Craig Spence, Chief Brand and Communications Officer of the International Paralympic Committee.

Craig Spence on the International Paralympic Committee, Part 2

Release Date: June 15, 2023

We’re excited to have Craig Spence, chief brand and communication officer of the International Paralympic Committee, back on the show with us. In part 2 of his interview, we learn the latest on the situation with Russia and Belarus, and we also learn what keeps Craig up at night (sadly, it might be us at the moment).

Craig’s a great follow on social! Find him on Twitter, Insta and LinkedIn.

WARNING: This episode’s Seoul History Moment will likely have you going down the rabbit hole of rhythmic gymnastics. Alison’s got the details on the competition, which is the second in Olympic history. We talk about the apparatus that’s no longer used at the Games, as well as the fact that competitors did their routines to live music. Check out Marina Lobatch’s (URS) club finals routine:

And if you’re wondering what a routine with percussion was like, check out Mary Fuzesi’s (CAN) clubs routine:

In our TKFLASTAN Update, we have news from:

In our Paris 2024 Update, we have news about an exhibition that will take place at the Petite Palais during the Olympics and Paralympics next year. We also have some interesting news on how Channel 4 in the UK intends to produce its Paralympics coverage.

Also, news on the Winter 2030 bid front–the number of options aren’t looking good for the International Olympic Committee right now.

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

Photo courtesy of the International Paralympic Committee.

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 Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.

Craig Spence on the International Paralympic Committee, Part 2 (Episode 291)

Jill: Hello and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for 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?

Alison: I burned my tongue this morning on my coffee.

But I am powering through my coffee injury. To record today.

Jill: All right, so you don’t need to do, the nice thing is like if you’ve seen the movie a Christmas story and you know how flicked sticks his tongue to the metal, uh, flagpole and then he has like big bandages over it. You do not have that situation going on.

Alison: No, but I did ice my tongue this morning, so later on the show we, we may have some interesting. Slips of the tongue. All right, so thank goodness you edit.

Jill: That’s good. And we’re recording our patron episode for this month as well, so that will be something to look for there too.

Alison: Nice. This could get interesting.

See how I survived the injury.

Jill: Today we are excited to bring you part two of our interview with Craig Spence, who is head of Media at the International Paralympic Committee. Today we get into the Russia situation and when a decision will be made on whether or not Russia and Belarus will be able to participate in Paris 2024.

They’ll be [00:02:00] just for the Paralympic side. Plus we get into what it’s been like for him to work with the different bosses at the I P C. Take a listen.

Craig Spence Interview

Alison: So, What is the current status for Russia and Belarus?

Craig Spence: Okay, so the current status is and this could be a long-winded answer, is last year the I P C membership at the Extraordinary General Assembly in Berlin, they voted to suspend both Russia and Belarus.

And by that suspension of I P C membership meant that they couldn’t compete in, in I P C events. And they also would lose their voting rights at the I P C General Assembly, as well as some of the some of the rights under the I P C Constitution. Recently, Russia and Belarus appealed to our Independent Appeals Tribunal and the independent appeals Tribunal upheld their appeal, uh, which means they’re no longer suspended.

And that will then go forward to our I P C general Assembly this September in Bahrain, where again, the members will look at the issue, discuss it, and determine what action should be taken.

Alison: So is this based solely on the invasion of Ukraine and breaking the truths because The Russian Paralympic committee was already suspended for doping issues.

Craig Spence: Yeah. In, in 2016, the I P C suspended uh NPC Russia regarding doping and to do with the McLaren report. But that suspension was lifted. once when they were suspended in 2016, we put in place a detailed plan of actions they needed to take and they undertook all but one of those actions and, and they’ve done a very good job in improving their processes and practices.

And really been a proactive, I dare say, in compliant part of the IPC on that matter, which is why the suspension was lifted. So this suspension that the membership voted for at the extraordinary general assembly was related to the invasion of Ukraine and [00:04:00] Belarus’s role in that as well.

So, that’s why the decision was taken. But as I say, the appeals, they went to the appeals tribunal recently and, and their appeal was upheld

Jill: for the doping thing. What issue were they not compliant on?

Craig Spence: It was effectively I think, let me remember. It was not actually acknow, it was acknowledging that they’d done it wrong and they’d done something.

Basically it was holding their hands up saying, yep, we did it. And yeah they didn’t accept that.

Alison: So how much communication is there between the I O C and the I P C on what happens to Russia and Belarus? I mean, I realize they’re separate organizations. Yeah. But politically you’ve gotta deal with both of them.

Craig Spence: Yeah. And, and the presidents speak a lot and you’ve gotta appreciate. Although we space we work in the same areas. Sport. they organize the Olympics, we organize the Paralympics. our rules are different. And like I say the i o c members are people. Our members are organizations.

So we’re an organization of organizations and therefore, because we’ve got different rules governing the two movements, we tackle the same issues. But sometimes we may reach different decisions. And what we do is we ensure there’s a good level of communication between the two organizations and where we’re at.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise when a decision is taken. So maintaining that communication is, is critically important for both the I O C and both for the I P C.

Alison: So one of the things that’s happening for Olympic athletes is the individual federations have banned Russia from the qualifying events.

So whether the I O C actually bans them, we may not see too many Russian athletes. How is the qualification for the Paralympics being affected by current bands in that? Will we still see Russian athletes? Whether there’s a a ban or not.

Craig Spence: Yep. So, so in terms of each international federation, it’s up to, uh, that you’ve gotta appreciate that in the Paralympic [00:06:00] games, the summer games.

So if we look at Paris, there’s 22 spots. Each international federation is responsible for what they want to do on this matter. So I know some of our, some of the Paralympic specific international federations have a suspension in place on Russia, others don’t. For the I P C sports, when the suspension was in place, that prohibited the athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing in athletics, power lifting, swimming, and shooting.

Now that that suspension is not in place because of the appeals, we still have a motion in place from our, well, not a motion, but a, a ruling from our governing board, which was taken in Beijing in 2022 that wouldn’t allow entries from Russian and athletes from Russian and Belarusian athletes into our sport events for various concerns regarding safety and and such like that remains in place.

So currently Russian and Belarusian athletes cannot compete in world parasport events, which I p c govern now. The next step effectively is September when, we have our general assembly in in, in Bahrain and our members. We’re a very democratic organization. We have a very neutral view on this.

It’s for our members to take the decision on, on what happens. And And at the general assembly in September our members will be able to present their views, including Bahrain, including npc, Russia, npc, Belarus, np, C, Ukraine, and any other member that wishes to speak will be able to present their views on the subject.

And then there’ll be a democratic votes where people can decide on, on, on what action needs to be taken. So, so watch this space in terms of what happens for going forward now and that will obviously have an impact on Paris 2024 and qualifications. So watch this space. I dare.

Jill: So this isn’t Russia’s first rodeo with doing an invasion during a games, and you were around in [00:08:00] the I P C for Sochi.

What was that like? Which happened a lot during, it crossed over both Olympics and Paralympics.

Craig Spence: Yeah, it was, it was a difficult situation that we had to deal with there. We, we were obviously the invasion started before those games. then there they actually stopped their action during the Paralympics and, and then the action continued after the Paralympics.

So yeah, it’s, uh, we’ve been here before,

Alison: So you’ve worked with two different I P C presidents, very different personalities.

Yes. Very, very different. So, so Philip Craven and Andrew Parsons, let’s just talk a little bit. I love about them as bosses and as working

Craig Spence: with them. Well, they’re not just bosses, they’re friends. so Philip yeah, so Philip from Bolton. So for those people who aren’t particularly good on their geography of Great Britain Bolton is a small town on the outskirts of I guess it close to Manchester.

Manchester is 45 minutes drive from Le, which is where I’m from. And there’s a big rivalry, not just between leads and Manchester, but also the counties that we’re in. So I’m from, I’m born and bred in Yorkshire. So Philipp, born and bred in Shire. And there’s a, if you look at the history books, there’s a huge rivalry between the two counties called the War of the Roses.

I won’t go into that cause Philip. Get really excited because bla won on penalties. But yeah, so, so the fact that we both came from a similar part of the world helped when I joined. And I really had a great time working with Philip. We got on like a house on fire. Did we wind each other up regarding sport a lot?

Yes, we did cricket, football. We had a very good working relationship and because we, it just a, a real great evolution of time. I mean, I knew nothing about Paralympic sport when I joined the I P C and I always remember Phil PA when I when I was in the interview process, like, what do you know about Paralympic Sport Lab?

What do you [00:10:00] know about Paralympic Sport Lab? I think what is, what, what he basically said. And I was like, you want my honest answer or do you want my uh, my interview answer? And he went, give me the truth. And I went, I know nothing. But I think I can change that for you. I said I, I’ve done lots of research and I, I, I see real opportunities to grow this movement.

And that was a real starting point of a great working relationship and a great friendship. And Phil was brutally honest in every single thing. I mean, you see that when he was in interviews, he was a straight talking northern person as I am. So we complimented each other, but we clash, you know, and any, a good working relationship, you don’t always agree on everything, and it was important that you could work through your issues.

But we got on really, really well. And it was, it was great fun working with him. And yeah, it was, it was sad when his term came to an end and then Andrew came along and Andrew’s a similar age to me. Again, Andrew and I are very, we’re great friends. We both have a po, a passion for football.

And it’s, it two very, very different people. But luckily two people that I got on really well with Andrew’s come, what I like about Andrew is, is replacing Phillip was never gonna be an easy task. Do you know what I mean? He, Phillip had taken the movement and really grown it and built on the work of Dr.

Bob Stead, who was our founding president. And it’s important that when presidents come in, they don’t just. Continue to do what the last person did and Philip did change things when he took over from Dr. Bob Stead, Edward and Andrew did the same. He came in and said, look, this is my vision for what I want my presidency to be.

And, and it’s something I really do buy into, which is we’ve seen an evolution of the Paralympic movement, which is we’re a membership based organization. We’ve expanded the number of members we’ve got globally. And that happened during Phillip’s term where the number of national Paralympic committees really did increase.

Andrew wants to make them stronger. So it’s not just about number of members, it’s [00:12:00] strength of members. The Paralympic games is this fantastic sport event. And Andrew said, If you put the two of them together, we make a significant impact on the world. I want to introduce a third strategic pillar to the I P C that’s all about impact on the world.

and, and that’s been really cool. And that’s why you saw WEDA 15, for example, is it was a real nice way of us showing impact on the um what I really, one of the real joys of working with Andrew is, is he’s a former journalist. He knows pr. So sometimes when you work with senior leaders, if they’re not com, if they’re not familiar with communications, they have a completely different view on, on what should be doing.

And that can be really difficult because Andrew’s a journalist, you can really get into some of the details and tactics and strategies behind the direction you want to do things. And that’s really good. And, and again, like I say, Andrew’s a real close friend. But we do clash. And I think it’s really important, and I always say this about our senior executive team at the imp at the I P C, you’re never gonna go anywhere as an organization if you have people who are identical to you.

It’s important that you have a diverse view of opinions and you challenge each other because out of that will come great work. And yeah, it’s, it, working with both presidents has been an absolute pleasure and great enjoyment. And I’ve, it’s probably been the best 13 years I’ve had working wise in terms of enjoyment.

I mean, I think anyone who works for the I P C, we love the organization we work for. But what we love Mar is, is the fact that we so purpose driven and the impact that we have on the world and, and the trust that I think both so Phillip and Andrew have placed in me. I, I’ll be forever grateful for.

Alison: So given Sir Phillips bluntness and given Parson’s passion Yep. How often do you have, you had to say, you can’t say that to the press. You can’t say it that way, Mr. President. Yeah.

Craig Spence: This, I think, look, with any leader you always, there’s a little bit of cleaning up that you have to sometimes do you have to get the little broom out [00:14:00] and, and swoop around some of the edges.

Yeah, there’s a few times where I’ve gone. Maybe you shouldn’t have said it like that. And you’ve gotta say it in such a, I mean, dog gr I’m a blunt yorkshireman, so I will say it as it is. If someone says something wrong, usually it’s a bit of a glare that I inherited from my mother, uh, the Spence glare.

Um And then we address it behind the scenes and, and often we’ll have a chat after interviews and saying, look, this. You said it this way and that’s opened this avenue and therefore you need to close that down. Or how can we do it? So after most interviews or press conferences, we have a little bit of a debrief.

But I’m never gonna be sat there and going, I’m not a person who will go, you’ve done a fantastic job if they’ve dropped a bombshell and we’ve got a, we’ve got some crap to deal with. So, yeah, occasionally we have to sweep up, but that’s, that’s the job that a comms person has to do. But it’s important that you have that two way working relationship in the same way.

They won’t be scared to say, if I’ve done something wrong. And that’s, that’s the thing I, I’ve gotta value about both of them.

Jill: I gotta take a side step. When you started the Paralympic movement, like how did you get up to speed?

Craig Spence: How did I get up to speed? Yeah, yeah. And remind

Jill: about what, what it was all about and the sports and things like that.

Craig Spence: Yeah. I, um, I had almost a three month break from work before I, I joined the I P C. So in between reading books, I was reading about the Paralympic movement, who the sports how the movement was structured and such, like, and then there’s only so much research you can do online and, and such, like, I, in the, once I knew I’d got the job, I, so I worked, I worked in spot before this for a governing body in the uk.

So I was pretty connected with British media. I went to see a friend at the b bbc, a guy called Ricky Singh who was working on the Paralympics and a great touchpoint. So I went and sat down with Ricky and said, Ricky, Get me up to speed, will he please? So he was a great help in the, in, in that period before I joined the games.

Really shared his views on what he felt that the [00:16:00] I P C wasn’t doing in terms of comms and such, like, so there’s a lot of learning and building of knowledge before I got there. And then when you join the I P C, because we’re such a small organization, I mean, when I joined the I P C in 2010, there were 30 of us.

Comms was me and one other person. So you’re thrown in the deep end. And then because we were the International Federation for 10 Sports there, and now it’s six is I was going to events all the time. So I was like, within, I think on day three of my, I joined the I P C on a Monday. And by Wednesday I was flying to Sachi no flying to Moscow for a meeting to discuss Sachi 2014.

I’ll always remember the director of communications for Sachi. Asking where the IPC’s comms plan was for Sachi. And I went, I started for eight hours ago. You know that? And she was like, yes, but you should be getting on with this. So it was quite good fun. But then I went to see sport and events, so I was lucky enough in 2010 to go to the Asian para games in Guang Jo, multi-sport competition, which gave me a great opportunity to see different sports and, and, and the level of competition.

And then 2011, I went to the World Para Athletics Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. And that’s when I really, the penny dropped that this was gonna be the greatest job on earth because I, I really got a chance to sit down with athletes, meet them as people, and understand what made them tick, how they trained.

And re that’s when I realized having worked for a governing body in the UK with, which was rugby and just how hard the athletes trained there. And then you chat with a Paralympian and you’re like, You’re training just as hard as an able-bodied athlete. This is phenomenal. That gave me some good insight into what we could do in terms of building the com strategy.

But what was critically important for me, I think, was no one knew who our athletes were. And it was really important that people engaging sport who, athletes, they don’t en they don’t engage in in many suits or scuffy blue [00:18:00] t-shirts that I’m in today. They engage in the athlete community. So it was really important that we started to tell the story of who our athletes are, who they are, how they train, what they wanna achieve, and how their ambassadors for change.

So, yeah, those first, that first year was, was really important. And I always say to all our new colleagues when they join, it takes six months to get up to speed with how the Paralympic movement works and the ins and outs. And I’m still learning today and I’m 13 years in and I hope I never stop learning.

What

Alison: keeps you up at night?

Craig Spence: Lots of things probably hangovers, um,

Alison: from the trip to Las Vegas, apparently.

Craig Spence: Yeah. No, I mean, look, I think there’s many things that keep me up, up at night, like, but it’s little things that come and go. and obviously it depends on where you are in the game cycle.

So, for example, I’m sleeping much better now than I did two years ago. So I’ll be honest with you when the pandemic came and, and Tokyo 2020 was postponed, I didn’t get a lot of sleep for that 18 months leading up to it. I mean, the stress levels were huge there because if we lost the games in Tokyo didn’t happen, that would’ve had a dramatic impact, not just on the I P C as an organization and the Paralympic movement as a whole, but 1.2 billion people.

In the world. And that was that kept me awake a lot because every time we organized the Paralympic games, we advanced the rights of persons with disabilities globally. And if you didn’t have the games, then you almost got eight years where you don’t have that pushing of, of inclusion. And, and, and that I felt a huge sense of responsibility then I think.

And that kept me awake a lot. And then obviously, how do you organize the Paralympic during, in the pandemic? It was gonna be that, that, that was really difficult. I think things at the moment that keep me awake at night is ticket sales for Paris will go on sale very soon. That’s a critical thing for us.

How do we make those really sell and fly off the shells? We’ve got 3 million tickets to sell, so that keeps me awake at night. My football team in, in England, [00:20:00] leads United are just about to get relegated from the Premier League. That keeps me awake. Especially some of the managerial appointments. But yeah, you know, like.

Everyone has stresses at work and little things keep you awake at night. But yeah, I, I think one thing I’ve learned over the years working at the IPC is how to mitigate stress through exercise. So, I sleep pretty well, I’ll be honest. I just wake up early and then coming to the office early to clear my emails for,

Jill: uh, summer games, even though Tokyo was really stressful.

Is it helpful to have one less year in the cycle to keep that momentum going?

Craig Spence: Yes and no. Yes and no. I was

Jill: just gonna say, you’ve got more to do and less time.

Craig Spence: Yeah. I mean, if I look at that game cycle is, look, no one had ever organized Olympics or Paralympics again since following a postponement or during a pandemic.

So that period from the postponement through to the games actually taking place was 18 months pretty much. There weren’t many days off during that time. And the so, and where we as the I P C and also the I O C, we’re working on multiple games at any one time. So we’re al we’re already working on Brisbane 2032, so nine years out.

So

as we were obviously focusing so heavily on getting Tokyo delivered, Beijing still coming to you. Paris is still coming to you saying, look, we need support here. And, and Milan for example. So they obviously we couldn’t share the love around. So, so they, them as organizing committees weren’t getting the time that they probably needed with us at the time.

so yes, although we’ve got the, a three year window compared to four years now, we’re, we’ve like straight after Tokyo, we had to then play catch up on getting Paris up to speed on on where they needed to be. So this swings and roundabouts advantages and disadvantages. But what’s important is now we’re in a good position for Paris, and I think the games there are gonna be magical.

Alison: What will make you feel like you were a success at the I P [00:22:00] C in the very distant future when you leave us?

Craig Spence: I don’t know. That’s a good question. Um Did I make a difference? And did I leave the place in a better place than when I joined it? I think that’s important. And did I make a difference?

And did people enjoy what I did? Did the people who worked for me, were they better employees as a result? So I’m, I I think that’s, that’s things that are important and is the world a more inclusive place than when I joined it? I think those are the things that I that’s that’s real.

That’s gotta keep me awake tonight. Now, thinking of that, it’s a good question. It’s a good question, but like, I ultimately did I make a difference? And did the work that, that we do as an organization, are we making a difference? And I’d like to think that to today, it’s a yes, but there’s still room for scope and, and change and improvement.

Jill: Thanks, Alison.

Alison: No, no. I’m gonna stay awake realizing I stress Craig

Craig Spence: out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll have to have a bay tonight when I get home.

Alison: That makes me so sad.

Jill: Oh, good. I’m glad we’re getting to this point. On a high note

Alison: So thank you so much for joining us, Craig.

Craig Spence: No worries. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been good fun despite the fact they’re what? Sleep tonight.

Jill: Thank you so much, Craig. You can follow Craig on Twitter. He is at Craig Spence and he’s on Craig William Spence, on LinkedIn and Craig Spence, 79 on Instagram and we will have links to those in the

Alison: show notes. I do wanna mention something that happened in the interview. So after we were totally done, Craig was so apologetic about not wanting to get into Russia.

So if he sounds like he’s being evasive, he really wasn’t. He really wants to preserve the credibility. So I do wanna give him credit for, in just the interview at Mount Sinai, like he was kind of sidestep, but he wasn’t. He absolutely was. I’m trying to protect the I P C in a very delicate situation, so we appreciate that.

Jill: Exactly. So thank you, Craig.[00:24:00]

Seoul 1988 History Moment

Jill: That sound means it is time for our history moment all year long. We are looking at the soul 1988 Olympic Games as it is the 35th anniversary of those games. Alison, it is your turn for our story. I’m very excited cuz we are getting into rhythmic

Alison: gymnastics. We are and I’m very excited for this. Well it is going to involve a lot of Russian and Eastern European names so let’s keep our fingers crossed cuz you know how I do with those.

This was only the second time rhythmic gymnastics had been on the Olympic program. And the first time that the major players, the Soviet Union and Bulgaria would be participating cuz both had boycotted the 1984 LA games. So there was only an individual competition. Teams did not come in until 1996.

So this competition included rope, which we no longer see in international competitions, hoop clubs, and ribbon. Okay,

Jill: I have to stop. I would love to know what it was like, because we know that the push for rhythmic came to be into the games came from Eastern Europe since there’s such a stronghold in this, and then for the very first one for their.

Main players to not be able to compete because they boycotted, what was that

Alison: like? And, and a Canadian won in 84 and we’ve never seen another North American on the podium since. So they’ve absolutely dominated. Okay. The real dom. And

Jill: wait, you also have to tell me what rope is all about.

Alison: Okay, so rope is, A rope.

It’s a short rope. And how does it vary from ribbon? It’s much shorter. It’s small and they’ve, there’s various reasons and explanations given why it’s no longer used. One of them was the girls were getting rope burns on their hands and that it caused a lot of [00:26:00] injuries. Some people think it was eliminated cuz it’s boring.

Might we do not see, you do not see rope in international competition anymore, but what you did see at that time was a group of Bulgarian gymnasts who are called the Golden Girls. They had swept the podium at the 87 World Championship. Did not do as well in Seoul, so the reigning world champion Bianca pin Nova dropped a club in the preliminary round.

She ended up off the podium at fourth. There were two silver medalists in 87. They tied and Elizabeth Cava,

Jill: wait, wait, wait. Are we in 87 or 88?

Alison: No, 87 World championships. Okay. Okay. There were two silver medalists and the reigning silver medalist, Elizabeth Cava fell victim to the two gymnasts per ru, per country rule.

So she was not allowed to compete in Seoul and she retired soon after. Adriana Ska had tied Calva in 87 at the World Championship, and she won the silver medal at Seoul. Okay, so now we’re onto the Soviets who ended up winning the gold and the bronze medals. Marina Loba had earned a perfect score on each apparatus in the final.

She was the first to ever do that, but she had a tiny bit of help during the clubs. Oh, at. At the time, routines were performed to live music. Wait, they had a band? No, it, you were only allowed to use one of three instruments. So it was a single instrument, either guitar, piano, or percussion. So there was a pianist who played your music for you, and usually what the musician would do is match the speed of the gymnast.

But Marina in her club routine was moving a little slowly, and the pianist noticed that she was about to go over time. So he speeded up his playing so that she wouldn’t get a time [00:28:00] violation. And that 10th of a point was the difference between gold and silver. Whoa. So he should have gotten a medal as well.

Jill: I am, I’m just flabbergasted by the. Live music component of this. Plus I’m also flabbergasted by the percussion. Like, what was it, Moras? Was it a snare drum? Did they have like a xylophone?

Alison: I only saw things that were guitar and piano. I could not find anything that was percussion. So I don’t think it was terribly popular, but it really added an element of unpredictability for the gymnast because every musician is a little different.

You know, every time you play a piece of music live, it’s gonna have a variation though, for Marina that. Saved her cuz this pianist was watching the clock bronze. We need to bring that back. I know you just want snare drums and rifl. I want anything

Jill: to make this

Alison: better. There was no sparkles. These leotards were basical leotards too.

Amen. The bronze medalist was Alexandra Tim Shanko, and she went on to win the gold in 92 for the unified team. But here’s a really cool thing about her it. At the 1992 European Championships, she was one of the first athletes to win a medal for the newly independent Ukraine and to be honored with the Ukrainian flag and anthem.

Oh, and just a side note, marina Loba was also not Russian. She was from Belarus. Oh, interesting. Hmm. Then, so ropes and twinkles, I guess were saying were, were big. I’m gonna have not sparkles.

Jill: I know what I’m doing with the rest of my afternoon, and that’s watching some rhythmic from Soul 1988,

TKFLASTAN Update

Alison: [00:30:00] Welcome Toan.

Jill: Now is the time of the show where we check in with our team, keep the flame alive. These are past. Guest of the show and listeners who make up our citizenship of our very own country shk. Uh, first off shooter, Tim Sherry scored a new national record in three position rifle at the U s A shooting national Championships, and he also won a silver in

Alison: prone.

Sean Callahan won a New England Emmy Award for continuing coverage of the January blizzard in the Boston area.

Jill: Sailor Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shaa will represent the US in the 49 er FX at the Paris 2024 test event taking place July seven through 16th in Marsai, France. I gotta say, I watched a, a video yesterday of the construction of the sailing complex in Marsai.

It looks really cool.

Alison: We’ll be taking the fast train to go visit it.

Jill: For, I’m very tempted. I am very,

Alison: very tempted. Let’s see how the schedule works. Boxer Ginny Fukes is fighting India Smith on June 17th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. We will have links to how you get tickets for that. You can email her at ginny fights tickets@gmail.com or stream it on, Daon, which is d a zn.com.

Jill: Former BMX racer at Connor Fields is being inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

Alison: Hey, Jill? Yeah. We got a new website. We did

get

Jill: a new website. Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting. Thanks to your support, we were able to invest in a new website and we worked with somebody to build its name’s.

mark@podcastbranding.co. Did a fabulous job. We are so excited that it is up. It’s a lot more functional So please do check it out.

And that’s at flame of life pod.com. [00:32:00]

Paris 2024 Update

Jill: I was surprised I hadn’t seen this story earlier, but one of the Paris 2024 sponsors which is a French bank called B P C E, they are sponsoring a sport themed exhibit at the petite that will run during the Olympics and Paralympics, and the sponsorships include some restoration going on in the museum as well.

This. Museum was built to a company, an exhibition that ran during Paris 1900. So it’s got a lot of Olympic history attached to it, and the peti is along the triathlon route. and if you’re going to see marathon swimming, it’s, and it’s all in the, it’s right by that same bridge in the pond, Alexandra.

So, right there. Put it in the little agenda. I will put it in our agenda. I would like to see it. And, uh, the petite agenda? No, our agenda is say grand, but it will, uh, be there along the triathlon route, and that is courtesy of inside the games. We like to talk a little bit about production in a way because it’s always curious what, since Tokyo 2020, when most of the broadcast staff was.

Out of the country, at least here. Channel four in the UK is gonna produce the Paralympics remotely from Wales. So this is a story found in tvb europe.com and they will have 200 staff in Cardiff, and then they’ll have an onscreen team in

Alison: Paris. It’s like what N B C is doing, where the staff is here in Stanford, Connecticut.

And then I don’t know how much onscreen presence they’re gonna have for Paralympics. Yeah. I think haven’t announced that they’re, they’ve announced how many hours and we’re gonna broadcast all this coverage. But it’ll be interesting to see who’s here and who’s there.

Jill: Exactly. And I’m curious to see what we will notice, because in [00:34:00] Paris they’ve split the broadcast separately from the press media. So we won’t see them like we saw them in Beijing. But I am very curious as to how much the pandemic has changed permanently, or at least for another cycle or two of how broadcasters

Alison: cover the games.

Winter 2030 Update

Jill: We do have some Winter 2030 news that just came

Alison: out, and we can’t get music for 2030 until we get a host, and now we even have fewer cities who wanna host.

Jill: Right. So the Kyoto News is reporting that Sapporo has officially dropped its bid to host the 2030 games due to a lack of support from the public.

Thanks to all of the bribery problems connected with Tokyo 2020. And there’s been a poll that said that a full 60% of people do not support this bid. So the Japanese Olympic Committee scrapped it. They said we would approve Sapporo or any other city as a bid city for 2034. Or later if they want to, but right now we can’t do 2030 just because of all of the problems associated.

And it’s really sad that we still have this, these bribery problems. And I really hope that it’s it’s something else that goes to bed. With the whole gigantic bids and we’re gonna build all of the arenas for the games kind of thing.

Alison: Jill don’t be giving people ideas about going to bed with things.

That’s another scandal we cannot have.

Jill: Well, you know what I mean? so now we have. Nobody really who want Host wants to host 2030. I’ve not seen anything recent about Stockholm wanting to host or how they are doing in the process. And we know that Salt Lake City would really rather prefer not to host in 2030 just because it’s right after LA 2028 and it’s really hard.

Plus back to back [00:36:00] in America, probably not favorable for the rest

Alison: of the world. Well, we know what, how much I’m begging the Swedes to just forgive us, to take us back. We didn’t mean it. Those other cities meant nothing to us. Please,

Jill: please, we want to go to Stuc,

Alison: these Swedes, we love you. Oh st. And it was sweet.

I mean, they don’t have to do much. That Stockholm bid was so well put together and could so easily just be brushed off and. Put back into circulation, but I honestly think the sweets are mad about that. Oh, I think so. With Milan. And they’re just like, no, we’re not taking you back. We can do better than you i o c and not spend all the money, so, and not spend all the money.

Oh. But I so wanna go to Riga. Right. Oh, and stop. Ugh. It’s like I’m doing the one woman campaign to convince the Swedes. I think I’m gonna have to do a tour of Sweden, the charm offensive. I don’t know how charming I will be, but I will try. I’ll just show up in the middle of Stockholm, please. Sweets, take our Winter Olympics.

Jill: All right, well we will look for you on the squares of Stockholm. So you better start planning that. So we’ll close this episode up for this week. Let us know what you thought of our interview with Craig Spence and what you think of the IPC’s governance versus the IOCs

Alison: governance. You can connect with us on Twitter and Instagram at Flame Alive Pod.

Email us at Flame Alive podd gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. 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 [00:38:00] stories about this week’s episode, and you can sign up for that. At our very cool new website, flame alive pod.com.

Jill: And I will say, if you missed this week’s newsletter, you missed an excellent story about snow tunnels and how you could get to skiing them. Just it’s on the list, seriously, on the list.

We would like to give a special thank you to our intern, Annalee Deabel, for doing research for this episode, and you can join us again next week for more stories from the Olympics and Paralympics.

We’re getting close to one year to go to Paris. People get excited. Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive.