This week we’ve got part two of our conversation with Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee. Dick worked on the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency, so we start today’s conversation with one of our favorite topics, doping. Then we get into Dick’s work with broadcast rights negotiation, as well as the Winter 2030 bid and legacy.

Dick talks about an incident at Rome 1960 that got people talking about the effects of doping. A Danish cyclist named Knud Enemark Jensen collapsed during a race and died, and although the original causes of death were heatstroke and a fractured skull (guess whether cycling helmets existed back then), Jensen also had been doping, and that instigated the conversation.

In our Seoul history moment, Alison takes a look at the official song “Hand in Hand” – listen to it in all its glory as it was performed at the Games:

TKFLASTAN is busy this week! We have updates from past guests:

In our news from upcoming Games, both Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 are feeling budgetary pressures. Also, you have just a few days to register for the first Paris 2024 ticket lottery (though if you don’t make this one, there will be other opportunities to get tickets)!

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Photo: IOC Media


TRANSCRIPT

Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript. It contains errors. Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.

Episode 271-Dick Pound on the Olympic Movement Pt 2

[00:00:29] Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast four fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I am your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown.

Alison. Hello, how are you?

[00:00:48] Alison: Hello. Happy year of the Rabbit.

[00:00:50] Jill: Happy year of the rabbit. So

[00:00:53] Alison: what were we doing a year ago today? We were taking Covid tests. We

[00:00:58] Jill: were taking covid tests and stressing out.

[00:01:00] Alison: So we’re coming up on the first anniversary of.

Beijing 2022. Mm-hmm. . And we still don’t have medals in the figure skating team event. And why is that? Because of doping.

[00:01:14] Jill: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we’re talking some doping today for sure. It is the second part of our interview with Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the I O C Oh. We get into WAA and the creation and, and just how difficult that was.

So let’s get right to it. Take a.

Dick Pound Interview

[00:01:34] Jill: Let’s move over to doping because we love to talk about doping, but when did you first realize that doping was an issue in sport? When did you first start seeing it?

[00:01:46] Dick Pound: Well, one of the funny things about all this funny is it, you know, even in 1960 when I was in Rome, there were no sport rules that prohibited doping.

and so, so everybody knew that that steroids and, and a lot of the other testosterone based substances were being used. And it was open. Weightlifters had been using these things for, for years and years and years, and it kind of filtered through into the weight events in shot put, discus hammer throws, so on.

And people were. I’m quite upfront about it. and they say, oh, you know, what are you taking? Are you taking to Diana Ball? How, how much do you take? And, and do you mix it with anything? Da da da, da, da, da. And, and then they traded notes and, and, it was all quite open until, as it happened at the Rome games, the Danish cyclist in one of the road races collapsed and died, and was found to be filled with some St.

Rine or some, I forget what the particular stimulant was. And the old boys on the IOC said, whoa, whoa, puff you. You’re not supposed to come to the Olympics and die because you’ve been taking drugs. We, we better do something about that. So they formed a uh, a medical commission which had a, a, doping and biochemistry sub commiss.

and they said, all right, let’s, let’s find out what the athletes are taking and what the effects are. And so they put together the first list, kinda like cave drawings, you know, compared to what it is now. And then they said, okay, so from now on we, the I ooc are gonna test at Olympic games for anything on the list.

And there will be consequences if somebody’s found to have, have taken it. Now, one of the many difficulties is if you’re gonna sanction somebody for taking the drugs, you gotta be able to prove that they took them. And so you have to develop tests for whatever’s on your list. And, and, and some of those substances were really undetectable for a number of years, even though they were on the list.

And so you’d have to depend on, eyewitnesses or that, that sort of thing to get get evidence of it. And in fact, o one of the things that was interesting, if you, you take us back to Seoul, it was in, in Seoul that they finally had a test for slo, which was a uh, an anabolic steroid that Ben Johnson was using.

And, so, you know, there was, it was early days and I remember they were on some of the sheets that, there were, you know, question marks, different names of things, question mark, question mark. As they were trying to figure out, you know, what we’re, we’re looking at a, at a graph and what, what do these various spikes mean?

and what is it? Which, which, ah, this, this is what and the designer drugs that, that were used in the, in the Balco laboratory were, they would just take. A, a standard antibiotic steroid and tweak it ever so slightly, which would produce a different shape of a graph. And, and then people had to figure out what that was.

And until you got your own sample of, one of these things and, and could do some experiments on it to see what the outcomes would look like on a, on a graph. You didn’t know what you were, like, you knew something was wrong, but you didn’t know what it was. So part of the, the issue is getting up to speed in terms of what’s, you know, knowing what’s out there uh, was [00:05:00] like you, you get some uh, cycling coach looking at, reading about epo, a red blood cell producer, you know, used in post-cancer operation or treatment cases to build up the blood supply.

He said, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Red blood cells, more oxygen. Hmm. Maybe there’s some use for this stuff in, in, in preparing athletes. And so IPO became one of the the drugs of choice in cycling. And it, the problem was, it, it was all done by injection. And uh, if you’ve ever given blood or so on, every once in a while where, where the needle goes in, there’s a big bruise,

And so you couldn’t be, you know, out there with your short sleeves on, with a big bruise, you know, where the needle went into your arm. So they’re doing it between their toes. And it was really astonishing. But that’s, that’s the kind of lengths that some of these folks will do by athletes.

And, and these are the so-called entourage. And, and, lots of healthy young cyclists are dying. the EPO kind of turns the, blood into sludge and their hearts just were not strong enough to pump this stuff through the through the blood vessel system. And they collapsed and died and cycling say, oh, must have had a weak heart next.

and, and on they went. So anyway, that’s the, the cat and mouse game that continues to this day and, will continue as long as people are, are, using drugs and, and benefiting from them. have, and, and then one of the things you have to do is to say, look, there are some, some drugs on the prohibited list that actually do have a therapeutic component.

And if you have a, a particular condition you can apply to get what’s, what’s called a therapeutic use exemption and so-called t u E. . and that’s very carefully monitored if you have that because you will test positive if you provide a sample. And then, so is there a t e?

Yes. Can we see it? And what is it, you know, is the dosage in the t e matched by what we found in the sample? Or did you know, did it say take 10 milligrams of this once a week and you’re taking a hundred and you have, you know, the test is not consistent with, what the exemption should have been.

So it’s an ongoing cat and mouse game. and the, and the advantage, of course is with the perpetrator. It’s like, like the bank robber. Bank robber knows which bank and what night. , the police have to wait until an alarm goes off or something like that, and then, then try and respond very quickly.

And it, it’s a little bit like that in the, in the anti-doping uh, field as well. But one of the things we now do is, and you’ve probably seen reports of that, we, at the Olympic Games, at least we saved the samples now for 10 years, you may get out of town with your metal. But over the, the next 10 years, the, our ability to test for even minute quantities of this stuff will improve.

And have, we’ve seen the, in the um, London 2012 games, which are, are now kind of, prescribed there were 40 to 50 different positive tests that came out of re-analysis of the, the samples. you don’t know who they, who they are. You just have a sample number, but somewhere there’s a, a master list for each sport and, and you can figure out who it is.

So, and if you think about it, you know, you, go back home, you’re an Olympic hero you get a job, you’re married, you have kids, and then all of a sudden somebody says this, this was all a lie. And then that’s a, a particularly devastating consequence for uh, anybody who’s been picked up, eight, 10 years after the fact.

So it’s, it’s, a deterrent of sorts.

[00:08:38] Alison: Does that long time frustrate you or are you relieved when someone is finally caught?

[00:08:47] Dick Pound: Yeah. It would be nice if, if you could have instant gratification on these things, but, but you don’t. and frankly, I think the a, the, the person who deserved the medal does finally get it.

and may well have known all along that an opponent was using stuff, but you, can’t prove it. But, in the end, I’d rather have the outcome that I should have had at the time. It’s too bad. You’re, you’re not on the podium waving, you know your hand at the crowd, but the wheels of God grind slowly, but they grind, exceeding fine.

[00:09:18] Alison: Did you get any personal satisfaction when Lance’s Armstrong was finally caught since he did attack you about this?

[00:09:27] Dick Pound: Yeah, it’s not satisfaction, it’s just, it’s a sense that, finally he’s been exposed. And he’s, he’s actually personally acknowledged that he, he did use this stuff for through, through his entire professional career.

It wasn’t just a, a one-off thing. there’s some satisfaction in that closure. and you know, I mean, Lance had tried to get me kicked out of the water and kicked out of the I O C and, that was never gonna happen.

[00:09:55] Alison: Speaking of getting kicked out, we have to talk about Russia when we are [00:10:00] talking about doping. If it were up to you, what would happen to Russia just on the doping? We’re not even gonna talk about Ukraine. .

[00:10:07] Dick Pound: Yeah. On, on the doping, I, I, I think you know, you can certainly suspend where, where you find that the, the state and state authorities are complicit in this altering records and.

Stuff like that. Then I think that probably the best example is what track and field has done, say un until you get that part of the act put together, why don’t you watch this stuff on television and, and not be there? So, and I think that’s that’s right. I I’m less sanguine on, sort of the, geopolitical stuff like that cuz it’s, it’s sort of o offensive to, take things out on athletes who have no part in the war.

They’re not, didn’t vote for it, they didn’t serve in it. and you’d like to say, look, stuff happens out there in, in the real world. But, we’re kind of a, a subset of that, That should be, we should encourage people to, to meet and, and compete against each other.

Cuz same way I learned in, in, in Rome that the, the Soviet athletes were not these dreadful curmudgeons that the propaganda would have you believe it. It is an, an exchange and an educational process that is I think has a, an enormous value

[00:11:16] Jill: Going back to keeping the samples for 10 years, do you think there’s ever a point where the I O C would reverse decisions about the swimming competitions at Montreal with the whole East German doping system? Because they did reverse the decision on Jim Thorpe.

[00:11:34] Dick Pound: Yeah. but that, that was a different issue. I mean, he was that was the amateur rules that were argument that had nothing to do with his sport performance. Uh, part of the, the problem with swimming in 1976, and we all knew you know, in quotation marks, you, you can’t prove, I mean, I, so it’s had a, a ship in the Montreal Harbor Polish flag, I think it was, and, and, and there was a couple of labs on that.

And the athletes would be taken down there the day or so before their, event and tested. And if they, were going to test positive all of a sudden they got injured or were sick or something like that, then they put in somebody else. So there, there were never any positive tests.

So the deal is, the rules of the day said if you compete. and you get a medal or, and you’re tested. If your test is not positive, that’s it. you’ve won in accordance with the rules at the time. And I think by the time we got to soul or, or even after that, or, water comes into existence in 1999, there’s too much water under the bridge at that point to to have a, credible understanding and, and you don’t know who might not have been using this stuff.

So it’s not satisfactory. But those were the rules of the day, and you can’t rewrite that. As easily as you would like, I’d like to think. ,

[00:12:54] Jill: how has it been for you, for Waa to change the mindset of these federations where doping was just ingrained? When you talk about weightlifting, where you talk about cycling, where these sports that just think faster, higher, stronger is better at any expense.

And so therefore doping is encouraged almost, or, a blind eye is turned. how do you change that mindset?

[00:13:18] Dick Pound: I, I think you ha you have to change. I think the people you know in, in the center chairs and we used to, you know, say, well, there’s no doping in my sport there, there probably isn’t your sport, but not, not in mine.

and so it was just a mantra that they played. I remember when we started water, we got. Organized in the end of 1999, and we wanted to be in the field first, early, early, early in 2000 to start testing in the lead up to the Sydney games. We didn’t even bother with the, the winter athletes, so let’s get in the summer.

And we found that out of, I think 27 or 28 international federations sports are on the program of the summer games, did not even have rules that allowed them to test their athletes out of competition. And that that was a, blockbuster for me. I said I had no idea, but it certainly said, okay, now we know that there’s a talk and there’s a lot of talking the talk, but nobody’s walking.

And then we’ve gotta change that. So, so we spent a good part of 2000 getting these federations to amend their rules so that. the testing could occur because the silo for each sport is the international federation. They’re all, you, you’ve heard them, that they wrap themselves in autonomy and and then nowadays I think you have to earn that.

You don’t just declare it as a divine right. And so if if you’re not walking the walk as well you don’t have any credibility.

[00:14:48] Alison: What should happen to Camilla Val Ava?

[00:14:50] Dick Pound: Well, that’s . That’s a lot more complicated than uh, especially with when the, the cast, the court of arbitration [00:15:00] sport kind of fumbled the ball.

I mean, basically the rule is if you have a positive test, there’s a provisional suspension. Boom. e even before the second sample is analyzed and so on. The further layer of complexity for her is she was 15 at the time, so she’s a minor, she’s a what’s called a protected person. she was not somebody who marched up to the pharmacy door and kicked it open and said, gimme some of this stuff, this being provided to her by the entourage.

And I think it was one of three different heart medicines that she was taking as a 15 year old, you know, but the likelihood that, that she would um, actually be suspended I think is, is slight. But at the moment that’s, we gotta go through that process. That’s another frustrating thing that we have in the.

because when we were forming water, we knew perfectly well that the huge majority of sports federations had zero interest in it. and in fact, you know, they, they’d rather like being kings in their own uh, thief them. So, we, we had to be as non-threatening initially as possible. I mean, to the point where if we were going to assert a case against an athlete in name the sport you couldn’t actually assert that you had to go to the International Federation, say we think this athlete needs to be uh, sanctioned and, we need you to engage your process to apply the, the consequences that we think are appropriate.

Half of ’em didn’t bother. , they didn’t care, or they’d look at it and say, oh no, that doesn’t, no, that doesn’t, that doesn’t work. And uh, now we’ve got a, a system that’s a little better in the sense that we have a, what we call a, compliance review committee, an independent committee within water that looks at things in the, decides whether or not there’s a case to be answered.

And now we can go to the International Sports Federation or the, the National Anti-Doping Organization and say, here are the consequences we think are appropriate in this circumstance. Are you going to impose them or not? If they say no, say, boom, we go directly to the court of organization for sport.

You don’t, you don’t have to convince the unwilling to do the unthinkable of actually following the rules. So, we’re getting better at that. We have a uh, one that’s PR I find particularly frustrating is, There’s a rule that says if you miss three tests in, in a space of, I forget whether it’s a year or 18 months, that counts as a positive test.

Now, quite often we have doping control officers that go to a, say a training camp where on the whereabouts list that each athlete has to provide that athlete is at, at this place, they have to be available for, I think one hour per day at that place. So, so that they’re available for testing, you know, they’re there, but they pull the blind down and they crawl around below the uh, windowsill and they just don’t answer the door.

And I’d like to have something that says, all right, if you’re a do and control officer and you, you’re pretty sure that is what’s going on, that you can go to the, an official in, in, in wa, let’s say the director general of waa, and say, we think this is going on. and what we wanna be able to do is, we went Monday and nobody answered the door.

we need authorization to go Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. And if you get three missed tests, even in the same week, there’s your positive test. And, and right now it takes a matter of months before you, you report and somebody, looks at the report and, and uh, says, okay, yes, that’s a missed test.

Then you have to advise the athlete that, that he or she has missed a test, and that if it happens, twice more in the, whatever the remaining period of time is, that it counts. it’s all too bureaucratic it’s not nimble enough to catch people who are, are clearly. A abusing the system

[00:18:55] Jill: on changing mindsets.

WAA forms. In 1999, 2000, Sidney, we have Marion Jones. How did her case change, or did it change how federations thought about doping and Waa coming on the scene?

[00:19:12] Dick Pound: Well, I, my understanding, and I, I may be wrong, is I, I don’t think she tested positive. I think she acknowledged uh, that she did this as, as part of the criminal proceedings that she got mixed up in.

And then the, fellow from Valk, who balco rather his name escapes me just at the moment, said, I sat beside her and watched her inject this substance. Yeah, so you have a you don’t need a positive test there because you’ve got a assume you’ve got a credible witness who, who saw it. Done.

That’s, even more satisfying. So, so I, I forget which stuff she was taking. If they were the designer drugs, the Balco drugs, they’re probably in 2000 was not a test at that stage. That came along a little bit later.

[00:19:55] Jill: How did you have time for all of this? You’re lawyer, [00:20:00] IOC member, trying to get WAA off the ground. How did you do it?

[00:20:04] Dick Pound: Well, I, most of the stuff I’ve done, I, I’ve enjoyed uh, you know, I didn’t enjoy the Salt Lake City investigation very much because you’re, you’re dealing with colleagues, but, if, if we didn’t do it somebody else would’ve.

and the I O C was under a huge attack. But anyway basically I, I found that if I got to the office by eight o’clock. Eastern, the people in Luanne are coming back from lunch, so you’ve got basically half a day you can deal with them. And if you stay till eight o’clock at night long after they’ve gone to bed uh, if you’ve got games in Seoul or anywhere in Asia or Australia uh, you can get them as they’re coming in, in the morning.

and I, I work fairly quickly. I, I don’t find writing is, difficult. You know, There’s some, some people you put them in front of a keyboard and a blank screen, , it’s like they’re paralyzed. They can’t, push the first uh, button. So, and, and I, it was actually energizing to know when the phone rang.

I didn’t know whether it was somebody with a tax problem Olympic problem something at McGill University where I was a governor and chancellor and so on or a water problem, whatever. So changing, changing gears like that is absolutely the opposite of sort of sitting in front of a trustee and working your way through paragraph 3,411, 3,412.

Anyway, so that’s kind of what it is and, and my family puts up with it. So it’s it’s generally been a lot of fun and, and as I said it’s having, having had these wonderful sport experiences,

if I can help somebody else have as much fun as I did I’m certainly prepared to work to see if that can be made to happen. ,

[00:21:41] Alison: Were you ever at a table with the North Koreans or on some jet to Tokyo and say, how is this my life? How did this happen

[00:21:51] Jill: to me?

[00:21:52] Dick Pound: Uh, No. No. I, I mean I, I’ve enjoyed that and, and, and basically, and maybe this is

a side benefit of from having, understood that, that you, you don’t start training for an Olympic final the week before. there’s a quotation I have on the inside of a little container on my desk that says, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

And so I think athletes understand uh, that, you understand that, that it’s like racket sports. Basically the backswing is really important. Uh, you know, You don’t think so, but that sets up the whole movement at whatever ball you’re trying to hit. so you do the preparation. it’s like what do they say that in order to become really good at something you have to 10,000 hours of previous practice and so on.

that just goes with the territory and it, and it’s fun to see, how good can you be first you, you know how. I tried to get across, across the pool, not the length of the pool without drowning and fear was mistaken for talent. So I ended up on the swimming team and going, doing lengths but I spent my whole trying to get from one end of the pool to the other as fast as I could.

[00:23:05] Jill: How do you think the Olympic movement is positioned now? you’re now an honorary member. So when you look back at how much the Olympics have changed in your time there, where do you see them going forward?

[00:23:20] Dick Pound: Well, I think basically under Sam Ranch, we, we kind of moved from an organization that would, in, in the old description, used to be a kitchen table operation.

So we moved from a kitchen table to the boardroom. We uh, finally understood how important television was going to be. I mean, we, we knew that it was new and exciting, but, the first Olympics on television were not commercial television were really not until 1960. But the I O C was so risk adverse that it, it said, oh no, there could be liability here.

So we used to have the television rights negotiated by the organizing committees. Now, the organizing committees care about one thing only. That’s their games. They don’t care what happened before. They don’t care what the next games are all about. and so we said, look, I remember I was sitting in, in, at my desk in, in Montreal, the phone rang and it was Juan Antonio and Sam Ranch.

He said, de I was de. Said, you’re the chairman of our television negotiations committee. And I said, we don’t have a television negotiations committee. He said, we do now, and you’re the chairman. And I said, but I don’t know anything about television. He said, none of us do, but we’ve gotta learn because it’s, it’s by far the most valuable asset that we possess.

And so I started the first negotiation I did was that just before Sarajevo for the Calgary games in, in 1988. And remember the organizing committees were not happy about the I O C stepping into this, and Calgary was not happy. Probably in addition to the fact that I was a Canadian they said had to do a step process.

We, [00:25:00] the first time we, we negotiated, we would negotiate jointly with the organizing committee. , which meant that you had to, you both had to agree on the amount and the place and the time and so forth. And we had figured out uh, that, the US networks, which were the, the Bellweather networks for us, were selling the, the Sarajevo games as Miracle on Ice to, lake Placid all over again.

And we’re saying the United States is gonna get killed. I mean, it was a fluke in, in Lake Placid. And, the rest of the team is not very good. As well, we should negotiate beforehand, before anyone knows what, what a, a downer Sarah A was likely to be. And Calgary said, oh no, our, our consultants who are kind of anal retentive, I think said, I know the longer you wait, hold on to this, the more valuable the rights become.

and we said, no, no, it’s, it’s absolutely the reverse. No. Well, that’s, that’s what we’re, so I said, well, all right, tell me this. How much do your consultants say you’re gonna get? Oh, they said $200 million, just twice as much as the previous games. And I said, okay, you guarantee us our share of 200 million.

You can have the negotiations whenever you want. Oh, well, no, the hands were started to ring. Oh, we’re just a little organizing committee. We can’t afford to take that financial risk. I say, sorry folks. You can’t have it both ways. We’re offering you, you’ve told us what your consultants say you’re gonna get if you trust them, it’s rock solid.

But if you don’t wish to do that, then you’ve gotta negotiate. When we say, so there’s lots of rug scuffing and her own thing. And I finally said, all right, no. We can’t afford to take the risks, so, so we no negotiated just before Sara Diego and we got 309 million. So the whining dropped off fairly significantly.

And, and I remember saying, listen, when you get back home, hire a young lawyer and have that young lawyer do nothing except read that contract every single day because the networks have probably overpaid. and therefore they’ll be looking for whatever loopholes they can find. Anyway, it, proved to be the difference between very financially successful games and what would’ve been been less so.

So that was all part of helping to create an Olympic brand. what is the Olympic brand? and, and we did a lot of focus groups and so on. And oddly enough it was not uh, world record gold medal things like that. It was, it was the softer stuff. It’s youth, it’s international, it’s striving it’s friendly, it’s rules based.

there’s an ethical base to it. And that turned out to be the Olympic brand. So we were able to go to broadcasters, of course. But then I had another call a couple of years after the one I, I mentioned from Samran saying, de you’re now the chairman of the My IOC marketing commission.

And I said, I say, I don’t know anything about marketing. I said, well, we’ve got all our eggs in the television basket. We’ve gotta, broaden our, revenue sources. So, and what we found in, in sponsorships and things like that is, is that, people with, well-known trademarks Coca-Cola, Visa, Kodak in the day and, and so on.

Were looking to align their commercial brands with something that, that had more of an emotional and, and ethical and, and so on. Connection and the Olympics was a, a wonderful fit for us and for them. And so we’ve now got a a program in place that generates more than a billion dollars for every um, edition of the, of the Olympic Games.

And, and that’s been a huge success. Very loyal supporters. Some of them have been with us since the very beginning. And the result is that we’ve we know what the brand is and that helps not only the sponsors with whom we, become aligned. It also keeps us from making mistakes.

We, we don’t do sponsorships with tobacco companies. We don’t do deals with, companies that don’t at least share the values that we think are important in the Olympic movement.

[00:28:57] Jill: What is it like as an member to have a games in your country and what are other i o C members, like when the games are in their country?

[00:29:07] Dick Pound: Well, you’re, you’re, you’re both proud that your country has been selected and, sort of, the, the, the recognition of, your ability to do things and you’re nervous. you know, I remember in Sydney, you may have recall it, where Kathy Freeman is on this torch going up and it all of a sudden goes, stops

I say, I think, you know, the blood pressure of my Australian colleagues probably went up to 300, over two 90 for, two minutes or whatever it was, is a long time when, when something like that goes wrong. So it could happen. And we had, you know, we had the, in Vancouver and we had remember the, the erectile dysfunction of, our, our part of the um, the torch assembly.

So that sort of thing is kind of scary when uh, when it does go wrong, but it’s also, when everybody’s gone home and you say, well, , [00:30:00] we did it. Isn’t that wonderful. When are the next ones we can bid for?

[00:30:04] Alison: Speaking of bidding, who should have 2030?

[00:30:07] Dick Pound: Yeah. I I I think we, so far we have our governments have fumbled that ball and uh, they say, oh, it’s gonna cost X billions. It’s not gonna cost billions of dollars. You got, most of the stuff is, is already in place. And, and that people take that, horror story out of uh, Sochi and say, oh, well, it’s gonna cost 50 billion to, that’s a nonsense.

And, and people should be pointing that out. But no, I think, the IOC would love to, to come back to Vancouver again for a variety of reasons. One of which is the, the organizational capacity and the fact that it’s , it’s pretty reliable weather these days. you know, We’re looking, the, the whole climate change is, is affecting, where we’re likely to be holding winter games.

And there are some places where frankly, it’s too hot to hold the summer games in the normal uh, period. So, these are issues that we’ve, we have recognized that we’re trying to address, and which has really led to the, the discussion format of dealing with possible candidates to say, you know, how can we make this good for you and your country as, as well as good for the Olympic movement?

And so we’ve had a, a pretty good start in a sense with Paris and Los Angeles under the, the full new system we have Brisbane in place. and we’re kicking the tires, still kicking the tires with respect to uh, 2030. So I think that, I mean, the, the product is still very attractive.

The economics are, are attractive especially when you get people to, to realize that it’s like in Montreal they say stadium cost a billion dollars. that’s more than all the covered stadium North America put together at the time. Okay. But it’s, it’s here, here we are 40 years later and it’s still in use and many, we, we’ve actually done some research and published it, you may have seen it, of the, the current use of former Olympic venues and an astonishing percentage.

I mean, sort of well, north of 90. Are still in use years and years after the game. So the costs should be regarded more as an investment and, and not the cost of the the opening party which was the uh, the games.

[00:32:20] Alison: What are you proudest of in on your work? What are you proudest of what you’ve accomplished?

[00:32:27] Dick Pound: Well, hmm.

It’s funny, I, I, I don’t really spend much time looking back you know, other, other than to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again. And it’s not, it’s not a satisfaction quotient that, that I think of. I, I think in every organization with which I’ve been involved, I, I’d like to think I left it a little better than it was when I arrived and, and so.

I think the Olympics is probably an example of that.

[00:32:55] Jill: Thank you so much. Dick, if you haven’t heard part one of our interview, don’t miss it. It is last week’s episode, episode two 70.

Seoul 1988 History Moment

[00:33:04] Jill: That sound means it is time for our history moment and all year long we are talking Soul 1988 as it is the 35th anniversary of those games. Alison, it is your turn for a story. What do you got for me?

[00:33:20] Alison: And you’re gonna be a little upset that I took this story from you. It is your official song, .

[00:33:27] Jill: It was, actually I’m not, because I did listen to the official song to get to End.

Oh boy. It’s a

[00:33:34] Alison: doozy. It is a doozy, and it was kind of what you would expect of the time. It was called Hand in Hand. It was performed by Corian, which I don’t quite know how to explain it. It’s sort of like the South Korean Abba if they worked at Branson, Missouri. So they did perform this song at the opening ceremonies and talk about a doozy, this portion of the ceremony.

Kona on a round stage in the center, just completely surrounded by circles and circles and circles of performers. There were square dancers, there were stilt walkers, there were folk dancers, multiple dancing mascots, kind of the dime store version of all the historic mascots throughout the Olympics. They had people dressed as flowers.

And of course you had an entire cadre of children singing and waving colored Frisbee. Can’t have an opening ceremony without singing children. Let me share some of the lyrics of hand in hand with You. Hand in hand. We stand all across the land. We can make this world a better place in which to. Hand in hand, we can start to understand breaking down the walls that come between us for all time.

I mean, that is [00:35:00] Shakespeare quality sonnets there.

[00:35:01] Jill: Well, I can tell you why we don’t remember this song, . Well, that would be my response. Little bit of a

[00:35:07] Alison: surprise that we don’t remember this song because it was produced by Giorgio Maroder, the father of Disco, the creator of Donna Summers entire disco career. Also the producer and Oscar winner for Take My Breath.

From the original top gun and flash dance. What a feeling. Wow. . R I p, Irene Cara

hand in hand. Not his best work. , we’ll have a link to the video from the opening ceremonies in the show notes. Please go watch it cuz just to see the children in the Frisbees and the sheer number of performers that they got on that field to sing the chorus with Kona is impressive. Well,

[00:35:52] Jill: okay, so I would say, Watch the video to see the square dancing because you go, why am there square dancing in this thing?

[00:35:59] Alison: Because it’s hand, you see in hand, they’re doing the hand in hand.

[00:36:04] Jill: I, I got that. And then, then you saw all the other cultural performers and, and then you’re like, wait a second, is that Sam the Eagle up there? and there’s just so much amazing things to wonder at with

[00:36:14] Alison: this song. You can rewatch it a dozen times and still catch a new thing.

TKFLASTAN Update

[00:36:20] Alison: Welcome to shk.

[00:36:31] Jill: Now it is the part of the show where we check in with our past guests who make up our team, keep the flame alive. These are citizens of our very own country, SHK. First up, Shannon Galea has qualified for the 2023 I S B F World Championships in St. Moritz. This will be Malta’s first sled in the Skeleton World Championship.

So yay Shannon for reaching that milestone.

[00:36:56] Alison: Evan Dunfee was nominated for sport British Columbia, senior Male Athlete of the year for the third time in his career, and the awards will be announced on March. ,

[00:37:08] Jill: modern Pentathlete. Jo Muir has retired from competition, so congratulations to you, Jo, and good luck.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you do next

[00:37:18] Alison: and competing this weekend, Nordic combined athlete, Annika Malacinski will be in sel, Austria Peacock will be streaming some of her competition live on Friday, January 27th at 8:15 AM Eastern, and on Saturday, January 28th at 2:45 AM Eastern.

[00:37:38] Jill: Kaka, Tom Scott will be competing at the Karate one Premier League event in Cairo, Egypt. He is going in ranked second in his category, so good luck to you. Tom

[00:37:49] Alison: Beach volleyball player, Kelly Cheng and her partner Sara Hughes, are one of the 10 teams that will be playing in the finals of the Beach Volleyball Pro Tour 2022 this weekend.

[00:38:03] Jill: and figure skater. Nate Bartholomay and his partner Katie McBeath, are competing in the US Championships

[00:38:08] Alison: this weekend. And I just wanna mention that Jackie Wong on rocker skating.com has some fantastic previews for both the US Championships and the Europeans, which are both this weekend. So if figure skating is your thing, you will see who his metal contenders are.

[00:38:25] Jill: We would like to give a shout out to all of our patrons and supporters. You are the ones who keep our flame alive in many ways, not just monetarily with either one-time donation or standing donation through Patreon, Those of you who. Are part of our Facebook group who talk about the show on social media, who share the show with our friends. We appreciate all of that support as well. If you get some kind of positive benefit from listening to this show,

please consider giving back. You can do so@flamealivepod.com slash.

Tokyo 2020 News

[00:39:00] Alison: Haven’t heard that in a while.

[00:39:01] Jill: No. We have some Tokyo 2020 news. So remember Christina, si the Bella Russian sprinter who criticized her coaches because they entered her in the four by 400 relay without telling her. And then because she criticized them, they sent.

[00:39:18] Alison: Remember that story? I do remember this story, and it, it, it was a big story at the time, like what’s happening to Christina,

[00:39:25] Jill: right?

Because she did not go back to Belarus. She got asylum in Poland because she was afraid to go home for fear that she would be imprisoned or it has some kind of negative repercussion on her at, at some point. Well, the athletics Integrity Unit has charged one of her coaches, Yuri Meic, with breaking rules in athletics.

  1. Code in the athletics integrity code of conduct involving honesty, dignity, and protecting reputation. the Associated Press was reporting this and they said no further details about what that meant or what it entails were [00:40:00] available. But, something is happening on that front.

Do we know if

[00:40:03] Alison: she is still not in Belarus? I assume she’s not.

[00:40:07] Jill: I do not know. Okay. But I, I would assume she’s not in Belarus either.

Paris 2024 News

[00:40:12] Alison: This first piece is absolutely for me because I haven’t registered yet, .

[00:40:23] Jill: Yeah. If you’re registering for the ticket lottery, time is running out. To sign up for the first wave you have until January 31st. So go to ticket step Paris 20 four.org to find out more. If you don’t get in the draw, there will be other opportunities for tickets though, so don’t worry if you’re not necessarily in this first round.

Guess what? We’ve got construction issues.

[00:40:46] Alison: Nothing fell down,

[00:40:47] Jill: thankfully. No, that is true. Sylvie Corbett from the Associated Press writes that the construction on the arena for badminton, rhythmic gymnastics, and some paralympic sports is facing delays because the steel in the building is supposed to come from Ukraine and they can’t get it cuz production of steel in Ukraine just plummeted.

due to the war. So now they are trying to source it from elsewhere in Europe, but it’s pushing back the completion of the building by several months. And it was supposed to be that finished the summer, but probably won’t be done until

[00:41:19] Alison: early 2024, which means we won’t be able to have test events probably in some of those arenas.

But now we’re not having test events for equestrian for a different.

[00:41:31] Jill: Right. Specifically in eventing they’re not going to hold the test event for the eventing discipline in an effort to cut costs. this is reported in Inside the Games. They have said the eventing competition is slated to take place at Versa.

I and the Equestrian International Federation instead plans to use existing events in Fontan. In April of this year and next year to coordinate the teams in the workforce because the, the grounds at Fontan Blue are similar to Versas, they said, and then once they’ll have good solid walkthroughs through Versas to check it out closer to the games.

but no big test event.

Milan-Cortina 2026 News

[00:42:12] Alison: I’m not even gonna say.

[00:42:18] Jill: Gosh, this show is all about the budget apparent, apparently, because guess what? Milan Cortina problems with the skating venue. So this is the speed skating venue. And the original proposal was going to be to put a roof on an outdoor track at, De the initial budget to do that was 50 million Euros and actual costs have gone up. At least 50%. So now the I O C says, Hey, you underestimated that investment and this is not sustainable to spend this much money for this particular area. So now speed skating could move to Torino, where they’ve still got the building from Torino 2006.

But they have taken the ice infrastructure out of that oval, and it could cost about 15 million euros to be reinstated. What the heck are

[00:43:13] Alison: they using the oval for if they took the ice out? Is it just an oval building?

[00:43:18] Jill: I don’t know. Maybe they’re just using it as like a, functional center multipurpose.

Maybe they said, oh, if we take the ice out, we can use it for all sorts of things instead of maybe like learning how to lay floor over the ice, aah any basketball and hockey arena in the us and use it that way.

[00:43:38] Alison: Though 15 million is a lot less than 75 million Euros. Oh,

[00:43:44] Jill: oh, definitely. But why didn’t you, they, why they didn’t come up with that option in the first place?

I don’t know. Well,

[00:43:50] Alison: because it’s already so spread out and now you’re gonna have another city involved, a whole other, what are they gonna do with the athletes? Are they gonna have to create another Olympic village or rent out a hotel? What’s gonna happen to them? That’s a good

[00:44:04] Jill: question. I don’t know.

that news is from the AP and the sports examiner. We talked a little bit in our Facebook group about the fact that The Winter universe Odd just took place at Lake Placid, and of course they had the speed skating outside and how cool it was to have the speed skating outside.

Could we do that again? But we know from our Albertville stories that the i u is not a fan of outdoor arenas anymore because it is so difficult to maintain the temperature because in Albertville they were skating through water basically. But you

[00:44:36] Alison: know what else isn’t cool? Spending 75 million Euros on a.

[00:44:40] Jill: the other thing about the 75 million Euro roof is it goes along with a, who knows how expensive sliding track that is still being bantered about. And we don’t

[00:44:51] Alison: know what’s gonna happen with that.

That’s gonna end up in San Marin.

[00:44:55] Jill: I would not be surprised. How could I, although not I but app, [00:45:00] apparently the track in Torino, which wasn’t used is now being used for practice

[00:45:04] Alison: again. Okay, so now we’re gonna end up with a third Olympic village in Torino.

[00:45:08] Jill: Could be, who knows?

[00:45:10] Alison: But there’s only two of us. We had already decided who was going where, and now they’re moving all these things to a third city

[00:45:19] Jill: It’s gonna be tough. We’re gonna spend a lot of time on trains. That’s what I think, at least. It’ll be pretty. That’s very true. Alright, well that will do it for this week. Let us know your favorite moments from Dick pound’s time with the I ooc. You can

[00:45:34] Alison: email us at flame alive pod gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348.

That’s 2 0 8 flame it. Our social handle is at Flame Alive Pod. And be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook. And don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode. Which I have to get done today. Sign up@flamealivepod.com. Yes, and I do have some other dick pound stories I’m gonna throw

[00:46:06] Jill: in there.

Ooh, I’m so excited to see those. Alright, next week we will have our movie club film, buff Fran will be back to talk about the French movie at . Who, which is about the show Jumping Horse, who captured gold at Soul? 1988. What do we think of the French biopic? You’ll have to tune in to find out. Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive,

[00:46:36] Alison: hand in hand, twist, stand.

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