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2010 Olympics Business News for the Vancouver and Whistler regions of British Columbia. Plus, Alberta, the rest of Canada, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana & California

OlyBLOG Features:


Gentrification 2010 Vancouver Style

Debunking Vancouver's Real Estate Myth Debunkers

IOC / WADA's Dick Says Boycott Beijing 2008



Olympics Gentrification 2010 Vancouver Style

The gutting and rebuilding of entire neighborhoods in Vancouver has occurred quite steadily since 2004.

The reasons are very simple, but unfortunately, because mainstream news media work so closely with developers, average people have a difficult time understanding the process.

As a quick primer, keep in mind that the bread and butter revenue for mainstream news media companies like your local newspaper or television companies is real estate. It is this segment that generates the most profit, and in these desperate times for newspapers, it is real estate advertising revenue that has kept them from bankruptcy.

Real estate marketers and newspapers are joined at the hip, so when a developer or real estate marketing company throws a millions dollars in ad spending on the table and says "JUMP!" the newspaper says "How High?" It's wrong, but so are a lot of things in society.

Olympics gentrification is the primary reason the homeless rate has doubled in Vancouver in the last few years. There are now more people living on the streets than at any time in our recent history.

As indicated by the callous and very cruel responses to homeless people in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Vancouver Sun on April 28, 2008, many people do not understand what went wrong over the last few years. For the most part, regarding responses to a series of brilliant articles about Vancouver's homeless written by Daphne Bramham and Randy Shore, many readers of the Vancouver Sun are heartless and indicate their own prejudices and ignorance by proclaiming that the homeless are for the most part nothing more than a bunch of lazy bums.

Sun reader W.F. Thomas wrote, "Many of our current homeless do not work, do not want to work, and do not seek work. Instead they prefer to beg aggressively for handouts without offering anything in return except a string of expletives when we refuse to respond to their pleas." And Bob Campbell wrote, "Carly and Allen [two homeless people] are clearing giving society the middle finger and are either bored by work or don't like to work." Dianne Darke revealed her ignorance more clearly than all when she wrote, "Why on earth would columnist Daphne Bramham write that it's inhumane that two young people like Carly and Allen can't afford a roof over their heads?"

I am writing in response to them that it is disheartening to think that Vancouverites are so unsophisticated, but the reality is that this is still the wild west, and people are more insular here than anywhere else in Canada. Most here have been cut off from the rest of the world and have not matured at the same rate as people in cities like Calgary, Toronto or Montreal. This difference has risen to the surface quite often lately since the world turned international attention on our province, and I suspect that some Vancouverites are embarrassed, but the reality though is that when the pressure is on, your warts show through. Vancouver just pulled a Kramer, and I'm disappointed that The Vancouver Sun gives these uninformed people people such a big megaphone. Surely they could have balanced this tirade against the homeless with an editorial to show other readers the errors of prejudiced thinking.

Thankfully there was one very bright spot, Cheryl Baron wrote, "We have become a nation of cold hearted, selfish, "if it doesn't benefit me who cares?" types. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be Canadian, and more specifically British Columbian. We should all be ashamed."

Ironically, Cheryl lives in Gibsons, not exactly Vancouver, but we'll take her heartfelt sentiment. Apparently, the farther from the epicenter, the smarter the folk.

Don't be ashamed Cheryl, because how could you possibly know this is going on and especially why it is happening unless your local newspapers and television companies don't tell you about it in a timely manner?

You are being played by very large and powerful media organizations, and there is no shame in it when you trust someone and they lie to you and let you down. Now that you know the score, hold them responsible. This isn't China. You can speak out and fight back.

There were many indicators over the last few years that drew attention to our backwards ways, but by far the most glaring was that we voted back into power a premier that was convicted of drunk driving. British Colombians simply don't get it. We still have the most drinking and driving convictions per capita of any province in Canada, but it really does not seem to bother too many people here, at least if it does, they don't vote to indicate their disgust.

Regarding gentrification and the homeless, when you consider that British Colombians still have a hard time understanding the dangers of drinking and driving, it's easier to understand why they have such a hard time understanding the much more complex Byzantine effect the Olympics creates and how it increases homelessness. Most Vancouverites have been so poor for so long they are desperate for any type of growth and will welcome it at any cost, so when they see something inhumane, they choose to look the other way. People here care more for their dogs because at least they can do something about it. It's understandable, to a point, but lately, as indicated by the responses in the Vancouver Sun, callousness has escalated to an alarming level.


In a few sentences, here's what has transpired
since winning the 2010 Olympics Bid;


Vancouver won the Bid in 2003 and within one month real estate prices shot through the roof. Soon thereafter taxes increased dramatically and also forced businesses and people to move from Vancouver to the suburbs. When this happened schools began to close because families could no longer afford to live here. Simultaneously, the SRO's (rooming houses) that the destitute lived in downtown were all being bought/sold and converted by the wealthy who had plans to kick out the poor, and with a minor repairs and a little paint turn the buildings into more livable hotels that could be rented to workers who would come in to the region to help build infrastructure for the Olympics. These same rooms will also eventually be rented to Olympics volunteers, and spectators who come in for 2010. In order to get the poor out of their SRO homes, the police placed incredible pressure on them under the guise of cleaning up the city for the Olympics, and literally forced them out onto the streets and into surrounding neighborhoods.

It is not any more complicated than that, and it happens exactly like this in all Olympics regions. Beijing for example displaced 1.5 million people. Face it, mentally ill and poor people are embarrassing to look at, and the most efficient way to remedy the situation is to disperse them so they are harder to spot.

How did all this slip by average Vancouverites? Unfortunately, local newspaper like The Vancouver Sun were too busy selling full colour double spread condo ads to developers, and raking in the cash instead of writing stories about this process in a timely manner. I guess in one sense it's hard to blame them. They too are struggling for survival, and as one of their reporters arrogantly lectured me a few years ago, where does it say that a newspaper's responsibility is to protect the community? He got me. Just because a newspaper uses words like "community" in their masthead slogan it does not mean they actually protect the community.

It's advertising, and like any other business - caveat emptor, buyer beware.

In retrospect though, it does indicate why Vancouverites are so cold and callous. Newspapers never took the time to educate readers regarding the Olympics process, and now we are reaping what they have sewn.

Don't think for a moment that newspapers accidentally dropped the ball though, because they are part of the charade to keep citizens in Olympics Host regions in the dark.

I wrote a long time ago that the companies that make the most money from the 2010 Olympics should be economically responsible for the fallout, and sooner or later, in some Olympics region, citizens of a Host region will rebel and it will happen. It's possible Beijing could become the catalyst for Vancouver's turning point.

For The Vancouver Sun to now start running articles about the homeless is like pushing a person in front of a train and then snatching them back at the last minute to proclaim you saved their life.

Hopefully Vancouverites will be smart enough to see the light.



Beijing 2010

Similar human rights issues on a smaller scale.

Enough said.



Debunking Vancouver's
Real Estate Myth Debunkers


The Vancouver Sun published a HUGE REAL ESTATE ADVERTORIAL on their FRONT PAGE on Saturday April 26 in an effort to debunk myths respective of the real estate circus they ironically helped create. Unfortunately, they didn't mark it as an advertorial, but instead falsely painted it to look like an investigative piece with journalistic integrity.

Can you say, "Necessary illusion?"

They list 15 ... count 'em, 15 myths for confused readers trying to figure out the volatile real estate market in the Lower Mainland.

Astoundingly, not one of the 15 myths mentioned the 2010 Olympics.

Not one, Nothing. Nada.

According to the experts at The Sun, it seems no one is wondering how the 2010 Olympics feeding frenzy has impacted the real estate market in Vancouver. By ignoring it completely, they have in effect dismissed the impact in any way shape or form, good, bad, or indifferent.

Interestingly though, way back in 2003, a few months after it was announced that Vancouver had won the 2010 Bid, the same newspaper reported that our real estate industry broke all records regarding the volume of properties sold in the month following the Bid announcement. In other words, we were awarded the Bid in July of 2003, and the following month in August we broke all historical sales records.

That's quite a coincidence to go unrecognized today.

It seems now that the gargantuan spike immediately after winning the Bid was simply a fluke, or maybe news media is trying to hide something respective of the world of Olympic real estate speculation?

The Sun never mentioned the Olympics once in the huge three-page spread, but they did leave readers with the impression that property values will continue to rise, which would imply that people should keep investing. They printed that it was a "myth that real estate prices in Greater Vancouver can't keep going up, they're too high already."

If you're more confused after reading the article, don't feel bad, because you're not alone.

It's important to note that the person who wrote the article, Derrick Penner, has extensive experience regarding the 2010 Olympics, so it's not as if he doesn't know the score and how the Olympics impacts a Host region's real estate market. If he would have pushed it to 16 instead of cutting it one myth short of VANOC-uncomfortable, the article might have actually had some value and not just become a reason to kill another tree. Way 'ta go green Buddy, but if you're going to keep killing trees to print your newspaper at least make it half-way worthwhile.

If you want a ground zero look at the market in Vancouver check out VancouverCondo.Info These guys and gals have a more accurate impression of the Vancouver real estate market than most groups online.

Granted, they did miss that the real estate market completely imploded in the Salt Lake City area during the 2002 Olympic event, and I couldn't find anywhere on their site addressing that not one house was sold in a three month period surrounding the SLC Games in the Park City region (our Whistler), or that some real estate agencies went bankrupt during this unexpected dry spell, but they do get into some pretty interesting discussions about Vancouver's market.

The blog is definitely worth checking out before you sell or buy a property. The comments area has a couple of trolls bottom feeding, but in general the group makes more sense than anything coming from "official real estate industry sites."


Here's a debunking-related excerpt from my book,
Leverage Olympic Momentum published in 2006


"I don't have a problem with house prices going up, but I do have a problem with media misleading residents into believing it is because of something great that politicians have done. It's a dangerous belief to perpetuate because in many Olympic regions house prices spike in exactly the same way, and inevitably the bottom falls out. Salt Lake City is a good example. Residents were promised by Olympic organizations that they would make a killing renting their properties out to Olympic spectators, but by the time the Games rolled around the market was flat. However, taxes were still astronomically high as a result of the early spike in real estate after the Bid was won, and horror upon horrors, all those SLC homeowners who bought in high, and renovated wrecks, well they were left holding the bag when it came time to rent out their properties during the Games. Developers, real estate agents, and banks didn't mind, but it's not the legacy residents expected.

Real estate markets actually went bone dry in the months surrounding the Olympics. Realtors in Park City didn't sell one home during the three-month span surrounding the Games. [It broke an all time record in the U.S.]

Already in February of 2006 local media are reporting a slumping real estate market in Vancouver/Whistler. Some even dance around the possibility it could lead to a burst bubble. Media don't want to even mention the 'bubble-word', because even a hint will piss off the real estate industry. Self-titled 'real estate experts' claim the 'indicators' do not exist to create a bubble. They claim they see no examples of speculation. Speculation means a property flips (it is bought and sold in a short period of time - usually about a year) for a huge profit. Experts in the Vancouver real estate market apparently refuse to consider an eight-story office building at 570 Dunsmuir, which was bought for $11.19 million by Churchill II Real Estate in December of 2004, and then flipped a little more than a year later to TransGlobe Property Management for $15 million. Apparently an almost $4 million profit doesn't qualify as speculative. It represents a thirty-four percent return less expenses. Pop goes the weasel. The market had to start crumbling before real estate "expert" and Vancouver columnist Bob Ransford finally admitted in April 2006 that, "Regardless of how much your house is worth today, we all know it could be worth less - sometimes a lot less - in a mere few months." This admission came from an expert who was previously hyping the virtues of an artificially inflated Olympic frenzied market.

It's always entertaining to watch experts scurry to protect their assets. (vs25, 34)"

end of excerpt


On another loosely related note, The Vancouver Sun recently announced they negotiated a direct agreement with VANOC to become the official Olympics booster of the 2010 Games across Canada. Apparently the consortium arrangement that parent company CanWest tried to broker with the IOC in 2007 fell through, so instead they negotiated a lucrative arraignment to have VANOC deal directly with the local newspaper.

Regarding the 15 Myths article in The Sun, well it came back to bite them on the ass - HARD. readers of the newspaper were so incensed regarding the misleading reporting that they accused the Vancouver Sun of selling out the community. Where have you heard that before? Learn more here about the angry backlash against The Vancouver Sun.





IOC / WADA's Dick ... Recommends
Olympic Athletes Boycott Beijing 2008


Oh God ... what has happened to your Olympics?

It's a question many have asked, especially since the explosion of human rights protests against China's 2008 Olympics torch relay in April of 2008.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you probably saw this coming years ago, but if you're new on the scene, you're probably wondering where the Olympics went off the rails.

Welcome to reality, and the politics of Olympics cult.

Since 2004, and mostly in vain unfortunately, I've lobbied newspaper and television companies to report more accurately about the Olympics, but for economic reasons - theirs, they refused for the most part to share in a timely manner with their customers what a few of us have known for a long time.

The Olympics, unfortunately, are pure play politics.

The Olympics have not been about sport for about two decades, but if you've followed local mainstream news media preachings for the last few years, like The Vancouver Sun for example, you'd think IOC president Jacques Rogge and his Vancouver sidekick John Furlong, were as pure as the driven snow boarders glide upon.

Now that Vancouver's real estate values have been artificially propped up to obscene levels by local developers, newspapers, and television companies, and now that these same developers and news media companies have made a fortune off the back of our community and socked their fortunes away in RBC's vaults, home prices are now starting to spiral down leaving home owners with inflated mortgages pacing nervously.

This elite, wealthy group, who happen to also be Olympics sponsors, have literally sucked the Olympics spirit out of Vancouver and surrounding regions, and helped drive people from their homes and businesses.

Now ... finally, local news media are telling the Olympics story like it should have been told from the very beginning. Unfortunately, it's a trifle late considering our community has taken a hit that will take a generation or two of obscenely escalated tax payments from which to recover.

Vancouver Sun reporting tag team Jeff Lee and Miro Cernetig would like readers to believe that Vancouver won't protest the 2010 Paralympic torch relay because, according to one of the people they interviewed, Am Johal, leader of a 2010 Olympics watchdog group, believes that because Paralympic athletes are physically challenged, people in general will cut them some slack. He's probably right, but on the other hand, Paralympic athletes could be the first athletic group to boycott and push for a more ethical Games. After all, what other group can you think of that has been so abused on the human rights front and across all races and nationalities? They have a common bond with their brothers and sisters in China who are also being abused. It's not as if Paralympic athletes score big buck endorsements or world accolade, so consequently, what economic fortunes do they have to lose? Ironically, they might have much more to gain by taking the ethical high road.

The 2008 Olympics torch relay, managed by China and co-managed by the IOC hit the wall at full speed last week. By far, the 2008 torch relay is the most controversial relay ever in the history of the Olympics. Usually, that accolade is reserved for the actual Games, but this time human rights abuse associated with the Olympics is so disturbing that people can't even wait for the Games to start before they rise up in protest. This modern day bashing is driven by the power of the internet when you consider that back in the day, local media would not breathe a word of global protest for fear it might harm their Games. For example, did you know that the Turin 2006 torch relay was also the target of very aggressive protest? Today local news media would look pretty stupid and reveal their bias if they buried the info like they've done in the past, so they have no choice but to be more truthful regardless of how economically painful it is for them over the short term.

Conscientious citizens in Paris, London, and San Francisco should be awarded a gold medal in the ethical 100-meter for voicing their human rights beliefs, and for not allowing themselves to be manipulated by the outdated and broken Olympics business model. It's time for change, and although everyone with a vested financial interest would like to see the old Olympics promotion machine trundle on as it has for way too long, thankfully there are thousands of people around the world with a conscience willing to stand up and say, enough. We want an ethical Olympics, or no Olympics at all.

World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) president Richard Pound, Dick for short, said in a speech to the Canadian Olympic Committee Board on April 11, 2008, that if Olympic athletes can't keep their human rights sensitivities to themselves, and keep their mouths shut when they go to China, then they should not go.

Wow! Finally, an official IOC executive admits athletes should boycott the Games if they feel human rights have been trampled upon. I'm pretty sure Dick never meant it to be interpreted this way, but when an athlete refuses to participate in an Olympics event out of protest, it's called boycotting.

Here's the real money challenge for all Olympic athletes; if you continue to "look the other way" and DO NOT speak out, then any of you who win a gold medal will be courting a hollow victory, because if you think the average person will get behind your Visa or Coca Cola endorsement, think again. Boycotting Beijing 2008 is one thing, but when it hits sponsors, well that takes on a whole new taste in the mouth. Will it really be that cool any more to have the five rings plastered all over your image and reputation if you are an athlete who chose to look the other way? We'll soon find out.

A hearty thank you to Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun reporter, for writing that one of the Olympics' most outspoken cheerleaders and critics, Dick Pound, finally admitted that boycotting an Olympics event is a viable solution. It's too bad however that Kingston didn't work his magic a few years ago so we could have avoided, or at least lessened this current controversy. Kingston's boss, The Vancouver Sun, is a paid Olympics booster, and The Sun stands to lose a lot if the Olympics generate mainstream resentment approaching critical mass, so this is a big step and I applaud him for this long awaited and overdue style of reporting. We can only hope that it's not too late, especially considering that Vancouver has its own human rights issues to juggle. It might still be lost on many Vancouverites, but our treatment of the mentally ill and addicted homeless in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has also spawned very contentious human rights issues that have tremendous potential to rise to the forefront once the world grows weary of the fiasco in Beijing. Don't forget too that Canadian Natives are also restless, and they are raising their drumbeats to what will surely become a deafening crescendo.

Most Westerners expect China to abuse human rights, and to use the Olympics as a political tool, but how many people expected that Vancouver, Canada, would also use the 2010 Olympics to raise their global visibility on the backs of the poor and destitute? Unfortunately, local news media haven't made clear to Vancouverites that if it weren't for 2010 Olympics gentrification, the number of homeless on our streets would not have doubled between 2005 and 2008. Coincidence? Not likely considering that this happens in all Olympics regions. Local news media knew about this pattern long ago, but for the most part they chose to look the other way while they sold double spread full color condo ads by the bucketful to developers and real estate marketers hyping and leveraging Olympic frenzy. One hand washes the other. It's an Olympic oligopoly run amok.

China displaced an estimated 1.5 million people to build their Olympics infrastructure and facilities, and they also ran roughshod over Tibetans, while Vancouver merely displaced a few thousand and drove them from their old dilapidated homes. But at the end of the day, the suffering is the same. The only difference is the scale.

How is it possible that Olympics organizations, and their sponsors have been able to "look the other way" for so long? How is it possible that they could, for the last few decades, spread their evangelical message so effortlessly around the world and convince billions of people that the Olympics are not political?

How? Look to newspapers and television. It's the same greedy and irresponsible group that got behind George W Bush to convince shocked and scared Americans to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq. Dubya's slogan "You're either with me or against me" worked like a charm when news media turned up the heat to convince trusting people to abandon their principles and common sense and get on the political bandwagon to fight the good fight.

If local news media refused to partner with Olympics organizations to spread the Olympics gospel, the gospel would not get spread. It's not as if Olympics organizations send you brochures like real estate agents incessantly deliver to your mailbox. They don't show up at your door like Jehovah's Witnesses either. And they don't preach to your kids in school. Oh, wait a second, yes, they actually have infiltrated our schools, and thanks to biased stories in local newspapers and on television, parents naively went along with it believing that Olympics organizations can do no harm.

The reality is that Olympics organizations need local media to spread their cult-like messages, because really, when was the last time you browsed an Olympics organization website? If you're not getting your Olympics propaganda directly from Olympics organizations, where in hell are you getting all this misinformation?

Did you have even a clue that IOC president Jacques Rogge insists there is no place for politics at the Olympics? Did you know that he flip flops all over the map regarding politics and the Olympics, dependant on whether or not it serves his purpose? Did you know that Rogge would place athletes on the front lines and use them as pawns to defend human rights abuse? Did you know that Rogge is trying to portray athletes as victims, when in fact it is Tibetans and displaced Beijing and Vancouver residents who are the victims? Did you know that Rogge would trap athletes between a rock and a hard place to save his own skin? Did you know he would sell out Olympic athletes so easily? Did you know Rogge forbade athletes to blog as recently as Turin 2006? Did you know that Rogge had a deal with China during the Bid phase to improve human rights treatment of the Chinese population, which in fact indicates the Olympics are political, but now that Rogge is being called upon to back up his political posturing with action, he now insists the Games are not political? Did you know he was such a slick politician?

It's great that local news media are finally telling a more nonpartisan side of the Olympics story, but what took them so long? Now that they have your tax money - now they want to tell the truth? Now that it's way too late to do the right thing, now that they've been busted red-handed … now they want to confess and give you the straight goods? Apparently they feel it's fine to screw the public on Friday as long as you confess your sins on Sunday? Someone call the Pope. Did you know that the torch relay is always heavily protested in all Olympics regions around the world no matter who is hosting the event? Don't you find it odd that you never heard about it? Whose fault is that?

If you can't trust local news media,
all that's left, is your own common sense.

Own the podium … or own your integrity?

Below are a few excerpts from my book, Leverage Olympic Momentum, regarding the protest and the Olympics torch relay. Keep in mind this book was published in 2006, over two years before the Beijing uprising. Politicians and news media had access to this information, but they chose to look the other way.

excerpt; Page 260 Leverage Olympic Momentum
Disruptions, as opposed to protests in Olympic regions, are everywhere including the torch relay. People try to steal the torch, sabotage it, paint it, replace it, hide it, put it out, etc. The Games haven't even begun and throngs of people in every Olympic region cause torch trouble. In some regions officials pull strings to get their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and mistresses entered in the torch relay. Sometimes they are found out, but mostly it just slips by media and the public without notice. However, when these nepotistic little episodes are revealed all hell breaks loose. Media jumps all over it and traces the route back to its most asinine beginnings until the public is accosted ad nauseum. More taxpayer dollars are spent promoting and protecting the torch event than some nations spend to feed their starving. But it is a fun and necessary tool used to elevate excitement. Other than the occasional group of young men in the background mooning the camera as the flame passes by, the torch relay is mostly political posturing until a protestor or a publicity seeker tackles one of the torchbearers. In fact accosting a torchbearer and trying to extinguish it happens so often it's possible it could become an Olympic event worthy of a medal and a trip to the podium. Tackling the torchbearer is kind of like a wrestler getting hit in the head from behind with a chair. It gets the crowd on its feet. Especially when the wrestler with the bruised noggin ends up winning the match. The torch relay attracts a built-in crowd for SMB's who can leverage it either through promotion or retail. Anytime there is a crowd there is an opportunity. (hjl91)

excerpt; Page 255 Leverage Olympic Momentum
Olympic-time legislation makes peaceful street-protest almost impossible. Always remember the unspoken Olympic credo, 'you are either with us or against us.' If media wants access to Olympic events and information they cannot play both sides of the street. In the past media have been threatened with losing accreditation if they photograph police action against protestors. When police remove identification badges and charge the crowd it negatively impacts Olympic ticket sales and television viewership. Protesting usually becomes very intense in the last six months leading up to the Games. It is during this period international media start relocating into the region in large numbers. Up until that point they may have visited the region once or twice, but during the last six months they set up a permanent base until the Games are over. More media equals increased protesting. What better time then when the whole world is watching? Protests in this stage become theatrical with props like oversized torches being extinguished, or a giant pencil chasing a giant Nike shoe representative of Fair Trade organizations pressuring Nike to sign agreements regarding sweatshops. Large groups also assemble to ridicule the torch as it passes by. In fields adjacent to airports protestors create gigantic crop circles to spell out their displeasure to airline passengers. Pamphlets are handed out in the streets, mass bike rides and walks are organized, and passive actions like hotlines for the homeless are heavily promoted. Protesting is more expensive than you think. Not only does it affect local businesses, it also drives up taxes because municipalities have to pay for anti-riot and protest police. Five-liter canisters of pepper spray are expensive. In Olympic regions they don't fool around with a few hundred officers waving batons and pepper spraying from behind shields. Olympic protesters are managed with helicopters, horses, dogs, boats and all those other goodies we described earlier, like Tazers, full body armor, water cannons, and small armored vehicles to carry troops and bulldoze torched cars out of the way. Protesters are subject to zero tolerance. Olympic organizers don't push protesters back and wait for them to fizzle out. They extinguish them with extreme prejudice and have been known to send 1,500 military, one hundred and fifty SWAT members, and a full complement of artillery against one hundred protestors. Remember, unaccredited media are watching, and the faster Olympic organizations bring things under control the better. They pounce upon the first whiff of smoke. One of the reasons is to deter professional protesters from entering the fray. What starts out as a local protest to raise visibility about a road closing has the potential to turn into a full-blown anti-Olympic event complete with balaclavas and molotov cocktails.

excerpt; Page 179 Leverage Olympic Momentum
In 2009 the Art and Culture extravaganza will hit the road and tour the world. The Olympic Flame Relay will cover 15,000 kilometers stretching from Olympia Greece, to the North Pole and on to Vancouver using a wide variety of transportation methods from airplane to dog sled. It is expected 7,000 Canadians of all ages will have the honor of bearing the torch over a one hundred a fourteen-day period - a day for every year of the modern Olympic era since 1896 when the Games were reintroduced to the world after an extended absence. When the Games end the Paralympics begin and the torch will then be carried around B.C. for a two-week period. (ap35)

excerpt; Page 18 Leverage Olympic Momentum
One of the main complaints of [Australian] Aboriginals was that their culture was being used in a superficial manner to market the Games. They felt like they weren't being treated with the respect they deserved. Closing ceremonies in Atlanta showed them playing didgeridoos, plus the Sydney logo had a boomerang in it, and the torch resembled a boomerang. Also, the Australian portion of the torch relay started at a sacred indigenous site, and the first torchbearer was indigenous Olympian, Nova Peris-Kneebone. All this looks great until you consider Aboriginals were not recognized for the contributions they made in modern day. Old icons simply served to recall the past and not reflect the present day or the future. It was seen and justified by millions of people in Australia and around the world as patronizing and representative of the attitude the Australian government and Olympic organizations had of Aboriginals. It fooled no one. As [Helen] Lenskyj described in her book [The Best Games Ever?], everyone knew it was important during the Bid stage to have Australia perceived as a country that "embraced its oppressed minority culture" because it would stand in stark contrast to China who was also in competition for the Games. (hjl46)



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Own the Podium?

The official creed (guiding principle) of the Olympics is a quote by the founding father of the modern day Games Baron de Coubertin. He said, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The Olympic motto consists of three Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The 1924 motto is meant to encourage athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their individual abilities.

No where does it imply that winning the most gold medals for your country is part of the agenda. In fact it implies exactly the opposite.

The IOC maintains that it doesn't actively encourage countries to collectively win the most gold medals, but on the other hand they also don't institute anything to ensure that the Games are not turned into corporate money grabs.

In fact, IOC sponsorship and partnership business models encourage a win-at-all-costs mentality. It is the reason they have doping, fraud and bribery scandals.

The IOC invites young people to compete in the Olympics using the original Creed & Motto. But when it comes to delivering on the promise they fall incredibly short.

The Olympics today isn't as much about sport as it is about money and profit.

Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed & Motto.

If athletes go for the gold, and the IOC goes for the gold, and corporate sponsors go for the gold, and governments go for the gold, and considering that you will have to foot the bill for their gold, why should you be edged out of the race?

Move to the starting line.

Own the Podium?
or
Own Your Home?











Real journalism consists of
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all the rest is public relations."
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