USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

Boston 2024

A wink, a nod, an op-ed, insurance, so many questions

Give the U.S. Olympic Committee credit. For years, as the dismal results from the New York 2012 and Chicago 2016 votes proved, it simply was not effectively in the Olympic bid game.

What it needed was a wink and a nod, a high sign if you will, from the International Olympic Committee, that the IOC not only wanted a city to bid from the USOC, but which city. The USOC got that last week when IOC president Thomas Bach wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe two days before the USOC picked its city for the 2024 Summer Games. It picked Boston.

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

IOC

The legacy of China’s He Zhenliang

The Olympic movement is all about changing the world. Very few people actually effect such change. Everything you see now that reflects China the important player on the world sports stage — all of that is, in some piece big or small, the work of He Zhenliang, a former International Olympic Committee vice president who died Sunday at age 85.

Mr. He, as it seemed everyone in Olympic circles called him, was a remarkable man. He was not only the bridgehead, as David Miller pointed out Monday in the Olympic newsletter Sport Intern, but then the bridge between China and the world outside. There have been tributes, and appropriately, from around the world. Yet those tributes have missed, or glossed over, the tribulations and complexities that helped shape Mr. He.

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.

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.