Mr. Trump running a leg of the Athens Games flame relay in June 2004 in New York // Getty Images

IOC

A good day for the Olympics: Mr. Bach goes to the White House

You can like Donald Trump. You can not like Donald Trump. To be clear: I did not vote for the gentleman. Whatever. When the president of the United States of America meets with the president of the International Olympic Committee at the White House, that is a good day for the Olympic movement.

Let us all understand the gravity of what happened Thursday. Put emotion aside. Think strategically. What is in the best interest of the Olympic movement, and of the IOC? Answer: having good relations with the governments of the world. Russia is a great country and a great Olympic power. China is a great country and a great Olympic power. But, people, let’s be real.

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone Saturday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office. Also pictured at right, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon // Getty Images

Olympics

On Mr. Trump and double standards: let’s all chillax

Everybody: chillax.

And while you’re at it, the time has come for everybody — this means you, you and especially you — to start thinking, and hard, about why it is that there’s such an obvious, ridiculous and totally unfair double standard when it comes to evaluating American bids for events such as the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.

Left to right: ski jump champ Sara Takanashi, Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, Tokyo 2020 bid president Tsunekazu Takeda, Singapore 2010 Youth Games gymnastics gold medalist Yuya Kamoto

Uncategorized

Tokyo 2020: a search for connection

TOKYO — To say that staff and officials of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee were feeling tense and nervous would be an understatement. On a scale of one to 10, nerves were cosmic. Maybe galactic. This was the first of the three bid-city visits — Madrid and Istanbul come later this month — and Tokyo is a place where things are expected to be done right. As Yuki Ota, a London 2012 silver medalist in fencing would later say about how much he had prep work he had done to meet the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission here Monday, “My paper was worn out, that’s how much I practiced.”

The formality of the setting in which the bid committee meets the IOC does not particularly lend itself to easy interaction. Here is the Tokyo set-up, typical of such arrangements: