We’re talking about the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympics, and bidders “Johns”– a greasy spooning, sleazy concoction if there ever was one. With respect to the IOC, there have never been a more swelled-in-self-regard bigger bunch of cads than they. With respect to the bidders, for years they’ve had their proverbial head up their a-s. Call ‘em headlass.
Even Norway, whose international bona fides with the Nobel Peace Prizes is legion, and who has a King Harald, a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg – who could -presumably - relate to the many Royal Highnesses on the IOC - has had enough. No IOC and no 2022 winter sled-fest aristocrat mess for them. They dropped out of the bidding contest.
Lord almighty, it could be Almaty. That’s in Kazakhstan. Or it could be Beijing. That’s in smog. These are the only two who will prostrate themselves enough for the IOC dignitaries to - as is their wont and want - spelunk in.
Nobody can say the IOC doesn’t do it their way but, unlike Elvis Presley who sang “My Way” their public performances are without crowd-first emphasis, without taste, without style, without grace.
For what have they done to the Olympic Games? They've made it ruinously expensive going in and left the host country with cheap ruins going out. Greece hosted the summer Olympics in 2004. The Parthenon looks more current and kempt than do the unkempt - flourishing with weeds, shrubs, and trees - volleyball and baseball venues. The bottom of the diving pool looks like a college dorm floor after a hemp bender. Granted, the IOC can’t be responsible for babysitting facilities after the curtain goes down, but it could stop encouraging bids from countries that can’t afford ear wax, let alone Olympic Games.
But given that only China and Kazakhstan are behind the red rope, it might be fitting for the IOC to add taunting to their tray of terrible traits. Sing it loud and proud (mimicking Elvis’ last song sung live) to these two tyrannies: “Are you Lonesome Tonight.”
IOC President Thomas Bach was a gold-medalist Olympic fencer back in ’76. If anyone can diplomatically parry, it’s he, and he isn’t freaking yet. ‘Cause hey, via the “Olympic Agenda 2020” the IOC opines that perhaps bidding countries could have a say on the games’ goings on. That’s a concept...
So, it’s rock on, Almaty! Almaty, in Kazakh, means: “the place where apples grow.” Their official website looks good enough for apples, and maybe for the 2022 Olympics. The CIA describes the country’s natural resources as “vast.” So it’s not a basket case going in like Greece almost was, and now is.
40% of the city’s population is under 24 years of age. The Kazakh website depicts more than 50% of them as being “economically active.” Perhaps economically active sounds more promising in Kazakh...For sake of argument ignore Almaty’s KIMEP University’s assertion that 100,000 people in Kazakhstan die each year because of air pollution – 20% of whom live in Almaty - because the country has cold winters – a help if one wants to have skiers shushing around town. Sochi, Russia, had six days in the Fahrenheit 60’s for its competition. There were puddles at the bottom of ski runs. It was the warmest winter Olympics on record. Why did the IOC pick a near-tropical climate Sochi to host the games again? Maybe three of Putin’s pals who, as Max Seddon of BuzzFeed News reports, were awarded contracts totaling $15 billion, put Putin up to this.
Putin’s Puttin’ On The Sochi Ritz Glitz Olympics purportedly cost over 50 billion bucks, and the lives of a lot of stray dogs who had the temerity to be caught living at the time. That’s a lot of dough and dog for a 16-day show. And now, for example, the Alpine-hosting town Rosa Khutor is abandoned.
Bet with reckless abandon on Almaty to take the Olympics. China just had the summer ones, so it might look better if the Olympics were spread around. Also, the IOC likes unaccountability so it might like the likes of President Nazarbayev – who is President for life and can hold office for eternity - so long as he wins pesky elections. The last one he won was a nail-biter-win-by-a-nose ordeal. He squeaked in with a miniscule 95.5% in 2011.
Seriously, if any leader can coerce a populace to his Olympic pretensions it’s this strongman, who has his own educational pipeline with the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools system. Perhaps he can singlehandedly muscle back what could be a messy problem. The official website describes Almaty as “... a true mountain town with 4,000m high peaks literally flowing into the city." Shovel, anyone?
And let’s call a spade a spade. Nazarbayev has bags under his eyes. He might work for a living, unlike Vlad-the-bad-farcical-face-job Putin whose visage is weirder than a Cyclops with two eyes and calls it work when he picks fights with defense-less countries like Georgia and the Ukraine. (Why couldn't Putin, with his rumored 70 billion dollars stashed away, spring for plastic surgeons that had, at least, hand-held mirrors?)
Got off track a tad…
Let us close by reading the Book of Genesis, an about 58-page effort which portrays how a planet and people are created. Not your cup of tea? Make it be, because the alternative is to pour through the 7,000 page IOC Manual where protocol and pomp are detailed dealing with how IOC bloviators are to be cosseted on the Olympic circuit, away from their headquarters in Switzerland. That headquarters, by the way, resembles a mausoleum, except there - - - ethics go to die.