Almaty 2022 vice chairman Andrey Kryukov answers reporters' questions after the bid presentation to IOC members at the Olympic Museum

Almaty 2022 vice chairman Andrey Kryukov answers reporters' questions after the bid presentation to IOC members at the Olympic Museum

2022 Bid Cities

Agenda 2020 — keeping it real

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee is trying, really trying, to prove that Agenda 2020, the would-be reform plan that president Thomas Bach and the members passed last December in Monaco, amounts to significant change.

But when confronted with real-world realities, like the two candidates for the 2022 Winter Games, Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, which made presentations here Tuesday to the members, the question must be asked: how much change, really, is in the air?

David Oliver at the 2015 Diamond League meet in Shanghai // photo USATF

David Oliver at the 2015 Diamond League meet in Shanghai // photo USATF

Track and field

How to fire your coach

In December, 2004, David Oliver, just 22, graduated from Howard University, a star in football and track. He moved the very next month to Florida, intent on becoming a star on the professional track circuit, and started working with coach Brooks Johnson.

Oliver is now 33, the 2008 Beijing Games bronze medalist in the 110-meter high hurdles, the 2013 world champion. He is a father, a family man. He is the same guy and yet very different from that 22-year-old. “I do owe the man a ton of credit,” Oliver said. “I learned everything from him.”

Justin Gatlin running away with Saturday's 200 at Hayward Field // photo courtesy USATF

Justin Gatlin running away with Saturday's 200 at Hayward Field // photo courtesy USATF

Track and field

Can Justin Gatlin be a hero?

EUGENE, Oregon — It was 40 years ago Saturday — May 30, 1975 — that Steve Prefontaine crashed his gold 1973 MGB convertible on a curve here on Skyline Boulevard and died. He is by now legend, myth, icon and the man that America wants its track heroes to be.

By all rights, amid this year’s running of the Prefontaine Classic, the guy who should be America’s track and field hero is Justin Gatlin. He won the 200 meters here Saturday in 19.68, eighth-fastest in history, a meet record. Gatlin’s challenge is not what he does between the lines. It’s what he says when he’s not performing. And how he handles himself, and his doping-related past.

Sepp Blatter at Thursday's opening of the FIFA Congress // Getty Images

Sepp Blatter at Thursday's opening of the FIFA Congress // Getty Images

Soccer

The consequences of the FIFA indictments

EUGENE, Oregon — You know who looks like geniuses right about now? Vin Lananna here at so-called TrackTown USA and Max Siegel, chief executive of USA Track & Field. They were two of the keys to bringing track and field’s world championships to Eugene in 2021. That might be the last hurrah.

In the aftermath of the FIFA indictments, it likely may be a generation or more before the United States sees a World Cup played here, women’s or men’s. And the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2024 bid, now centered on Boston? The International Olympic Committee won’t vote on 2024 until 2017 but this Boston bid can now be presumed to be DOA.

John Fish, the driving force behind the Boston 2024 bid // Getty Images

John Fish, the driving force behind the Boston 2024 bid // Getty Images

Boston 2024

What we have here is a bait-and-switch

Rule No. 1 of politics is look after yourself. Thus the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts have to be ever-so-quietly tripping over themselves in a race to bring the execution hammer down, and hard, on Boston 2024.

What we have here, friends, is a situation that is not good and is not going to get better. This space said so nearly two months ago in urging the relevant authorities to pull the bid. It’s actually worse now than then, and here’s why: Boston 2024 has devolved into a bait-and-switch, and if all involved would just step back and see it for what it is, and has become, they would be well-advised — for their own self-preservation — to kill it now.