Photo of Book Club Claire on a background of bookshelves. Keep the Flame Alive podcast logo is in the lower right corner.

Episode 253: Book Club Claire on “Abdi’s World”

Release Date: September 8, 2022

Category: Book Club | Podcast

Book Club Claire is back for a not-so-marathon discussion about TKFLASTANI marathoner Abdi Abdirahman’s book Abdi’s World: The Black Cactus on Life, Running, and Fun. And plants. We also talk plants.

Our next book will be Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games Squaw Valley & Lake Tahoe by David C. Antonucci. Get your copy through our storefront (affiliate link) and support the show — we get a commission from purchases made through that link.

In our Albertville 1992 moment, Alison’s got the amazing story of short track speed skater Cathy Turner. Here she is competing in the 500m:

And here she is competing on “American Gladiators”:

In our news from TKFLASTAN, Team Keep the Flame Alive has been busy! We have updates from:

This week is the 50th anniversary of the tragedy that happened at Munich 1972. In what became the darkest days of the Olympic Movement, 11 members of the Israeli team were taken hostage in the Village and subsequently murdered along with a German policeman.

Multiple ceremonies took place in Munich to remember this event and the lives of those who perished at the hands of terrorists. We hope these events will never be repeated at a Games.

Tokyo 2020 can’t seem to stay out of the news–two more companies are being investigated for bribery involving Haruyuki Takahashi, who’s already been indicted for Games-related bribery.

This incident apparently has nothing to do with a meeting between the Sapporo mayor and the IOC about a 2030 bid being cancelled.

Meanwhile, over in Paris, the IOC Coordination Commission is pleased with how things are going, but the Organizing Committee is asking whether they can tone down the Games a bit and save some cash. We’re unsure whether the IOC understands inflation.

PETA also has a special request for TBach regarding a potential Paris 2024 sponsor, but will that “very official letter” spur him into action?

Also, more cops will be on the streets by 2024, and we have some information about the Paris 2024 feeds, just in case you need to know how to properly direct any feed beefs (hopefully you won’t have any!).

LA 2028 is one step closer to changing the venue for the rowing competition–and if this is approved, the course will be the shortest ever for a Games.

Finally, we have a little news from the International Paralympic Committee on the ratification of its constitution.

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


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. If you would like to see transcripts that are more accurate, please support the show.


Jill: Hello, fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive. The podcast four fans of the Olympics in Paralympics. I am your host. Jill. Jaracz joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison brown, Alison. Hello, how are you?

Alison: I am feeling round and fluffy.

Jill: I, I don’t even wanna get into why that is at this time, but you just have to listen to the, to our conversation to understand that one. I, you know, and I did listen to the conversation and I still don’t understand it.

Alison: Are you feeling a little prickly today?

Jill: Yeah, maybe. I don’t know. Why

Alison: Could it be a discussion of a cactus?

Jill: That could be as well. And that’s a good uh, segue for what we’re talking about today. Book Club. Claire is back to discuss Abdi’s World, the Black Cactus on Life, Running and Fun written by our TKFLASTANI marathoner, Abdi Abdirahman. So take a listen to our convers.

Claire. Welcome back. We are talking Abdi’s World today. What do you got for us?

Claire: I have a story about someone who came over from Africa and eventually became a distance runner in college and then had a career that span so many years. It’s shocking to see his, athletic lifespan is so. So the athlete is Abdi Abdirahman and the book is Abdi’s World.

And I enjoyed this book when I read it last year for our interview with Abdi, make sure that you go back and listen to that. Cuz he talks all about the 10,000 meters in the marathon in detail. And I enjoyed learning a little bit more about his personal life. So initial thoughts on the book, what did you think?

Alison: I thought it did a great job of capturing his voice. Having spoken to him, I heard it when I read the book. He’s very open in a fun way. And he, he thinks about things, but not too hard and the way he wrote. And obviously he was working with, as all these athletes do their working with, co-writers and ghostwriters, he captured the way Abdi would put a sentence together and the way he would hit certain points so that I really liked.

Jill: Yeah, I agree. This was a much better than average, athlete memoir. And I loved the way it was put together. I loved that it sprinkled in like his philosophies on running, along with his history did not– he came over partially because of war going on in Somalia, his family escaped restarted here in America, but we didn’t get the, go from point a to point B story. It kind of jumped back and forth in time. I loved the Chasing Abdi bits where you got input from other people in his life.

It just, it was a really fun book to read and, I really enjoyed it and Hey, yeah. Great summer reading book

Claire: I don’t think I’m as high on it as the two of you were. This is from someone who adored Lopez Lomong’s book that we read many years ago by now. and this is a very similar style of story.

So I did notice that things were presented just a little bit, not as I would have liked. I think it was a little scatterbrained all over the place. But I did like, I’m a freak about track and field and I love marathons. I watch marathons for fun. So I got a big kick out of hearing his philosophies on, on running and, and hearing his race recaps and, and all that.

And, and just, qualifying for five Olympics. That’s amazing. I did appreciate how the book was broken down chapter. Because he breaks down every Olympic ring, quote unquote. So you know, the first ring is Sydney 2000 and then his next ring is Athens 2004. And he’s got the missing ring of Rio when he was unable to qualify cuz of injury.

I really enjoyed that kind of stuff. I did struggle though, because he has to fly through 20 plus years. Well, 20. Of history. It does end up coming and hitting a lot of repetitive things. Oh, Boston. Oh, New York. Oh no, go through Olympic trials. When does he get hurt? I can’t remember. so there, there was a little bit of that here and there.

You had mentioned the chasing Abdi parts. Did you have [00:05:00] one in particular that you remembered or enjoy?

Alison: Well, he had, there was one, I think that was like his five rules for life towards the middle of the book.

That was kind of fun. And, and it was just fun to have those bits in there, especially when you’re doing a summer reading. Because you can read this in little chunks or read those quotes and he includes quotes from interviews that he’s done. And because the question is different, you get a different perspective of what he’s going to say.

So I did like those chasing oddies and it could feel scattered, but it also broke the flow of how many races can we talk about, you know, how many times can you talk about Boston, New York? This trip, this injury um, and it was like, oh, here, somebody asked him an interesting question or, oh, he got an award and he said this That, that made it fun.

Jill: you brought up Lopez Lak, and I liked the fact that Abdi story was different from Lopez’s story.

they did both come from war torn areas of Africa. their families had different experiences and they had different experiences. And I liked, the way Lopez’s book was told his story was told that worked as well in a different way, because I think Lopez really had a lot more personal struggles and financial hardship type struggles.

And not that Odys family didn’t, but I think that. His situation was different. And I kind of like how those two books were different, telling a little bit similar stories, but they did it differently. So we didn’t get the same, like, oh, it’s, kind of like the biopic thing. Oh, this is where the music swells and this is where it goes down.

But I think there, they can stand each have merit on their own.

Alison: I felt like those were almost sibling books. I like that. We’ve, we’ve read them both because like you said, the childhood portion of Lopez’s story was much heavier. I mean, he went through things that Abdi did not go through.

OBSI had his family, when he came to the United States, they were intact. Lopez did not, he went through things that Abdi did not, and it was this similar, young man, you know, escaping. Like you said a war torn African country becoming a distance runner in the United States, but they’re very different stories.

And yet they are friends know Lopez and OBJ are friends, obviously, because they do have similar backgrounds and they are in this competition together. And so. It’s kind of like, this is the summer version and Lopez is the, the autumn version of a similar story, right? Because Lopez’s book is much heavier and much more serious.

And, and talking about more of the global political issues than Ty’s book,

Claire: Lopez. Lam’s book is literally called Running for my Life. it has multiple meeting. But, and then Obies Opie’s World, which reminds me of, if you remember the old TV show Bobby’s World, there’s the cartoon.

So, you definitely have different, uh, genres there. It’s kind of funny though, putting on my athletics nerd cap Lak started in the mile and transition to the he’s now doing the 5k 10 K that’s what he qualified for in Tokyo. And Abdi started in the 10 K and now has moved to marathon.

So apparently as you grow with age, you are able to take on more distance and be still be competitive,

Alison: which is incredible. Abdi talks about that in that section where he, he changes from doing the 10 to devoting to the marathon. And that is a common transition for older distance runners, because you do see marathoners.

Mostly in their thirties. I mean, these are not 1819 year olds winning the marathon. They do tend to be on the older end of athletics competitors. And I wonder why that is. I mean, we need to get some more information on marathon to know why can you still succeed in the marathon as you age? What endurance hold on.

But the kick doesn’t, you know, where is that transition? Maybe you just have more patience and you can, you know, it’s more skill, you know, the marathon requires more skill in a certain way because you’ve gotta do more strategy cuz you’re just out there for longer

Claire: and you have to start slow, which if you’re in the throes of energy is very hard to do and you’re supposed to get progressively faster as you go, which.

Insane to think about, for 26 miles, your MI your uh, mile pace is supposed to speed up. It’s like, oh my gosh, it’s definitely not what I do when I’m training. I have to give credit to his coach. He doesn’t mention his coach too much. Dave Murray, I think is his name, but when he does mention him, he, he mentions how very hands off allows Abdi to, develop in the right ways.

Doesn’t go to the Olympics with. [00:10:00] Yeah, it kind of, that was, I thought was very interesting because a lot of people, you know, they have to bring their whole support staff with them, wherever they go and his coach doesn’t go. And he thinks that it’s kind of his chance now to, to take what he’s learned and, and move on.

And I had to say this because I just recently watched the Peacock documentary about Alberto Salazar. Which is a very different style of coaching than what we read about in this book. And hearing that was, was very refreshing, knowing that now all coaches are as hard nose and openly critical as someone like Salazar is.

Alison: Um, And Salazar’s the style of coaching that lands you in prison or just bands.

Claire: just where it is right now

Alison: The idea that his coach wasn’t there reminded me of that scene in chariots, the fire. Now that we’ve watched it ages ago, where the coach is back in the hotel room, listening to the race. And he cuz he wasn’t allowed into the Olympic stadium with him because he wasn’t the official coach. And I kind of imagined Abdi’s coach, you know, with a straw hat and punching his hand through it when, when Abdi wins, which is totally.

Inaccurate, but it was, it was fun to kind of put those two things together that the coach coaches and then lets them go race. And like you were saying, is that hands off attitude and having spoken to aji, that makes perfect sense to me. You know, He gets everything done ahead of time. And then when it’s the day of the race, he needs to race not be making adjustments or changes or fiddling with things.

or wearing a watch.

Claire: so yeah, I, I re-listened to our podcast and that was one of the things that he mentioned in it and I it’s like why he doesn’t and then, you know, going back to the books, like, oh yeah, he wouldn’t. Yeah.

Jill: And it’s just, so interesting to see, such a different style of runner, his approach, and maybe that’s why he got a book.

because he is somebody who doesn’t wear watch And not that he doesn’t care, but just like so many of the things that other athletes get into like, oh, what are my stats today? you know, let’s crank out the analytics stuff. And he’s like, eh, if it doesn’t feel good, I’m gonna drive. If I’m not feeling good, I’m gonna drop out of the race or what, that kind of thing.

Alison: But it isn’t lackadaisical and it is isn’t not. Commitment. It’s just the way he works is very different. Mm-hmm and it works for him. I mean, obviously he’s had this mega long career. It has kept him healthy. I mean, obviously he’s had injuries, but he still was there, he still qualified for all of these races.

Jill: Yeah. And it, it’s nice to see that, oh, there’s not one way to be success. And Abdi found what works for him. And he’s very good about advocating for himself. And this is how this is a kind of training that works for me, found a coach that works for him and, yeah. A long career because of it.

Claire: With a long career you are going to, and he mentions this where you notice people come in and exit before you’re even done. One of those people that he talks about is uh, Ryan Shay, and I was not aware of this story, cuz I wasn’t deep into marathoning when this happened. But Ryan Shay actually died on the marathon course and.

Abdi didn’t really find out about it. Until it was much too late. Uh, This was at the New York marathon and they were friends. They were training partners. He stayed with him and his wife for during training. It’s gotta be the worst and the most surreal thing to have someone that, you know, pass away doing the thing that you train to do every day.

and honestly, I didn’t see it coming, but I did notice he was suddenly mentioning Ryan and Alicia, she a lot more and I’m going, where’s this going? and then he mentions that someone just says, I can’t believe Brian is gone. And he’s like, yeah, he must have dropped outta the race. And that he’s like, no, no, no, no.

He tied on the course. Did you either of, you know, about that story and did that hit that come as a shock? As much as it did to me?

Alison: I was not familiar because I generally don’t watch a lot of marathons or I watch them very casually. So the names are not terribly familiar. I did not remember that. And I was surprised in the, in the book going, oh, wait a second.

Where did this? And the other thing that surprised me was there was a, the doping. That also, when he mentions how he had trained with these two athletes who then were found to have doped, I was also wi Martin Fagan being one, one of them. And I was like, oh, wait, I don’t remember this story either. So there was a lot of pieces that are specialized in these fields and you probably didn’t hear a lot about it outside the marathon world.

Claire: Looking at that doping story that he mentions is very interesting because he doesn’t really pull his punches with it. [00:15:00] He states clearly that what they did was wrong. He was never aware that anything was happening. And he does put his philosophy out there.

He’s not like, oh, you know, it was a sad time. And then we moved. And he, he states it and he says it, which I’m very glad about. I know that, by the tail end of his career, trying to do any sort of doping would, would probably hinder his chances more than help it. And I know he’s been aware of that for many years, but I was glad that.

He did mention that. And he, wasn’t afraid to bring it up in, in this book. Uh, A book that we just mentioned is kind of a more jovial, you know, he talks about himself as the black cactus kind of story, but I’m glad he does get into the deeper things every now and then

Alison: I also like that he made a very interesting distinction between those people could have been his friends.

He can care about them. He can respect them as people. And still condemn what they did. And I thought that was an interesting distinction that I certainly don’t always make to remember that someone who dopes can be a decent person and have made a huge mistake for whatever reason. And I like that distinction.

And he, like you said, he does not pull his punches in condemning doping. He was very firm and very straight, and yet still said these people were still my friends. I still care about. They screwed up.

Claire: The one thing I had wished for more of was more about the Olympics, because he does kind of bookend each section with talking about the games, but he just mentions the races very briefly.

He doesn’t really talk too much about open and closing ceremonies. Going to the athlete’s village, he mentions, briefly snippets here and there, but mostly it’s about the actual training that he does to get to the Olympics. And that’s, that’s the one thing I kind of wish we had more of, especially cuz there were so many talk about the differences between all the Olympics that you’ve been to, that I would’ve have liked to have seen more,

Alison: but I wonder if he is. paying attention to himself, as we’ve talked about is kind of his training methods, his style, and the marathon’s always at the end. So it’s not like he gets a lot of time to hang out in the village, not preparing for his race,

Claire: but the 10,000 is at the beginning.

Alison: That’s true. When he was doing 10,000 mm-hmm he, he may have.

Claire: Still, it’s something where the point of the book is to show him as he is, growing in his, experiences as a runner. And I think that it, did it very well. It does end before Tokyo. He finished the book during the pandemic. I think he actually said the book because of the pandemic.

So that’s why we get to enjoy this book now. We know that he finished, I believe he did finish the race in Tokyo. Yes. In, in, sorry, in Sepro. And he finished 41st very far back, but understandable given the conditions that, that he had, I am very glad that he finished, cuz he does mention, When you have to give up halfway, it’s very disheartened, but I’m, I’m glad that he finished.

I don’t know if he’s done. Doesn’t sound like he’s done. But he’s got his girlfriend and I’m wishing all the best for him. Do you have anything else that you wanna add about Abdi?

Alison: I do. So his nickname is the Black Cactus, which is adorable. So I was thinking if I was a nicknamed after a plant, what would it.

So I want you to think about if you were nicknamed after a plant, what would it be? I came up with mine. I would be the Hydreia cause I’m kind of big and round. And every once in a while, something really pretty pops out like hello, but for the rest of the year, I look sort of bland.

Claire: I’ve had to be some sort of tree because I’m, I’m pointy at the top. And I kind of flare out at the bottom. I couldn’t tell you what, cuz I don’t know plants. So sorry about that.

Alison: A Norwegian spruce

Claire: except I’m except I’m very much Greek outdoor region could be an olive tree. Iris. There we go. Okay.

Claire’s the olive tree or Cyprus or whatever.

Alison: what about Jill? An olive tree is extremely high maintenance and you do not strike me as a high maintenance person. So I’m gonna go with Cyprus for you.

Claire: Okay. I’ll take that now, but now you have to pick out something for

Jill: Jill. Yeah, you gotta, you gotta pick something out for me.

Cause I don’t know what I, it’d be like squash

Claire: But there’s so many different kinds of squash. You gotta pick one

Alison: you are my little butternut squash.

Claire: okay. Can we put that in the store, have a picture of Jill. You are my little butternut squash.

Jill: I buy it.

Claire: Sarah you’d buy it too, right? Meredith? Yes. Patrick talking to you.

Jill: all right. I [00:20:00] think we are done well, Claire, thank you so much. That’s actually, that’s kind of a perfect way to end a book by Abdi to be quite honest, what are we reading?

Claire: our next book. For the winter is Snowball’s Chance. The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, Squa Valley and Lake Tahoe by David Antonucci.

Now this is gonna be an interesting one, cuz they did just change the name of squa valley which is great. But it’s gonna be interesting to see if there’s any historical background that they mention in this book. So, make sure if you’re reading that to kind of take a mental note of. But I’m looking forward to it and uh, we we get to enjoy some winter Olympics again.

Jill: Yes. And some, all Disney, always love Wal Disney. Right? Claire, thank you so much. We are looking forward to talking with you again soon. Talk to you soon. Thank you so much, Claire, you can buy Snowballs Chance through our link. That’s Purchases made through our storefront will help us earn a commission. And that helps us with the podcast budget, especially as we look towards parish 2024. So get your copy today.

And our next book club meeting will be in session in early November. That sound means it’s time for our history moment. All year long, we are looking at Albertville 1992, because it is the 30th anniversary of those winter games. Alison, it is your term for a story. What do you have for.

Alison: Okay. All five gold medals won by team USA in 1992 were one by women.

Interestingly enough, huh? Two for speed skater, Bonnie Blair, one for figure skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, which we talked about one for freestyle skier, Donna Weinbrecht. And we talked about that when we talked to Tom Kelly, but the one I’m gonna talk about today is for short track speed skater, Cathy. Cathy Turner won the US short track championships in 1979, but she retired from the sport in 1980 to pursue a career in music.

So by the mid eighties, she was a bar singer in Las Vegas under the name of Nikki Newland.

Jill: Wow. Don’t you wish like there’s a recording of that somewhere.

Alison: I have not found any performances of Nikki Newland, but she. She is in, I M D B as such. So when she saw a short track as a demonstration sport in 1988, she decided to come out of retirement and try for the 92 Olympics.

So made the team turned around one gold in the 500 meters, which was the only individual event for women at that games.

Jill: Really like, were there more individual events for men?

Alison: I don’t think so. But there were relays and the us women’s team also went a silver in the relay. She stuck around for Lille hammerer and she defended her 500 meter gold and added two more relay medals.

Good for her. But here’s where it gets really fun. In 1992, Cathy Turner also performed in ice Cade. Where she both skated and sang.

Jill: Wow. And that’s kind of possible because of the change in the rules, because amateurs could now make money in their sport.

Alison: Correct. And she was one of the American Gladiators on that television program.


So Cathy Turner short tracked gold medal. And so many other things. Amazing.

Welcome to TKFLASTAN.

Jill: It is time to check in with our Team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show who are now citizens of our very own country, shook Luan. And, and I gotta say, looking back to last week when we had some of the shook Luis on for a lightning round, all week long, I’ve thought about crawling in my own vomit.

Alison: No. Thank you.

and then if you haven’t listened to last week’s show, you should cuz that’s what Madeline Manning Mims talked about. And I’ve been training for a century bike ride and sometimes I think about how hard training is gonna get

you need some donut.

Jill: I have one it’s already around my belly.

Alison: What have our shook, Han’s been doing Jill.

Jill: All right. Marnie McBean [00:25:00] told the CBC that she had been asked to sit on a Hockey, Canada oversight committee of independent experts who would be tasked with monitoring and providing guidance on the organization’s plan to eliminate toxic behavior in the sport.

And she said, she’d consider joining the committee. If top Hockey, Canada officials were removed and apparently. The offer to her to join the committee was then rescinded a few days later.

Alison: Oh, not surprised. Taki. Canada’s got some issues going right now.

Nordic combined athlete Annika Malacinski finished 14th overall in the second summer grand pre-event of the season at OBOR Germany. She will be competing in the Juza. That’s the best name which is the USA, Nordic sport, national championships for ski jumping and Nordic combined, which will be held at lake PLA New York on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st

Jill: Sport climber, Josh Levin made it to the final stage of America Ninja Warrior, but He could not climb up Mount Meor Yama within the time limit. He ended up finishing fifth place overall. Congratulations to Josh. This was a, an incredible feat because he worked so hard to get past stage two on ninja warrior. So to get. Through stage three and into stage four was tremendous accomplishment.

He said he would be donating a portion of his winnings to Adaptive Climbing Group in New York,

Alison: Race Walker, Evan Dunfee is now officially adding candidate to his list of titles. He is made it to the ballot of the Richmond city council, and we will have a link to his campaign.

Jill: Speed skater. Erin Jackson is back on wheels.

She competed in the outdoor national championships and team USA inline trials. She took gold in the 200 meter 500 meter, 100 meter and 10 K elimination races. Plus fourth in the 10 K points.

Alison: Race and at the 40 Niner 40 Niner FX and Nacra 17 world championships, Stephanie Roble and man Maggie Shea finished fifth.

They won the last race of the regatta and they pulled up from 22nd. What to fifth?

Jill: Good for them. Good,

Alison: good race in the

Jill: new. former by athlete, Clare Egan was elected to the World Anti-doping Agency athletes council. So congratulations to her

Alison: boxer, Ginny Fuchs will be fighting Gemma Rouge in the flyweight division. This Saturday in London. This fight is part of the undercard with Clarisa Shields and Savannah Marshall. As the main fight, it will air on ESPN plus in the United States and on Sky Sports in the UK,

Jill: and finally get well wishes to John Moorhead who has COVID.

He says he’s doing better, but still hope long. COVID doesn’t get you, John,

Alison: those middle school kids. bringing all the germs. we definitely do not have music for 1972.

Jill: We, we do not. And we also do not have any kind of Sad music. I should say, but We did wanna acknowledge that this week marked the 50th anniversary of the hostage and massacre, at Munich, 1972, where 11 members of the Israeli team were taken hostage in the village and subsequently murdered along with a German policemen.

The terrorists were Palestinians who demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners. And Israel’s prime minister. Golda Meir said, I refuse to negotiate with terrorists. So that stopped that negotiation, the German government had to deal with the situation at hand, their plan botched up, everything really badly.

That led to the unfortunate deaths of all of the, these team members. it’s been a, trying time for the families for decades. They’ve been trying to get proper recognition. Finally got a moment of silence at the opening ceremony at Tokyo 2020 And remember what a shocker that was.

Alison: We were both stunned and noticed that and couldn’t believe it had finally happened.

Jill: Right. And, and it’ll, I’m curious to see if it will continue to happen because I do think it should continue to.

Alison: Absolutely.

Jill: Recently the families of the victims and the government government reached an agreement on compensation for the tragedy. The families will receive a total of 28 million euros, but that cannot compensate for the loss of life truly.

There was a Memorial ceremony in Munich at the Olympic park and also at the airfield in first in Feld Brook, where most of the victims perished dignitaries from Germany, Israel, and the IOC attended. Thomas Bach gave a speech about How September five was the darkest day in Olympic history [00:30:00] and reminded everyone that the Olympics stood for peace.

He also commended Israel for not turning it back on the Olympic movement as the country has taken part in every subsequent games, which, you know, you think about it, they could easily have said no, no more.

Alison: And they have faced issues where competitors have refused. to compete against Israeli athletes. Yes.

So it’s not like it’s been smooth sailing for Israel since 1972. So, and they have been very successful and were particularly successful in Tokyo.

Jill: That is true. That is true. So, Our thoughts go out to the families, to the country, to, to the, even to the IOC and Olympic movement, cuz it’s just a, a horrible event to have happened to anyone.

And hopefully it will not happen at an Olympic games again.

Alison: So speaking of Tokyo,

Jill: I, I don’t even know, you know, this is the, the bright. That I can think of is that everyone who’s involved in, the Salt Lake City, bribery, Scandal’s probably going, oh, maybe they can forget about us.

Alison: yeah, this is getting uglier.

Jill: So more, two more companies are being investigated about bribe.

This would be advertising firm, deco advertising, Inc, and publishing company, KA Kadokawa Corp. And they are being investigated over payments to a consulting firm run by an acquaintance of Haki Tamakoshi Takahashi, who was a member of the Tokyo 2020 executive board in re in those payments were supposedly.

Those payments allegedly were in return for favors during the sponsorship selection process, according to the Kyodo nude and Takahashi is already in hot water for potential bribing from another company as well. So this just keeps piling on,

Alison: well, more than hot water. He’s already been indicted on that one.

Jill: Meanwhile S mayor Kasu Akimoto was supposed to go to LASAN to discuss the 20, 30 winter games with the IOC and that meeting got canceled. Kyoto news reports that the mayor said that this has nothing to do with bribery scandal, and it’s all about timing, but the Kyoto news also noted that the meeting had been on the books for months.

Alison: Sapporo must be so angry at the Tokyo organizing committee for so many reasons. So first. We had Marin Nove, where they just threw the marathon in Sapporo’s lap at the last minute. And the city had to scramble to put it on. And now all this bribery scandal totally gutting Sapporo’s bid for the 20, 30 winter games.

Jill: Right. And, and I haven’t looked at much at the financials for the Vancouver. Whistler First Nations bid. But if that’s not gonna pan out, which hopefully it would, then we’re down to just Salt Lake City being able to do it. And you’d have the whole issue of having back to back games in the USA,

Alison: never mind being reminded of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.

Come on Canadians pulled this out for us, but not hockey, Canada. They can’t be involved.

Jill: No.

Alison: Is Paris doing any better?

Jill: No. No. They are still having issues with the budget and inflation is really. making it hard for them. It sounds like the IOC Coordination Commission did visit Paris 2024 and the French minister for sport and the Olympic and Paralympic games Amie. We Castero asked the coordination commission uh, To quote, revise the specifications downwards a little.

And this is, this is quoting from Fran a translation of the story. So not only is that a request, it’s a repeat request to let’s. Can we tone it down a little, make it a little cheaper, because even the OCO head, Tony Estanguet gay. Has said that, keeping up with the level, keeping up the level of ambition until the end will be a real challenge.

We are going to need your help to find new sources of optimization and to go even further in making savings.

Alison: So remember when. When did we talk about the torch relay and how [00:35:00] long people had to run? That was a couple weeks ago. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. In the Albertville moment. Mm-hmm so I’m wondering if those people who trained for 92 and their miles long, fast speed could somehow be used in transport to save some money for Paris 2024.

Jill: Well, they have talked about relying more. The Metro and public transportation versus having cars and probably even buses to take people around. I wonder if, maybe finding a new source of optimization might be maybe not having the surfing competition in Tahiti.

Alison: Yeah. They have competitions in Tahiti.

They have competitions in Marsai. They’re all over

Jill: the place. Well, some of them, I mean, obviously the football. It’s gonna be everywhere because you need to have those stadiums Marsai. I understand because you’ve gotta have sailing on the coast somewhere. So I don’t know. I don’t know what they’re gonna do, but I, I do wonder if some of the technical specifications would be decreased and everything gets to a point.

We need to Carn back to London, 1948 and have an austerity Olympics again. And everyone bring their own food, right? Because you know, stuff just keeps getting bigger and better. And every, everyone wants to outdo the last one, but it does come to a breaking point that you can’t. Put on so many bells and whistles anymore.

And when inflation and the economy are giving you issues, you gotta take some of those bells and whistles a away and be okay with it and not stick Paris with a horrible bill.

Alison: You know, we talked about that a lot with Tokyo because we thought because they had to cut back some of those bells and whistles and pump and circumstance because of COVID.

Would that be a turning point to some of these other host cities? Dialing it back a bit and unfortunately they’re not doing it. Everything is telling them you need to dial this back. And yet they’re still just trying to dump money at the problem.

Jill: Yeah. And I, I don’t think it’s necessarily. The Paris organizing committee.

I don’t know if it’s pressure from the IOC to say, oh, this is the first one back. We need to make sure. But there, there may be specifications that have just gotten into the, well, this is the way we’ve quote, unquote, always done it. And we are very used to this and can’t give it up. but there are a lot of things that are very much that I would think are nice to have.

That are expensive.

Alison: Seriously. We need to look at their budget. We will cut that thing back. Like there’s no tomorrow

Jill: Meanwhile, the coordination commission says things are on track and they’re happy with progress. Better be Frank shoe also reports that the French prime minister Elizabeth born announced that Paris will have 1000 new police officers in the city in time for the. I am concerned a little bit about this next one, because it’s just gonna be stunts and PETA people for the ethical treatment of animals has apparently written a very official letter to Toma Bach, according to Frank shoe.


Alison: makes it very official as opposed to just official letter? An extra paw print

Jill: so they, they wrote to tach and they asked him to intervene in the negotiations between the parish 2024 organizing committee and LV, M H. For a potential sponsorship. Possibility. LVMH owns Louis Viton Louis Viton sells fur and items made from exotic animal skins. So I Paris 2024 needs a sponsorship money for

Alison: sure. Right. They’re not gonna say Peter doesn’t want this. Oh, that’s fine.

Jill: When, when I hear you say it like that, because that’s a matter of fact, you just go really, Peter, you think Paris needs the money.

This is an iconic company in France, but I, I also worry that Peter’s gonna get up to its stunts and just do something really weird to get attention.

Alison: Well, Paris is developing those anti-D drone lasers. Oh, okay. So maybe they’ll aim some at an anti pita laser

oh my God. There are so many things that could burst into flames in this city. I am very concerned now. Right.

Jill: And, and I understand that that. PETA wants the ethical treatment of animals, obviously, because that’s what it’s name, but it, it does do a lot of stunts and may not be the world’s best organization to do that from some some of my understanding of what that organization is about.

Interesting feed news. [00:40:00] Is it feed beef compete is against beef too. Well, it, it is some education on where to direct your feed beefs. Should you have them for Paris? OBS has entered into an agreement.

This is the Olympic Broadcasting Service. They’ve entered into an agreement with China Media Group. Also known as CMG to provide the international feed for several sports at Paris, 2024. CMG will do gymnastics table tennis, badminton, and sports climbing. So when you have your feed beef, if it’s in one of those sports directed at CMG, it’s like OBS has outsourced some of their stuff.

Alison: Wow. And it’s kind of funny because when we were in Beijing, OBS had hired so many locals as technicians and staff. And now are we reimporting that staff for when the Olympics is in Europe, all of a sudden the Chinese techs that they trained. Now we’ll work for the subcontractor.

Jill: C could be, and, and CMG has worked with games ever for every game since Athens 2004.

So this is not new in a sense. We’re suddenly having CMG work with OBS they’ve provided some kind of production role for every games since 2004. They’ve also provided support to OBS in the production of the world feed for Beijing 2022, which is totally understandable given all of the COVID protocols surrounding those games.

So Inside the Games, thank you for very informative article , which has a lot of meaning to, to.

All right. We’ve got a little bit of news from LA 2028, The Sports Examiner, a friend Rich Perlman, and inside the games, both reported that the rowing course is going to be moved from the original plan from the original bid proposal. So the original bid said that the rowing would be at Lake Paris State Recreation Area in Riverside County and World Rowing has approved a move to Long Beach Marine Stadium, which was a site of the 1932 Olympics rowing competition. The reason why this is such kind of a controversial move is that the rowing course usually is 2000 meters long. Because a bridge was built, spanning the river area where the rowing competition is, the course can only be 1500 meters long.

So this is going to be the shortest rowing course at an Olympics ever.

Alison: I do love that. It’ll be the same as 1932. I love that connection, but I can obviously see why. Rowing has evolved a lot in almost 90 years. So it, I can see that being problematic as well.

Jill: Yeah. But I mean, what’s also interesting is the course has changed from over the decades.

You’ll have longer courses and shorter courses, I think from, I don’t know too much B the goings on behind the scenes. The whys and, and what, but I could speculate if we’re talking the LA Memorial Coliseum as being like the home base of the LA games lake Paris is about 75 miles away.

Long Beach is 28 miles away, much closer. They also have a whole bunch of other sports going on in Long Beach. So they’ve got BMX cycling, water polo, handball, triathlon para, triathlon, and marathon swimming. And you add in rowing at a venue that already exists and it’s one less thing to do. And one less area for athletes to be, because I bet they would have to have some sort of athlete’s village out at Lake Paris because there’s no way to.

Get people out 75 miles,

Alison: especially not in LA traffic.

Jill: Right? so I, I, haven’t got a chance to look further into this, but canoe is also supposed to be at lake Paris. I would be very curious to see if they will move that to Long Beach as well. That way that knocks out one whole venue that was planned and enjoy the cost savings.

And not only

Alison: that, it’s a benefit for fans. because now you could make a trip to Long Beach and have several days of competition there. So it makes going to that venue worthwhile for a multi-day stay

Jill: exactly and, and many more sports to choose from now as well. So the this is not a totally done deal yet.

The Long Beach City Council needs to approve [00:45:00] this as well, but hopefully they will

One note from the International Paralympic Committee wanted to say that the constitution that they. Past last year has been ratified by the German registry of associations. So now everything is legal there.

the main changes to their constitution were that IPC sports that were governed by the IPC will be becoming independent by 2026. And the other big one is it created a nominations panel to do vetting of people who would serve on committees. That is according to inside the. We gotta look into when their special session is gonna be their,

Alison: oh, that’s right.

So in Beijing, because of the whole Russia, Ukraine, controversy, the IPC is going to have a special emergency session that they want to change the constitution again. So I think that was supposed to be coming. This coming winter, January, February sticks in my head, something

Jill: like that, but we will definitely, definitely look into that and keep on top of what will happen with that.

oh, you know, one thing I forgot to mention from our book club discussion, I wanna know what kind of plant the listeners would be. So Alison is a HRAA. I am round and fluffy put club. Claire is a Cy. I am a butternut squash so you listeners, what would you be if you could be a plant and have you ever thought of this?

Cause this was just kind of a surreal way to end a discussion. I will say I

Alison: bring the surreal and if you wanna bring the surreal back to us, please email us at flame alive. Pod, Caller text us at 2 0 8 3 5 2 6 3 4 8. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it, you can hit us up on social at flame alive pod, or find the conversation in the, keep the flame alive podcast group on Facebook.

Jill: Hey, next week, we are going to talk pair of power lifting with Paralympic bronze medalist, Louise. Sugden so excited. She was so much fun to talk to, and I We cannot wait to bring you this conversation. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.