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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 Feature:

................................................................

Originally Published April 22, 2009 


Olympic Exclusion ...
White Women CANíT Jump


UPDATE July 16, 2009

Female Ski Jumpers Launch an Appeal - You go Girls!
Get those Self-Centered MALE Jumpers to Back You.

Call ANNE MURRAY - She'll kick some ass!
Call Ellen & Oprah too and quit fooling around!
Take this puppy viral ASAP and screw decorum.


UPDATE: July 10, 2009


Vote is in from BC's Supreme Court - Women Lost.

Personally, I could care less what the antiquated Charter of Rights in Canada states, common sense tells me the decision by the esteemed judge is wrong and sexist. Yeah I know the judge is a woman, but that makes it even worse.

So . . . if the courts and mainstream news media are not capable of turning a wrong into a right, maybe it's time for social media to give it a more serious shot.

Social media is all about solidarity. In the real world solidarity literally means sticking together in the face of adversity and injustice.

In the real world, garbage men on strike have librarians and a whole host of other types of workers walking off the job and standing behind them in solidarity, but here we are, only seven months before the big 2010 Olympic event in Vancouver and Whistler, and Olympic athletes have barely uttered a word in support of women ski jumpers.

Let me repeat this; Librarians support garbage men on strike, but male ski jumpers and all the other Olympics athletes have literally snubbed their colleagues and look the other way.

The judge's decision disregards sexism, and I am fully aware of the irony in the following, but Oh man Olympic athletes - grow some balls.

The decision by the judge is one thing, but how this is playing out is incredibly revealing respective of the immense lack of solidarity among Olympic athletes.

You guys are phony baloneys, obviously more concerned about your personal careers and the jackpot it might generate in the gold medal lottery. Wake up you clowns, the fact you are not standing behind your sisters, means gold medal sports endorsements will be devalued.

Kellogs just gave Michael Phelps a kick in the stones over the Bong incident a few months ago, and now Olympic athletes are hanging themselves again because they don't have the courage to say to the IOC, Heh! Either the women jump or we walk off the job in support until they do.

IOC executives, who constantly boast how much they support Olympic athletes have done such a fine job of creating camaraderie in their community that Olympic athletes are scared stiff to speak up and do the right thing. Instead they look the other way. Start blogging and tweeting!!

On top of it all, Olympic Sponsors have also not stepped up to say unequivocally that regardless of antiquated rules, women ski jumpers should be participating in 2010. How about it Cocoa-Cola, McDonalds, GM, Bell, Rona, RBC? What do your employees think of sexism?

One big reason Olympic sponsors get involved in the Games is to demonstrate to employees that fair play is part of their corporate manifest, but here we are, when the rubber hits the road Olympic sponsors are squealing their tires and racing off in the opposite direction.

Has everyone in Olympic organizations gone mad?

By looking the other way you committ slow corporate suicide.

One last point before you read below what I wrote about this controversy when it first went to court last April, Mr. Furlong, CEO VANOC, it's time to quit referring to female athletes as girls. They are women. Treat them with some respect.


From April 22, 2009

The IOC and VANOC are up to their old tricks.

Many people erroneously believe the Olympic is about fairness,
and that the Games are all about bringing people,
communities, and even countries together.

Well if this is the case, how is it possible VANOC and the IOC want to keep women ski jumpers off the gold medal podium in 2010 Vancouver?


.....................................................

If you are familiar with the history of the Olympics it will come as no surprise the Games are not about inclusion as much as they are about excluding the people the IOC arbitrarily decides donít belong.

Yes, VANOC and the IOC insist they are just following rules of sporting decorum, and that women canít possibly compete in the 2010 ski jump competition because they havenít shown enough interest or involvement.

Itís an argument of distraction, and Iím going to let mainstream news media waste time arguing the point on their own, because the truth is, women have been involved in ski jumping for a long time, and the reality is that physically, they have tremendous potential to be better at it than men if they are given a chance.

Local news media paint a complicated picture, and in doing so slyly watch the clock tick down towards 2010. Wasting time is exactly what the IOC wants and what their partners, mainstream news media, have done and are willing to continue to do on their behalf.

The Vancouver Sun, an official supplier to the 2010 Olympics is well paid by the IOC to tell the Olympic side of the Olympic story, and they are experts at ignoring critical sides of issues that people in Host Olympics regions need in order to make good decisions. Yes, they eventually get around to telling the entire story, but quite often they donít do it in a timely manner, and as you know, in comedy and sports, timing is everything.

One reason newspapers are going bankrupt is because they mistakenly believe advertisers are their customers. I have news for you news hounds - itís not advertisers you should be worshipping - instead, you should show greater respect for your audience. And guess what? Women make up half of it. Itís not a coincidence Canwest shares plummeted to a plugged nickel and that they now teeter on ruin. You reap what you sow.

Any journalist worth her or his salt knows that not all local Olympic organizing committees cave to the IOC as easily as VANOC. For example, in Sydney Australia in 2000, SOCOG (VANOCís counterpart) told the IOC to hit the road and instead used a local courier (TNT) instead of UPS.

In Atlanta, the mayor decided to back his community and allow local companies a place at the table under his community tent.

Donít scoff. UPS quit in a hissy fit the next year, and the Atlanta mayor was deemed a local hero, all much to the chagrin of the IOC.

Both cities decided to override IOC rules and instead turned their Games into an event of local community inclusion, not exclusion. The IOC never sued either, or levied any serious sanctions. Donít believe for a moment the IOC would refuse to allow Canada to Host another Olympic event if we forced them to include women ski jumpers at 2010. For starters, contrary to what Colin Hanson and local media tell you, most cities would not touch the Olympics with a ten-foot vaulterís pole. Read IOC executive Richard Pound's book, Inside The Olympics for the real dope on this issue.

You'll be surprised how hard it is for the IOC to attract qualified Host cities. The IOC threat to ignore Canada in the future is bluster and bluff. Besides, if they did pass us over for another twenty years, would that be so bad? By that time we might have had a chance to pay off the 2010 deficit and get back in the saddle. It took Montreal thirty years to pay off their three billion dollar Olympic debt.

One more thing, because the IOC has had such a challenging time wooing good Olympic Host cities, and because the last four Olympic regions have generated huge deficits, don't be surprised if the IOC decides to build summer and winter facilities in permanent locations. The Olympic traveling show may soon be a thing of the past, much like drinking and driving.

Hereís what I wrote way back in 2004 about Olympic exclusion - If I could see this coming five years ago, what took your local newspaper so long?

Here's an excerpt from my 2006 book, Leverage Olympic Momentum;
"Local Olympic organizing committees like VANOC should first have a commitment to the local community, next to the host country, then Olympic sponsors, and lastly to the IOC. Unfortunately, history has shown the community usually comes last. This is morally and ethically wrong. Placing the community last is a result of poor leadership by both the local Olympic committee and local politicians. If local politicians and the local Olympic organizing committees won’t take up the challenge to protect the community then you have to protect yourself. If you do nothing and simply go along for the ride you will be exploited and you will lose."
end of excerpt

So how about it VANOC and Mayor Gregor Robertson? Are you going to be pushed around by an arrogant organization that for the last four Olympic events economically sideswiped each respective Olympic region, or are you going to speak out against the injustice?

Ah yes, I know. You canít comment on an issue in the courts.

No problem. Allow me to do it for you.

I have extensive first hand experience regarding the challenges of sexism. For almost two decades I worked with one of North Americaís very vocal defenders of womenís rights. I also did it at a time when it wasnít fashionable. I was a senior member of the Anne Murray management team during the prime of her career, and throughout this period, especially in the late 70ís and early 80ís, I dealt regularly with many sexist men who believed women didnít have equal rights. It was a constant barrage, and over time I came to easily recognize the signs, and I can tell you, after working and hanging with Miss Snowbird and her professional sport friends on the tennis and golf circuits for almost twenty years, much of what I see occurring today regarding female ski jumpers, happened just like this back in the day. Same rhetoric. Different era.

There was a time when blacks were not allowed to ride up front in the bus, and when women were not allowed to play hockey. We also thought women should have their own entrances at lounges.

Yikes. It seems VANOC and the IOC stepped back in time.

Women ski jumpers are in BC Supreme Court to present their case in front of Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon in an effort to force VANOC and the IOC to respect women as equal sports competitors.

Did you ever think that in 2009 equality of gender would be an issue, and especially an issue respective of the Olympics?

Of course you didnít, because you trust the Olympics to do the right thing. Unfortunately the Olympics ainít what you thought it was when you were a kid. When you were a kid you probably wanted to be an Olympic champion. Who didnít dream as an eight year old of winning a gold medal? Most still think the Olympics is about respect. Well ... it was, but itís a different era and the unwritten rules have changed considerably.

In 1984 the Olympics took a sharp right turn, and almost overnight moved from being sports centric, to becoming an event driven by profit and corporate greed.

Here's another excerpt from my book, Leverage Olympic Momentum;
"Everything came to a head at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles when Coca-Cola wanted to buy licensing rights for not only Los Angeles, but also all of the USA and the world. L.A. is the promotional epicenter of the world. They know how to license everything from baubles to widgets, and especially television rights. In fact they were so good at it the IOC was forced to modify their strategies forever. Unlike most people, Hollywood agents never felt even a twinge of guilt over profiting from the Games."
end of excerpt


People blame the IOC for keeping women off the ski jump podium, and that's partly right, but the real culprits are Olympic sponsors.

Sponsors like McDonalds, Coca-Cola and GM often call the shots regarding many Olympic related issues. They donít do it directly, but their shareholders hold heavy sway regarding what happens on the playing field. Shareholders voice their opinion by voting with their money. When they donít like what they see, they sell their shares and move on.

A gold medal is worth multimillions of dollars to an Olympic superstar.

Just ask Michael Phelps, the Bong King, how much it hurt him financially when Kelloggís cut the purse strings and sent him packing. Today, the Olympics ďFamilyĒ as they like to call themselves, and their sponsors are more about money than they are about bringing the community together.

If Kelloggís was smart, the company CEO would have said, ďMikey, you stoned, youthful fool, you made a mistake and embarrassed us all, but fortunately you werenít malicious, and you didnít kill anyone, so letís not go crazy. Instead of cutting our ties, we would like you to travel the world and tell kids about the dangers of serious addictions, and how to respect their bodies. Weíre going to trim your endorsement check, but you get to keep your dignity and actually teach kids how to live a life free of lies and deceit. You might also end up drug free as a bonus.Ē

Unfortunately, Kelloggís reacted on greed instead of leadership.

Consequently, I decided to quit purchasing their products.

If the Olympics was really serious about bringing countries and the community together, why havenít Olympic athletes from other disciplines stepped up and insisted that women ski jumpers get to compete in 2010?

Inclusion literally refers to brother and sisterhood. Unfortunately, I donít see too much fraternal bonding in the ranks. As far as I know not one athlete outside of women ski jumpers stepped forward and said, ďYou know what? This is wrong, and Iím not going to compete in gymnastics or the half pipe until my sisters are flying ass over tea kettle in the air.Ē

Where are the athletesí voices?

Where are sponsor objections to sexism?

And what about all those musical artists raking in big bucks to perform at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad, or maybe even during Opening and Closing Ceremonies? How about it Sarah? What do Lilith fans feel about artists looking the other way? How about it sk8rgrl? You had no problem collecting a fat check in Turin paid for by Canadian tax dollars, but now we donít hear a peep from you. Not cool.

So much for community, togetherness, and inclusion.

Why hasnít one Olympic sponsor stepped up and said to the IOC and VANOC, ďYou guys are wrong. Fix it or we walk . . . with our money."

They walk over a puff of pot, but not over gender discrimination.

Most people donít realize four major Olympic sponsors walked last year.

In fact it was a record for the most Olympic sponsors to quit in one year.

Sure, the recession had something to do with it, and if you use the recession argument, GM had all the cause in the world to pack it in, but GM wasnít one of the companies that walked. Hmmm.

Some of the Olympic sponsors that quit implied the relationship no longer gave them what they needed in order to continue (Iím assuming itís cash), so they ďpulled the plug.Ē Kodak quit after a long relationship with the IOC, and so did Lenovo, Johnson and Johnson, and the biggest surprise, Manulife Financial, an Olympic sponsor for about twenty years.

Read details here - and then see what BusinessWeek said about Kodak and others quitting Olympic sponsorships.

It doesnít speak well of community and inclusion when rats abandon ship.

Actually, rats isnít fair or accurate. Itís more like 3 Blind Mice, or maybe the monkeys; Hear No, See No, and Speak No.

It is incredulous that in these trying times, VANOC and the IOC cannot put aside their sexist underpinnings and at least make an exception, if for nothing else, then for the optics. Itís just plain stupid, and underscores their arrogance.

How about it Rona, RBC and HBC, and what about
you Cindy Klassen, Adam van Koeverden, and Michael Phelps?

I respect your accomplishment, but are you ďlooking the other wayĒ like you did in Beijing regarding the displaced homeless and Tibet?

Are you going to become the cement that bonds the Olympics and our community, or is it still each man for himself Ė pun fully intended.


The IOC and VANOC screw females while
voyeurs look away and do nothing to help!



If you refuse to do it for the right reason - ethics, think selfishly and at least consider doing it because it will preserve endorsement value in your sport, and Olympic events across the board.

If you canít get behind one of your own,
how do you expect me to get behind you?


Thanks to social media, we donít need local newspapers and television to tell us what is right or wrong or to confuse us with legal gobbledygook and complexity. We can now talk to each other directly and compare notes through websites, blogs, and twitter.

Jim McKay, television sports host of twelve Olympic events, including the Munich massacre in 1972, coined the phrase ďThe thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.Ē For years we watched a male ski jumper crash dramatically with those words ringing in our ears. Oh the irony.


I say, if women want to crash , let them, but
more importantly, give them a shot at victory.


Watch This Video From ABC World News


Sign the "Let Women Ski Jump in 2010" PETITION !!



Free Women's Ski Jumping USA Music from trueAnthem!


........................................................

Follow me on TWITTER

The video below was taped two days
before the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

It becomes even more relevant each passing day.




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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?











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