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
Gentrification 2010 Vancouver Style
Debunking Vancouver's Real Estate Myth Debunkers
IOC / WADA's Dick Says Boycott Beijing 2008
Olympics Gentrification 2010 Vancouver
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
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
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.
Similar human rights issues on a smaller scale.
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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-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
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)
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.
Talk to us before you talk to them ...
- the book
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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
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
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
Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed &
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?
Own Your Home?
Real journalism consists of
what someone doesn't want published,
all the rest is public relations."