We are so excited to have Dick Pound on today’s episode. Dick is one of the most influential people in the Olympic Movement–and maybe the most influential member of the International Olympic Committee who never became president. Dick served as an IOC member for 44 years, and at the beginning of 2023 became an honorary member due to age limits.
This is the first part of our interview with Dick, in which we talk about his Olympic experiences, why he got involved with the Olympic Movement, and how he evaluated a bid (when host cities were still selected in a competition-style format). It’s fantastic to hear his insight into some of the history of the Games.
In our look at Seoul, Jill finds a detail from this book:
That sends her down the rabbit hole of looking at Seoul City, the Olympic Village. What was the salad bar called? What did you get if your birthday fell during the Games? What was that final event all about? How much do we miss the sexism of the 1980s?
In our visit to TKFLASTAN, we have news from:
- Shooter Kim Rhode
- Sled hockey player-turned commentator Taylor Lipsett. Hear him commentate a sled hockey exhibition on January 23.
We have an update on the Kamila Valieva Beijing 2022 doping situation, which really isn’t an update because the Russian Anti-Doping Agency proclamation is exactly what we expected. Now on to a World Anti-Doping Agency appeal.
In news from Paris 2024, hospitality packages have gone on sale. These include guaranteed tickets and a number of other experiences. Some packages are supposed to start below 100 Euros, but those may be few and far between.
There’s also some concern about climate change affecting an Athletes’ Village that is planned to have no air conditioning, due to the organizing committee’s commitment to have a carbon neutral games. How will this play out as construction goes on?
We also have broadcast rights updates for future Games for both the Olympics and Paralympics. European and Asian listeners – here’s how you’ll watch them!
Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
Photo: IOC Media
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 Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.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 270-Dick Pound on the Olympic Movement – Pt 1
[00:00:00] 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 to as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown.
Alison. Hello. How are you?
[00:00:47] Alison: I’m fine, but nobody wants to hear from us today. We should just get to the interview. . .
[00:00:52] Jill: That’s right, because today.
Dick Pounds here.
[00:00:56] Alison: I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know what voodoo magic we did behind the scenes. Clearly he had not listened cuz he did not know what he was in for . But what a gentleman, what a fantastic interview this was. We had way too much fun.
[00:01:14] Jill: yes, yes . So kind, so polite. So very generous with this time. So it is so generous that we have a two-part interview.
Dick Pound Interview
[00:01:21] Jill: So if you are not familiar with Dick Pound, Dick is an Olympic swimmer who competed at Rome 1960.
After his swimming career ended, he became a lawyer and worked his way up the ranks of the Canadian Olympic Committee, and in 1978 became a member of the International Olympic Committee, and in 1987 he was elected as a vice president. Of the I O C. The work he has done with the I O C in his 44 years there has been tremendous and incredibly influential on the Olympic movement.
He’s negotiated sponsorships. He worked on developing the top sponsorship program that we talked about with Michael Payne. He set up how the I O C negotiated broadcast rights. He was the first chair of the world Anti-Doping Agency and led the commission investigating the 1999 Olympic bribery scandal.
He was in the running for president, but lost out to a Jacque Rogue, probably, he’s probably the most influential person in the Olympic movement who has now become president. We talked with him in mid-December 2022, and at the end of the year he, after his 44 years of IOC membership, he hit the 80 year old age limit and has moved up to to the title of honorary member.
We love Dick for his candor and outspokenness, and he did go a little rogue with us.
[00:02:37] Alison: So excited to share this with every.
[00:02:39] Jill: This is part one of our two-part interview. Today we talk about his involvement with the Olympic movement and on Olympic bids from the perspective of being part of a bidder and also as evaluating a bid as an I O C member.
Take a listen.
Dick Pound, thank you so much for joining us. you’ve had an incredibly long career connected with the Olympic movement. let’s start a little bit about your memories of being an athlete at the games. You were at Rome 1960 as a swimmer,
[00:03:10] Dick Pound: thanks for remembering all that way back,
[00:03:13] Jill: As a swimmer, when did you realize that the Olympics were a possibility for you as an athlete?
[00:03:20] Dick Pound: it kind of creeps up on you, it, especially in, in swimming where you’re, you’re, you tend to start very young. And, and, and actually it was even more striking for the, the females because you, you would be talking about a 14 year old veteran of international competition I was 18 when I, at, at the Olympics.
In those days there wasn’t much money in any of the sports systems. So basically when you finished university, you were finished uh, high level competition because you had to get out and get a job. but anyway, my, uh, it was my first time ever in Europe. And we had a, an Air Canada, it was called, still called Trans Canada Airlines at the time.
Hired a jet from left from Montreal and flew overnight to Rome and, and that was pretty exciting. And you come down through the clouds and you say, oh my God, there is a Vatican. You know, There, there, there is a forum. It’s not, not like all of the books you’d seen. So that was, it was very exciting.
No particular expectations. I’d been in the Pan-American Games in Chicago the year before. and was horrible. And so I didn’t have any any great expectations. But all of a sudden in the heats I I of the a hundred free, which is my event, I, I get to the semi-finals and say, wow, that’s pretty swell.
And then in the semi-final, I, I got in, in, into the final and uh, never, never expected to get that far. And uh, it wasn’t a, a perfect swim by any means. And, and if you get something wrong and a sprint, you’re kind of toast. everything’s really gotta work in order for you to succeed.
But anyway, so I, I came sixth and, and we had a, a relay team four [00:05:00] by 100 medley relay in which we came fourth. So the close, but no cigar. But it was a very exciting time. And, and Italy was, , uh, hopelessly organized, but but fun nevertheless. And so we, for, for the first time, you actually see some other sports.
You tend to be in, in kind of a little silo or bubble in your own sport. And so, you know, you know who the swimmers are, but I didn’t know the track and field folks or basketball or boxers or anything like that. And luckily the swimming was in the first week. So basically in the second week, I was able to go and see all kinds of events.
The, the, the track and field competitions were fantastic. Cassius Clay won the, the light heavyweight boxing. And, and so that was a, a, a real eye-opener. Uh, The other thing was this was in really at the nadier of the, of the Cold War. And, and, everything was pretty two-dimensional. the view we got in North America about the Soviets.
Was about as mechanical and, and contrived as you could imagine. I’m sure it was the same way from them. But all of a sudden these pe these are, are people and, and they were nervous. The same as we were, and I know a couple of ’em before the events would go into the bathroom and throw up, they were so nervous.
So they became people you couldn’t, talk to them. Both as a matter of language and, and also they were not mixers at all. But uh, that was kind of a, an eyeopener for me. And, and they sort of became people rather than objects or, or caricatures.
[00:06:36] Jill: What was the village like at Rome?
Because I went to Rome a few years ago and wandered around some of the Olympic venues there, and, and the village was one of the places I saw, and it’s kind of a cool little complex. what was it like for you? ?
[00:06:51] Dick Pound: Well, it was basically brand new. And, and I remember one of the uh, unusual features about it, it was basically as if it was on stilts.
And so there was parking and so on at ground level where, where in those days it’s not to keep the snow away, it’s, it’s to keep your, your car from turning into an oven because of the uh, heat. So it was good. We had uh, we had sort of basic apartments. When one bed I shared the eight bedroom with one of the, the other swimmers and, and basically um, it was kind of fun.
And, and, and you’re eating in, in the uh, big cafeteria. And I can remember we walked in and, and sort of one of the tables on the way up to where you filled up your tray was the French team. And there they were all having glasses of wine. , and that was, OMG, what on earth? how can you be drinking in, in the Olympic village?
And so there were things like that. I remember there was a little gymnasium where, you could fool around and play basketball. And I, I had long arms, not much of a jumper, but I could touch the rim uh, which is, I guess 10 feet or so. Anyway, one of the Soviet high jumpers fellow called Valerie Brel came in and he looked at us tipping the uh, thing with our hands.
He backed up five, six yards, took a couple of steps, jumped and kicked the rim, and, and then was, was able, you know, there’s a floor, there are no, no cushions the way that the jumpers have now. And then he was able to control his. movement, so that he landed on his feet coming back. And I said, my goodness uh, you know, white men really can’t jump
[00:08:31] Alison: Of course. Thank goodness he didn’t get hurt doing that. That would’ve been rather problematic if he didn’t get hurt.
[00:08:39] Dick Pound: No, no, no. He, he didn’t, no. He was a, a very fine athlete and we saw Wilma Rudolph, who was the, the heroin and the uh, coming back from, I think she was one of 13 or so children, and she’d had polio as a youngster and came back and, 100 meters.
So there were a lot of really good feel good stories that, that, that came out of that. And it was generally a huge amount of fun.
[00:09:02] Alison: So you retire as an athlete, you go back to school, you come out. What brought you back into the Olympic movement?
[00:09:11] Dick Pound: two things, I guess. One is I, I think if you’ve drunk from a, well, it was dug by volunteers and others who are helping you kind of have a moral obligation to put back into that.
Well, at least as much as you took out. And, and so I started officiating at swimming meets. And I was, I was going to be a, a chartered accountant CPA now. And, I became the treasurer of the Quebec section of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association. And I was carried on doing that for quite a while.
And then one day at the, at the sports club where I ate lunch for almost every day of the years I was in college, was also the place where the Canadian Olympic Committee mafia. Had lunch. And, and I remember one day somebody came over and he said young pound, I, I was, I was young pound. And I said yes sir.
Which is [00:10:00] what you said in those days, said, you’re a chartered accountant, are you? I said, yes, I am. He said, you’re gonna be a lawyer. I said, well, if I pass my bar exams next to April, whatever it was yes. And I some signal must have passed between him and the others at at the table. He said, how would you like to be the secretary of the Canadian Olympic Committee?
No, I’ve been college for about eight years now, so I really know what to say. Gee, , that would be swell. You know, What do I have to do? And he held up his hand. He said uh, you leave that to us young man. So in April, 1968 I became the secretary of the Canadian Olympic committee, and a year after that the president in 1968 was given a one year term for being a faithful secretary of every many years.
And then the following president lived in Vancouver 3000 miles away. And, and so I was basically running the, at this point age 27 running the, the National Olympic Committee a year or so after that, in 1970, Montreal wins the 1976 competition. So there I was the secretary of of the, the host National Olympic Committee uh, for the 1976 game.
So I was certainly in the right place at the right time on, on many occasions in, the whole Olympic experience.
[00:11:17] Alison: I wanna ask a quick question about Munich 72 since you were there, and that was one of those big decisions of the games will go on.
And what did you think at the time and what do you think now about that decision? Well,
[00:11:31] Dick Pound: Montreal, the games were, were always gonna go on. What had happened was that they fell behind and the city of Montreal fell behind in, in some of the construction projects, but, but it was post Munich where all of a sudden Olympic security was not just crowd control and, and, keeping the, the boys outta the girls section of the Olympic Village.
It was a capital S security. So the level of security in Montreal was much higher than. ever before, but, but not not obtrusive. And even though we got our, our financial situation in trouble was partly because there was a, a, a Quebec based minority government. And, and the rest of Canada thought that with Expo 67 Montreal had had, more than its share of, of federal and other support.
And so there was not much enthusiasm in government circles for a Montreal choice. And lo and behold, we won. And, and the, the mayor of Montreal at the time, John Drap, staged a, a brilliant campaign because we were against, up against two superstars, Los Angeles for this, this 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and then the Soviet Union.
and announced that it would like to be a, a candidate. And so Dau steered his way, I thought brilliantly through those particular shoals and basically said to the IOC members, listen, you don’t have to, get one of the superpowers mad at you. And, and, and the other not sure whether or not you voted for them.
Montreal’s a good, safe choice. It’s got all of the, the advantages of, the Eastern time zone in, in the States and, and all of these economic issues that, that were uh, factor. But, but you know, you didn’t have to make the ma the US mad at, you didn’t have to make the Soviet Union mad at you.
Nope. Nobody could really complain about Montreal. So it was a very, a very adroit campaign that he ran, and he was a very personable uh, I, I can remember, you when he came, bidding against, Toronto and Hamilton and Montreal were the three city sites. And, and he came in with a kind of a motley group of sort of the, the local sports stars.
And he said gentlemen, cuz we were all the only men on the board of directors of the, the National Olympic Committee in those days, you have two decisions to make. He said, the first is, do you want the games to come to Canada? He said, if you don’t care, then it doesn’t matter who you vote for. But if the answer to that first question is yes, your second question is who can get them?
And he said, I can get them. And here’s why. You know, he had, he’d finished second to Munich in for the 72 games. And, and he used expos 67 very carefully. He invited every I O C member with his uh, spouse or some other friend. to come as his guest at Expo 67. And he said an astonishing number.
The IOC members showed up and, and saw firsthand what Montreal could do and what a fabulous city it was. Anyway, that got everybody thinking about it. And I remember I was the secretary, so I, I was the scru for the , the votes. And the first round of voting, we had
36 people in the room. Toronto got 17 votes. Montreal got 17 votes, and Hamilton got two. And we thought, oh boy, we’re cooked. Um, but lo and behold, the two Hamilton votes [00:15:00] came to Montreal. . And so we snuck through with a majority of, of two out of the 36. And uh, it was a pretty exhilarating um, decision for us.
And then when we actually won even more. So
[00:15:14] Alison: what did that teach you about evaluating bids? Because then as an I O C member, you saw a lot of bids over a lot of years.
[00:15:25] Dick Pound: Well, as a, as an I, ooc, I mean, I, I was in the Montreal thing, I was very partisan of course, and so forth. But when you’re an IOC member, so question number one is, can these people do it?
it’s too big a puzzle to put together at the last minute. there’s a reason why you get six or seven years to organize the games. So can they do it? And there wasn’t much doubt about Montreal’s ability to do something like that. Well, no.
Nor to be fair either Moscow or Los Angeles, you wouldn’t have any doubt that they, they would mess up the organization. The flavor and the atmosphere might be different. And, and they all are different in every games, but you, you would not be worried about can they do it.
And so, that’s was, was number one for me. I mean, I remember when we were voting on the games for 2016 that were eventually won by Rio, their slogan was, it’s time for Rio. And and I kept saying, no, it’s not. There’s a reason. They’ve never had the games of this nature in their history.
they know football or soccer, but. not too much about many of the other sports and they’re not well organized, which proved to be the case. I mean, we, we, we were on the brink of catastrophic failure every single day during the Rio Games, and usually transportation takes a while to kick in.
And you got a lot of drivers that don’t know their way around the city very well, and they haven’t been, been trained for that. But this never got any better.
[00:16:57] Alison: what was happening inside the I O C during that 2016 games, because the press was certainly aware, but the sports were doing very well.
But what was that? Was there panicking? Was there finger pointing? What was happening?
[00:17:13] Dick Pound: Well, at that, at that point, you’re most concerned with making sure that the games are completed on time and, and, you know, you’d go to. on television. It looked pretty seamless, I’m pretty sure.
But you do like, oh, oh, it’s field hockey. Hmm. I thought it was gonna be volleyball. Well, it was supposed to be volleyball, but you know, the stadium lights were not working or something like that. And so they just plugged in a different sport and, the innocent television audience didn’t know, but on the ground it was just a mess from beginning to end.
So, It was a um, almost existential as we were going through that, are we gonna get outta here alive? And, and as you say, barely made it. the, the police were, were disorganized. The traffic control was not good. A lot of the stadia were not really ready for games of this nature.
anyway, we got out live and it’ll be a while before we were back in that part of the world.
[00:18:07] Jill: I will say this with a bias because I lived in Chicago at the time. who would you have preferred as a 2016
[00:18:14] Dick Pound: Ho? I thought Chicago was by far the best candidate and, and would’ve done a, a fabulous job.
The problem was they didn’t have a story. You know, why do you want the games? And it’s not enough to say, well, just cuz cuz We’ll, we’ll do them well, so, London had a story. Rio had a story, , that’s all it had. But, you know, it’s time for Rio. It’s, they’ve never been in. Latin America before and it, you know, it’s time.
It’s like, the chant of, of going to Africa one of these days and, and one of these days we will, but we’ll pick the time. And, and we’ll do now with the, the new method of selecting host cities we get a much better appreciation of, how the games will look and where they will be and, and are the facilities in a, each facility in a place where there’ll be after use.
And we had a, we had a problem with that in Tokyo because there used to be a kind of a, you know, the, the games should be in a fairly concentrated area. Well, Tokyo’s the largest city in the world already, and they were stuffing in a village and a, and, and a. A ruinously expensive stadium in, in a place where there was almost no room to move.
And, and so we’ll, that’s one of the reasons that we changed our own mantra. That, that you don’t have to be that uh, compact an overall site as, as used to be the flavor of the month.
[00:19:38] Alison: What host Citi surprised you the other way? the idea being it was much better than you were worried about.
Which host Citi surprised you by doing such a good job?
[00:19:51] Dick Pound: I would say probably the classic model would be Lillehammer and then, when we first changed the cycle of, of [00:20:00] games and then, you know, it’s a winter sport country, there’s almost as many medals as, as Germany in, in the winter games.
And they did a, a terrific job in, in so on Sydney did a a very good job. Los Angeles in 84 did a very good job. I remember that the media was filled with speculation, earnest speculation about how many Olympic athletes were going to die during the Olympic games because of the smog and the freeway system.
You know, It’s, gonna be a parking lot, eh, with sort of 5% less traffic because it was, in the middle of the summer they were fine. and, and all of these things that are conjured up in the media. It was like the, the Zika virus in Rio. it’s the wrong place and it’s the wrong time.
It was never going to be an issue. But that was, that was the story. , unlike what we did with Tokyo and, and Beijing where the story was right. It was, you know, the pandemic was a real issue and, and it was very well managed. with different styles as you would expect between Japan and, and Beijing.
But Beijing was sort of Jack boot type stuff. It was just, the, the zone may not have been much fun, but it was probably the safest place in the world during that period of time to, to avoid covid. And so, uh, those are things that, that we’ve learned and, and we’re much better at, at preparing them much better at, at, at preparing our own constituency uh, you know, the, the National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations.
in how to deal with something like a pandemic. , what are the measures you take? you know, And, basically not withstanding, you know, the no vaxxers vaccination helps if not for the immunity, it certainly minimizes the impact if you do get it. And so, we’re much better and much more adept at, at planning for what might go wrong.
And as in the Olympic Games, you don’t get a second chance. You know, You can’t say to you saying, you’re saying that was a fantastic a hundred meters, but would you mind doing again because our timing system didn’t work? You know, So you’ve got a whole bunch of redundancies that have to be built in for that sort of thing.
And then power, we have a, a separate power grid on standby so that in, in something like a 10th of a second, , if there’s a massive power failure, you’re up and running again at the, at the games. So, so it’s a, it’s, it, in many respects, there’s a certain amount of white knuckle concerns.
But it’s like a lot of things, if you think about what could go wrong you’re probably far more likely to, to have a solution than if you haven’t thought about it.
[00:22:37] Jill: Speaking of what could go wrong, let’s talk a little bit about Seoul, because Seoul is kind of an interesting games in that you had a dictatorship.
You, you’re coming off two games of boy or three games with boycotts. How, what were the kind of things that the I O C was thinking could go wrong and they wanted to prevent with those games?
[00:23:01] Dick Pound: I’d say. the, the organizational ability of, of the Koreans was, was fine. And, and they’d actually had a, a pretty good dress rehearsal two years earlier having hosted the, Asian games.
So they, they had a chance to, to try out everything. The, the concern was basically the D P R K, was it going to do something stupid where the war saw packed countries going to do another boycott because this is like a US client state in their mind. And, and basically was interesting. After Los Angeles, the entire Warsaw PAC countries said to the Soviet Union that we were not happy doing it uh, missing Los Angeles.
We are not gonna miss Seoul. Do you understand that? No matter what you say, we will be going to the the games. and, and eventually that got we sort of knew when, when the Soviet Union opened up a consulate in Seoul, the first formal relations that, it it had had since the Korean War.
And so that, that, that was a sign that they, were going to participate and that they would be using their political influence with the Chinese uh, with the uh, the D P R K to say, we don’t want you to reign on our parade here. And then as that was emerging, I mean, when, when the games were awarded back in 1981 D P R K was, was furious.
I said, it’s just, it’s not, it’s not the. Possible. It’s not proper, it’s not thinkable to have Olympic games on the Korean peninsula in, in the present search. We’re still at war. We’ve got a truce, but, but the Korean War is not over. And that’s, that was the, the, the mantra they had for a, a good couple of years, maybe even, maybe even more.
Then all of a sudden, as, as can happen in these dictatorships, there’s a, there’s a 180 just to spin the dime and all of a sudden, [00:25:00] not only was it a good idea to be on the Korean peninsula, but they, the games should be co-hosted. And uh, the, uh, d p R case said, now, we’ll, we’ll do track and field gymnastics and swimming, and you can have archery and team handball and stuff like that, and.
but, but it was at least a dialogue. And, and, the amazing part of it all was that, that I mean these issues in Korea, in real life are, are life and death issues leadership changes and all that can happen on a dime if you get that wrong. But Sam Ranch convinced the Koreans said, let’s do this as a dialogue with the two states on the Korean in Peninsula.
It’s an Olympic issue. We’re in charge of the Olympics. They have National Olympic committees. Let’s have the dialogue, at least on the face of it, appear to be an Olympic family discussion. and, and the uh, Koreans cross their fingers, I guess, and, and let ’em do it. And Sam Ranch did it, did an absolutely remarkable job.
And, and the deal was co-hosting is a, is a wonderful idea. We just have to find out what’s the best way to do it and what facilities are available and, and what schedules how difficult will it be to get in and out of North Korea and so forth. And Ken, will the South let the North Korean athletes come in?
And so there was never, we, we never said no. We kept the, the thing open and said, you know, we even until up to the time of the games, even during the games, if they wanted to do something at the very end. So there was no no excuse on, on their part that, that we were not taking them seriously. The, the so-called non-aligned countries.
you know, they’re aligned because they can call them non-aligned. And , they said, well, the IOC is, is taking seriously, the D P R K position. And there was enough time for, for them to, to realize that it was being taken seriously by the I ooc and also that the IOC was not nuts. you know, There were never going to be any games in North Korea, but that was not the script.
the, the meetings were, they, they bordered on, on kind of slapstick because the, the South Koreans would be, you know, as a normal sort of thing. The North Koreans came with a script written out, word for word, and they, they’re, they’re meeting delegates, read the speech exactly as it had been written in Pyongyang.
And then if there’s a question they’d all gather around and, and with, with the script, and it would take many minutes before they figured out what their answer was, and their answer was to reread part of the script that they’d already read . So there, there was no possibility for these people to have any flexibility at all.
but, but Samran, he did a, a really good job. And, and if you were talking with Bill Mellon, he may have mentioned that I, I’d written a, I said to Samran after, listen, this was such a remarkable experience that somebody should write it down before, you know, it’s just a statistic that in Seoul there were 147 national participating National Olympic committees, and they have no idea how close it, it came to, to not be the case.
. So anyways, it’s was called Five Rings Over Korea and it’s a little dry, but it’s, but it’s certainly uh, the story as it unfolded,
[00:28:26] Alison: With Seoul, when you were there, was there any concern once it was actually underway?
[00:28:34] Dick Pound: No, I, I Capital C concern? No. I mean, there’s always possibility that. could go wrong, with a, with a fire or a power failure or something like that. But no, I, I think we were pretty satisfied that with, with, China there and the Soviet Union there and, and, and all of the non-aligned countries.
The, the only one that was a, a significant minus was Cuba. Cuba didn’t go because North Korea think of this was supporting Cuba financially once the Soviets had pulled out. And so, uh, even though they tried to get Castro to relent on that I think keeping food on the table at home was a bigger issue for ’em.
And so that was, but, and, and North Korea was never going to come. I, I mean, I think they would be, Very worried about letting their countrymen see the difference between the north and the south. Even though the north is, I think, probably bigger population wise and territory wise than, than the South.
But the, the difference between the two systems would’ve been so evident that it would’ve been difficult to explain away
[00:29:42] Alison: what about North Korea now, because it’s still an issue.
[00:29:46] Dick Pound: It, it’s still an issue. And, and I mean, at the time it was uh, who was, who was kind of a veteran. I mean, he he was very much on, on, on the uh, dictatorship side of things, but he, he, he wasn’t somebody who would [00:30:00] suddenly do something crazy unlike the current leader.
And, and what we saw, we saw a little bit in, in, in pyeongchang in 2018 where they, where they marched together and so on, that you know, they, they didn’t figure out as quickly as the South Koreans did, that the, the cameras that the opening ceremonies get the right side of the team coming in rather than the, the other side.
And so South Korea got the uh, got the inside track, if you like, but that, and, and having the uh, the mixed hockey team was never gonna win anything uh, either, a joint or a separate team was never going to be a player in, in the sense of competing for medals. But, but at least that was good.
And, and they had some fairly attractive state representatives at the game. So it, it can work. And, and uh, I think it was the, she was the sister of Kim Jong that came, I, I forget who it was, but a, a very attractive woman and then some other senior uh, officials and, and, and They’re cheering squad.
[00:31:01] Jill: How do you think North Korea will act once they come off suspension at the end of this month?
[00:31:08] Dick Pound: not, I’m not sure they, they will come off because they’ve announced that they’re gonna boycott anyway. but we’ll see. they’re not heavy enough as a sporting, performing country as they are you know, a small p player in, in the, on the world scene.
So, we’ll see uh, you know, I hope for the, the benefit of their athletes that they do find a way to uh, rationalize coming. And, and it could, I mean, there’s, there’s an Olympic mythology that comes into play, which is that the na it’s the, it’s not the D P R K that is invited to the games, it’s the National Olympic Committee of the D P R K.
And, and that is at least in, in Olympic theory, a separate issue that is not tainted by the particular state.
[00:31:55] Alison: Boycotts in general. seem to come up a lot. So what is your feeling on the constant threat of boycott?
[00:32:03] Dick Pound: Well, we’d, we always said, it’s, it’s really a shame that the Olympics in the days when they were all in the same year, that the Olympics are in the year in which the US president is elected. And, in the old, duality you know, 50% of the world was gonna be mad at the United States, and 50% loved it.
And, and so, it was always a, a on the table. But I think the American public in the end would not I mean, they were already furious about the, the Mosca Boyk And, you we knew there was, there would be a retaliatory boycott at the time of Los Angeles, which there was uh, although, you know, we, we certainly did some work on that to minimize it.
We were saved in some respects by the fact that China showed up for the first time. And I think Romania and Yugoslavia both participated. So they couldn’t even hold the Warsaw back together. And that is one of the things that led to the ioc inserting itself into the, the process.
I mean, we’ve finally said, you know, governments really don’t care about the Olympics. For, for governments, it’s a, a chip to be played for whatever advantage there might be in it. But. , it, it doesn’t do anything to, to affect the event. You know, Don’t forget, when we went to Moscow, we were against the entire lobbying might of the United States on a Trump up there.
I mean, it was this, the intervention in Afghanistan was, was not a move to get at the Middle Eastern Oil at all. It was to prop up a, a puppet regime that shot itself in the foot. and so it was, it was a, a false premise that, that, just didn’t make any sense. But the, the US Olympic Committee put up enough struggle that it, it forced Carter to say that this was a matter, not, not just a matter of national interest, national security of the United States.
See, really, but then the in, at least in those days, the the feeling was if, if that’s what the president. knows and, and believes he’s the president, he knows more about it than we do. So you gotta trust in your president. I, I think it would be a much harder sell today than it would than it was at the time.
[00:34:17] Jill: Do you think that some of the boycott talk that comes up today, especially around Beijing there was a lot of talk. Do you think that’s partly due to journalists trumping the much like the Zika or much like the smog? Do you think that journalists try to bring up that topic more so than governments
[00:34:36] Dick Pound: do?
Yes. I mean, there, there weren’t very many governments talking about boycotting. There, there were lots of media and, and people there and, and, you understand it, the, a lot of the, the, you the human interests and human rights people. work very hard and very sincerely about problems that are, are more likely than not to be uh, real problems.
and they get nowhere with China. It’s just [00:35:00] nothing. It’s, it’s water off a duck’s back. And, and so they get frustrated and they look around for some kind of a magic bullet, the Olympics, cancel the Olympics and, and then are, are quite offended when you don’t do that. But uh, so yes, I, I I would say it was more, more immediate giving, giving an ear to the human rights groups who, who deserve a hearing, but they don’t deserve to be taken as, as the final arbitraries of whether or not something like the Olympic Games go on or don’t go on.
[00:35:31] Jill: Thank you so much, Dick. Next week we’ve got Dick Pound on
[00:35:35] Alison: doping.
I wasn’t sure he was gonna go there, but he absolutely goes there, which is fantastic.
[00:35:41] Jill: We are looking forward to sharing that one with you as well. Speaking of Canada and Montreal, 1976, our next book club is coming up soon. We are reading inaugural Ballers, the True Story of the first US Women’s Olympic basketball team by Andrew Marinis.
It was at Montreal, 1976 that women were finally allowed to compete in basketball. We will have our book club show in mid-March, but we’re also having a special free Zoom q and a with Andrew on Monday, March 27th from eight to 9:00 PM US Central Time. If you’re interested in coming to that, please email email@example.com and we will get information for.
For how you can log into that event. And if you plan on purchasing a copy of the book, please consider going through our bookshop.org site. The commissions we make on purchases through our site will go to cover the cost of the event so we can keep it free for everyone. That link is bookshop.org/shop/flame Alive Pod.
Also coming up, is our movie club. We’re
[00:36:41] Alison: gonna keep you busy while you’re stuck inside in the dark in the.
[00:36:45] Jill: That’s right. We’re watching JLo. JLo, the, the story of Watch it. We’re fr I really hope we’re pronouncing that right. I know. We’ll find out. But , Hey,
[00:36:55] Alison: I’ve been doing my French duo lingo. I believe it should be pronounced JLo.
[00:36:59] Jill: Well, this is the story of the French Show Jumping Horse Who Won Gold at Seoul 1988. If you watch it, let us know what you think. Hit us up on social at Flame Alive Pod and or in our Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook or email Flame Alive firstname.lastname@example.org. We may include your comments in a show.
Seoul 1988 History Moment
[00:37:18] Jill: That sound means it is time for our history moment and all year long we are looking at Seoul 1988 as it is the 35th anniversary of those games. we are getting a lot of Seoul in the beginning of the year.
I’m like, it’s
[00:37:37] Alison: exciting. I know and it’s fun because I don’t remember that much of Seoul, which is strange because I certainly watched it.
[00:37:46] Jill: I know. And it’s amazing how much a. Has an impression on you at the time and how much of the stories fade away from memory because it’s been so much fun talking with all of the veterans of the movement, let’s say, and hearing their stories.
Cuz boy, I’m learning a lot and very excited that y’all chose this one for us to be quite honest. But it’s your turn. So what have you got for. What do I got? So, listener Meredith sent me a wonderful book called Seoul 1988, A Guide to the 24th Olympiad. And as I flipped through it, I saw all of the services and technology that are happening for these games.
And then it also had some things about the Olympic Village that piqued my interest. So I thought it would be a good time to look into what the Olympic Village was like for the athletes and officials who were there. So, uh, found a wealth of information in the official report. And as you may recall, as we learned from Yvan Dubois, who was the mayor of the Montreal’s 1976 village, it was very important to have the right amenities and activities to promote international friendship and.
Yvan actually consulted with Seoul 1988 along with the mayor of the 84 LA 84 Village. And I, I think some, maybe some of the things he advised are reflected in what went on in the village. So the village itself, and we’re talking about the main village, which they called Seoul City, which, and not the four sub villages that were for athletes who had events stationed further out.
Uh, So this was 86 apartment buildings.
[00:39:20] Alison: That That’s a lot of buildings.
[00:39:22] Jill: 3,692 units held, 15,000 people. It’s like, so it really was a little city.
[00:39:28] Alison: It’s like co-op city in New
[00:39:29] Jill: York, . So originally it was scheduled to open on September 3rd, but on September one at 10:00 AM France showed up and they said, let us in banjo.
And they weren’t the only ones. Tori arrive early. They had an 193 people from 17 different n NOCs showed up that day, . So they had to check ’em all in two days early and get going. I gotta say that must have been so stressful to, to, hey uh, hello? The delegation from [00:40:00] Francis here Can we let them in? What we’re not opening? So those were the first people to arrive. The last delegations to check in were Burma and Libya. They checked in on September 20th. Yeah, way later. So Seoul City had two zones, the residential zone, which is where everybody lived, and a little fun tidbit from the official report where all of the apartment cleaning was done by female volunteers.
[00:40:26] Alison: Wow. We won’t even discuss that. Let’s move on.
[00:40:30] Jill: Okay. The international zone was where all the fun was. So big element of Seoul City. You can imagine the dining hall. Planning the food menu was like planning the biggest wedding banquet. They started designing the menus in December, 1986. They had a big tasting on September 17th, 1987 at the gymnastics hall inside Olympic Park. 1000 people were there for the tasting, including Juan Antonio Samran. Well, right. Cuz you
[00:40:58] Alison: to get international taste buds
[00:41:01] Jill: there. Right? Right. And those international taste buds were kind of lukewarm on the menu.
Oh no. Yeah, I think that the Korean people liked it. The Western people did not like it so much, so they had to revamp the menu, and they reworked it to a five day cycle that ended up being mostly Western style dishes, which is, I think for the times, that makes a lot more sense.
But, you know, it’s, it was, I felt kind of bad that they tried to have some Korean influence. They had a little bit of Korean influence, but it, it was really a Western style menu. Every day they served a minimum of 6,000 calories. And some of that could be taken in at the Hori Salad bar.
[00:41:38] Alison: Hori makes your salad.
Oh, please tell me there was somebody dressed up as Hori making your salad.
[00:41:44] Jill: I don’t know , but it was funny to see, like, they had all the menus listed out and it would be like, Hori salad bar. I’m like, really? ? They named it after Hori. Okay. He likes his salads. A point of pride for the organizers.
Seoul served 266 different kinds of food. 39 more than LA 80. So there’s a lot of typical services in the village. You had your bank, your post office, your beauty salon. The medical center had Western medical services, Korean herbal medicine, and for the first time, Elly in Olympic history, acupuncture. Nice, not so popular, was the ham radio office, which was used to transmit Olympic news.
and the, can you imagine? That was the thing that jumped out at me, like ham radio office. Who would use that? That would be a hundred people. , which I believe was 97 more than went to the Esperanto lecture at Montreal, 1976.
[00:42:42] Alison: Do you realize that probably we have three listeners who even know what a ham radio is.
because that’s so antiquated now because of the internet. I know. Well,
[00:42:51] Jill: it still exists though. I know. I mean, there are still ham radio operators, but yeah, , that was a fun little thing that they had there. I don’t, I mean, and obviously not many people knew how to use it back then either. They were too busy going to the 100 store shopping mall, the disco tech, your ever popular disco tech.
You gotta have a disco tech, right? They had a music and tea room where you could play chess and Japanese go they had a video game room, a billiards room table, tennis room, movie room, Korea exhibition room, and an atelier where artists would draw your portrait Fancy. The religious center served six religions.
They covered Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Greek, Orthodox Islam, and Judaism. And then the gym also a very, very popular place. They had weights, of course, they also had a swimming pool and a sauna in case you needed to drop your weight for your weight Class events. Yeah,
[00:43:48] Alison: because you spent too much time in the dining hall with the 266 dishes, right?
[00:43:52] Jill: athletes could go on outings. They had lots of factory tours. They had a folk village tour. The organizers did try a home visit program where you could go and, and. Stay with, the regular citizens as a way to promote friendship. That bombed on both sides of the equation because there weren’t enough volunteer families and only 45 participants from the athlete side.
But I think one of the big things here was meal prep. And when you’re an athlete you gotta be really consistent with your food right up until your event. So that was just the stuff to do. Village Mayor Kim Young Sheik, and the organizers also planned tons of events. there was a flag raising ceremony for every N O C.
Not necessarily the day they arrived, but they had one. So they hoisted the flag. They had the anthem. There were lots of greetings, a little presentation of gifts. If you were one of the 21 countries that had a national holiday for your country while the gains were happening, your delegation, got a congratulatory garland, and then they did this also for China’s national Foundation.
If your [00:45:00] birthday fell during the Olympics, and we saw this in Beijing, you got a party at the Discotech with cake and some small souvenir gifts. They had 756 birthday parties.
[00:45:11] Alison: That’s a lot of trips to the sauna to burn off the cake ,
[00:45:15] Jill: and then they had a traditional wedding ceremony. to show what that was like in Korea.
they also had a village arts festival with a whole bunch of performances, including programs pertinent to each continent.
This is where it gets. For example, African Night included a laser beam display in Senegalese folk dancing on European Night. Athletes from Europe sang a song called Bonus. Bonus. Bonus. Was
[00:45:43] Alison: that the winner of the Eurovision
[00:45:44] Jill: contest that year? You know, I don’t know, but it would be a bonus if any listeners knew what that song was.
could tell us. And then on American. 14 California models staged a show called With California. And then of course there was a big Korean night to celebrate Chuuk, which is an autumn harvest festival. And that celebration of course, included some K-pop. The group love machine performed. Did they
[00:46:11] Alison: perform bonus, bonus, bonus?
[00:46:13] Jill: I wish. There was also a swinging contest. Okay. That sounds, get your mind outta the gutter, Alison. Okay. This is like playground swings. Oh, thank goodness. And this is apparently a traditional Korean game where you get these swings that are on really, I guess they’re really tall. And you stand up on the board and you see how high you can go.
So they had singles and then they had mixed doubles where you put two people on the swing.
[00:46:39] Alison: We are entering that contest and we are winning.
[00:46:44] Jill: Canada won singles. Turkey won mixed doubles, and Kodak donated the prizes, but maybe the most unusual event. At the Olympic Village took place on the night before the closing ceremony where, you know, athletes from all over the world had gotten the chance to interact with each other and make new friends.
So what better way to close out the games than with the Miss Olympic Village
[00:47:06] Alison: pageant , ah, the sexism of the
[00:47:09] Jill: eighties , the Village Mayor, and 300 other athletes and officials enjoyed the three part program. Where contestants were judged on jogging suit, uniform, and native costume.
[00:47:21] Alison: Who won? Please tell me Who
[00:47:24] Jill: won.
The Grand Prize winner was Teresa fga, a rhythmic nest from Poland.
The Gold Prize went to Chen Yon, who is a TaeKwonDo competitor from Chinese. Silver went to fencer. Sylvia Cowane from Indonesia, bronze went to park Si of Korea, artistic gymnast Revital. Sharon won the popularity prize and the good health prize. Went to Juliana Yen Dork, a long jumper from. So the whirlwind of fun had to end at some point.
The village closed four on October 6th, four days after the closing ceremonies. And somewhere out there there’s a documentary because the official report said Cruz made films and videos about daily life in the VI in the village. So somewhere, We could see all of this happening, and hopefully one day we will.
[00:48:21] Alison: Welcome to Shk
[00:48:30] Jill: fk. That sound means it is time to check in with our team. Keep the flame alive. These are past guests of the show who make up our citizenship. Our very own country shook Stan. First up we have some results. Yeah, so
[00:48:45] Alison: Kim Roddy won gold in women’s skit at the first I S S F World Cup competition of the season in Morocco.
Kim was also elected as one of four vice presidents to the I S S F executive committee
[00:48:58] Jill: And former sled hockey player, Taylor Lipsit will be doing color commentary for the Hangar Live Sled Hockey Classic, which will feature an ex exhibition of team U s A versus team u s a and those teens will include members of the US.
Men’s and women’s development teams. So we get to see some ladies doing some sled hockey, which will be exciting. This will take place on Monday, January 23rd at 6:45 PM Central Time on uh, hangar News’ YouTube channel. That’s youtube.com/hangar news and we’ll have a link to that in the show notes.
Beijing 2022 Update
[00:49:31] Jill: Oh, we have a little bit of a a technical update to the Camilla Valley Ava situation from Beijing 2022. Shocking update. The Russian anti-doping agency Rous finds Camilla Valier had no fault or negligence in her doping situation. She will not be [00:50:00] penalized.
Not a surprise, surprise, . Basically this is
[00:50:03] Alison: just kicking the can to wa cuz we knew Rosa was going to be Camila did nothing wrong. Cheese Queen
[00:50:11] Jill: Waa is. Concerned about that. They, they are not happy with the results of this finding, and They’re going to appeal to the court of arbitration for sport.
Meanwhile, we are close to the one year anniversary of this situation, and we’ve got three teams with no medals.
Paris 2024 Update
[00:50:26] Jill: Hospitality packages are now available for sale of four Paris 2024. I, I think we can find more ways to become more confusing about what’s going on with the ticket sales. And congratulations, Paris 2024. You’re doing it right? If you wanna do that. So tickets are not on sale. They’re still the ticket lottery.
That’s for individual tickets, which I’ve did my application last night. Oh,
[00:50:55] Alison: how’d it go? It was simple. Oh good. Yeah.
[00:50:58] Jill: Except for they ask you what your favorite sports are and you can only choose so many. that was the hardest part was choosing my favorite sports.
[00:51:06] Alison: What are your favorite sports at the Olympics?
[00:51:11] Jill: So, but they have hospitality packages, which include tickets to events they can include. Fun activities, hotel and flights. They can kind of include what you want them to include for price of course. So, Paris 2024 has partnered with on location for the packages, you get the guaranteed tickets to sport sessions.
Right now these are only for events in Paris, so they don’t have sailing, shooting, or surfing as an option. They also don’t have opening and closing ceremonies yet. I kind of dug into this process today, and it seems complicated to figure out what’s included. the I O C was touting that there are packages that start below a hundred euros.
but of course it’s hard to figure out what it is cuz you really have to go in through what sport do I want to see and then you find out what’s available and for what price it is. So I clicked on three x three basketball and they had four pool games for $295. And that includes access to a ho hospitality suite and a gift.
So that’s the kind of thing you’re looking at. There are cheaper ones. There are obviously way more expensive ones and there are different levels of hospitality packages you could get along with your tickets. So we’ll have a link to all of those. Where you go in the show notes, it’s Olympics dot on location, ex p.
Dot com slash Paris 2024.
[00:52:36] Alison: And don’t be shocked when you see some of these costs, because someone had posted the cost for the team gym gymnast, women’s gymnastics final in these hospitality packages. I believe the nosebleed seats were starting at 1500 euros. Wow. So these packages are no joke in terms of cost, but you’re guaranteed the ticket.
and that’s part of what you’re paying for. You’re not going through the lottery and just taking a
[00:53:04] Jill: chance. Right. And, and I’ve seen on the Paris 2024 planning group that some people have taken that option because they do want the guaranteed ticket. So, you know, check it out if you wanna make sure you get what you want to go to.
And you weigh the cost benefit analysis your. Also a little update from the Japan Times. They have reported that there’s concern over the fact that the Athletes Village, speaking of Athletes Villages today the athletes village is not gonna have air conditioning because Paris 2024 wants to be carbon neutral.
And air conditioning is not very carbon neutral. The. Celio, which is the construction company involved here, say, says they’re building rooms that will be six degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Unfortunately, last summer they had a big heat wave and temperatures got up to like 40 degrees Celsius, which is 104 Fahrenheit or so.
And so if you think about rooms that are six degrees cooler than. They’re still really, really hot . Sotio says they can add in air conditioning, air conditioning in if it’s wanted, but that will obviously affect the carbon footprint of the games.
So Paris 2024 is looking into the option, including using four fans to.
[00:54:22] Alison: Okay. Have you ever lived in an apartment without air
[00:54:24] Jill: conditioning? You have Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. In a dorm? Yeah. Yeah. In a dorm,
[00:54:27] Alison: you can’t sleep. Mm-hmm. when it’s 90 degrees, and that’s fine if all you have to do is go to your air conditioned office the next day and you’re a little tired. But if you’re competing in the most important day of your life, Come on.
[00:54:44] Jill: Right. So, right now we don’t really know what’s going on, but apparently the Japan Times reported that some sports federations are looking into other accommodations so that their athletes can have.
Air conditioning and be at a reasonable [00:55:00] temperature overnight. I think
[00:55:01] Alison: it’s really funny that this is being reported by the Japan Times. Given how much before Covid, , all the talk in Tokyo was about what temperature it’s going to be. I feel like Tokyo is saying, see, it’s not us, it’s you people.
International Olympic Committee News
[00:55:16] Jill: So we’ve got a little bit of I Ooc News, and that’s aimed for our listeners here in Europe. We’ve got a new broadcast deal for four games from 2026 through 2032. I O C has signed rights with. The European Broadcast Union and Warner Brothers discovery, it sounds like it’s gonna be what you’ve had before where your public service broadcasters will get 200 or so hours of free to air coverage for the summer games and at least 100 hours for winter games coverage.
And that will be on stations like the BBC and your country’s public service channels. That will also include tv, radio, live streams, and digital reporting that covers the 49 countries who are part of the E B U discovery will provide the rest of the coverage, which is the bulk of the coverage.
And I, I believe that’s pay access for that. This does not include Russia and Belarus because those countries have been suspended from the E B U. So Russian broadcaster Match TV is now trying to negotiate its own rights for 2026 and 2028 according to inside the games.
International Paralympic Committee News
[00:56:33] Jill: We have some good news for listeners who are in Southeast Asia. If you get rodent sport, they now have the broadcast rights for the Paris 2024 Paralympics, and it will bring them to 13 countries. That’s twice as many countries has got the Paralympics in Tokyo. So that’s exciting. We
[00:56:57] Alison: want more Paralympic
[00:56:57] Jill: coverage.
That’s right. And the Paralympics is thrilled about that. And that is also news from inside the games. We would like to give a special shout out to our patrons. We have posted a debrief of our interview with Michael Payne. We’ll have some Dick Pound content of course, and we’re working on our February show with rule changes that will impact Paris 2024. Find out how to support the show and get access to these email@example.com slash support. That will do it for, for this week.
Let us know your favorite Mo Dick pound moments from his time with the I O C. I would love to hear what you guys have to, what your thoughts on Dick Pound are. And
[00:57:34] Alison: you can 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 podcast. You can sign firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:58:01] Jill: Next week, part two, dick pound going rogue on doping. Be there, . That’s, you will not wanna miss it.
So thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive.