Baron Pierre de Coubertin

2024 Bid Cities

What did de Coubertin know for 2024?

PARIS — Welcome, members of the International Olympic Committee evaluation commission and, incidentally, jackals of the press following behind at a respectful distance and, please, do keep it respectful. This is where it all began, on June 23, 1894, the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin proclaiming to a gathering of swells, “I … lift my glass to the Olympic idea, which has traversed the mists of the ages like an all-powerful ray of sunlight and returned to illumine the threshold of the 20th century with a gleam of joyous hope.”

Here we are in 2017, and the IOC has its backside in a bind. The baron, more than a century ago, could have predicted this very thing.

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 meeting the press in Monaco // photo Edward Hula III

IOC

Bach’s Agenda 2020 revival meeting

MONACO — Proclaiming, “We are successful,” International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said on the eve of a potentially historic session convened to consider a review and potential reform plan he has dubbed “Agenda 2020” that “success is the best reason for change.”

“If we do not address [upcoming] challenges here and now,” Bach told the more than 100 IOC members at the seaside Forum Grimaldi, “we will be hit by them very soon. If we do not drive these changes ourselves, others will drive us to them. We want to be the leaders of change and not the object of change.”

Iranian coach Rasoul Khadem Azgadhi, right, during World Cup action. He is a 1996 Atlanta gold and 1992 Barcelona bronze medalist // photo courtesy Tony Rotundo FILA-Official.com

Wrestling

The vexing Iran conundrum

With leadership comes responsibility.

At wrestling’s freestyle World Cup Sunday in Los Angeles, the Iranian men’s wrestling team asserted it is, once again, best in the world. Now the challenge facing it — as well as everyone connected to the sport, indeed the broader Olympic movement — is as simple and elegant as it is vexing.