Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Track and field

When a two-vote loss is reason for optimism

MONACO — No, Eugene did not win the 2019 track and field world championships.

That it came within a swing of two votes, however — losing in the second round of voting to Doha, 15-12 — has to be seen as an encouraging sign on multiple fronts for U.S. interests, and in particular for USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

IOC president Thomas Bach with selected athletes to promote the 20+20 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 // photo courtesy IOC

IOC president Thomas Bach with selected athletes to promote the 20+20 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 // photo courtesy IOC

IOC

Olympic channel and 39 more bullet points

MONACO — Of the 40 recommendations the International Olympic Committee made public Tuesday after a year-long study, there’s one, and perhaps one only, that is a game-changer. The rest would appear to be absolutely well-meaning but let’s-wait-and-see how they play out in practice.

The difference maker? The creation of an Olympic channel.

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.

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.