GamesBids.com presents the seventh annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2014. These stories impacted the course of Olympic bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plot lines for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st during the holiday season.
#10 PyeongChang 2018 Asked to Move Sliding Venue
In December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began to focus on Agenda 2020 – a set of reforms for the Olympic Movement – some of which focused on the bidding process.
One of the most significant proposals was one that relaxed the rules around specific venue siting. In order to save costs, promote sustainability and eliminate burdensome legacy the approved charter change allowed for some venues to be located outside of the host city and perhaps even outside of the host nation if absolutely necessary.
As an initial test of the effectiveness of the reforms, even before they had been officially approved, it was rumored that IOC Coordination Commission Chair for PyeongChang, Gunilla Lindberg, strongly suggested that the Koreans abandon plans to build a $100 million (USD) sliding venue and instead move it to another country – perhaps to Japan or further overseas.
The venue at the Alpensia Olympic Park that will stage bobsled, luge and skeleton events was already under construction when the IOC members unanimously approved the new proposal, and PyeongChang bid and organizing committees had spent years planning and justifying this important sport legacy.
While the IOC will now allow proposals with venues across international borders, the appeal for bid cities to give up key venues or the acceptance of such plans by IOC voting members remains to be seen.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.