: who hosted first ‘social media Olympics’? (with poll)

Vancouver was home to the first social media Olympics, not London

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context. 

Vancouver was home to the first social media Olympics, not London

GRAEME MENZIES, SPECIAL TO THE SUN  

Olympic Social Media Guidelines Muzzle Athletes

Olympic Social Media Guidelines Muzzle Athletes