On scene in Doha with the IAAF evaluation commission // photo courtesy Doha 2019

On scene in Doha with the IAAF evaluation commission // photo courtesy Doha 2019

Track and field

IAAF 2019, IOC 2022: why so different?

The International Olympic Committee’s Winter Games bid 2022 process is, to put it charitably, struggling. Six cities have dropped out. Just two are left, Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

At the very same time, the IAAF’s bid contest for the 2019 track and field world championship seemingly couldn’t be going better. On Friday, an evaluation commission, headed by Sebastian Coe, the 1980s track star who is an IAAF vice president and of course oversaw the 2012 London Summer Games, wrapped up a worldwide tour that took it across the world to the three cities in the race: Barcelona; Eugene, Oregon; and Doha, Qatar.

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.

IOC president Thomas Bach (right), with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at the OCA general assembly in Incheon, South Korea // photo Getty Images

IOC president Thomas Bach (right), with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at the OCA general assembly in Incheon, South Korea // photo Getty Images

IOC

Sports and politics do mix

At long last, the secret that really is no secret is finally out: sports and politics do mix.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said so, in a speech over the weekend at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. If it is a mystery why it took so long for the IOC president, any IOC president, to articulate the obvious, this IOC president deserves full credit for not just recognizing reality but standing ready to build on it.

IOC president Thomas Bach, flanked by communications director Mark Adams, leaving Wednesday's news conference

IOC president Thomas Bach, flanked by communications director Mark Adams, leaving Wednesday's news conference

IOC

More and more, indisputably Bach’s IOC

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — In 1980, Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain was elected president of the International Committee. The next year, the IOC held a far-reaching Congress in Baden-Baden, Germany, that set the stage for Samaranch’s visionary — yes, visionary — years in office.

Germany’s Thomas Bach was elected IOC president last September. This December, the IOC will hold an all-members assembly in Monaco to reflect on his far-reaching review and potential reform process, which he has dubbed “Olympic Agenda 2020.” Backstage, the comparisons to Samaranch have already begun, and within the Olympic community those comparisons are assuredly meant to be complimentary.

Norway's Anette Sagen during a 2013 FIS World Cup ski jump event at the famed Holmenkollen venue // photo Getty Images

Norway's Anette Sagen during a 2013 FIS World Cup ski jump event at the famed Holmenkollen venue // photo Getty Images

2022 Bid Cities

The Oslo 2022 conundrum

The International Olympic Committee finds itself early this week in Oslo in a conundrum of its own making.

On the one hand, it is assuredly the IOC’s responsibility to encourage strong bids to come forward. Thus Oslo 2022. On the other, in politics – even, perhaps especially, sports politics – perceptions can matter as much as reality. Thus, again, Oslo 2022.