From the back of the room, almost at the end of the  127th IOC session in Monaco

From the back of the room, almost at the end of the 127th IOC session in Monaco

IOC

Agenda 2020 change: for real, or not so much?

MONACO — From the department of the obvious: no one spends $601 million over seven years unless they’re serious. The International Olympic Committee is dead-bang serious about the digital television channel its members approved Monday as part of president Thomas Bach’s 40-part “Agenda 2020” plan.

As for the other 39 components, which call for shifts in the bid process and the Olympic program? History and common sense teach that expectations ought to be tempered.

IOC president Thomas Bach  // photo Edward Hula III

IOC president Thomas Bach // photo Edward Hula III

IOC

Agenda 2020 goes 40-for-40

MONACO — To much self-promotion and -congratulation, the International Olympic Committee on Monday “unanimously” enacted all 40 points of president Thomas Bach’s review and potential reform plan, dubbed “Agenda 2020.”

The potential game-changer: approval of a digital TV channel. Other significant elements: shifts in the bid process as well as to the Olympic program.

ANOC boss Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah after the gala with, among others, American gold medalist and activist Donna De Varona (far right)

ANOC boss Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah after the gala with, among others, American gold medalist and activist Donna De Varona (far right)

IOC

Sheikh Ahmad at ANOC gala: “Our job is to make dreams come true”

BANGKOK — Far too often, Olympic meetings are tedious affairs in which reports that have already been passed out well ahead of time are then read out from the lectern, word for word, to those seated at banks of tables below. Little wonder time sometimes seems as if it is passing like molasses.

And then there is an affair like the more than 200-nation Assn. of National Olympic Committee meeting here in Bangkok, headed by the charismatic Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait, punctuated by Friday night’s first ANOC gala awards dinner, which may yet assume the role — which it clearly aims to be — of the Oscars of the Olympic sports world. Here was an assembly that, mostly, got it right. Starting with a focus on the athletes.

IOC president Thomas Bach at the Nanjing Youth Games // photo Getty Images

IOC president Thomas Bach at the Nanjing Youth Games // photo Getty Images

IOC

No bid visits: will ‘Agenda 2020′ yield real change?

The International Olympic Committee tends, generally speaking, to move with tradition and with careful adherence to process in mind.

Thus perhaps, maybe, possibly the final outcome of the all-members session in December in Monaco, at which the IOC will review President Thomas Bach’s “Agenda 2020” review and potential reform plan, will produce far-reaching change. But the signal sent at the close of Thursday’s policy-making executive board meeting seems decidedly otherwise.

OBS  chief executive Yiannis Exarchos

OBS chief executive Yiannis Exarchos

IOC

Olympic TV: the time is now

Based in Los Angeles, KIIS-FM — OMG, Ryan Seacrest, he hosts the talent show American Idol, too! — is a pop culture powerhouse that unabashedly plays a loop of hit songs its teenage listeners want to hear, over and again. This summer, as I know well, what with three teens in the house (disclaimer: the oldest turned 20 in April), one of those songs is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

If you are not in the know, let us just say that “Anaconda” is salacious. My 15-year-old daughter, who is a straight-A student and gives her parents zero problems, knows all the words. These include rhymes and riffs that veer from Eiffel to Nyquil to others that are for sure not printable in a family newspaper. The video, with Minaj and a posse of backup dancers twerking and then twerking some more, makes the whole thing all too clear.