Shannon Galea, skeleton athlete and founder of the Malta Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. Photo courtesy of Shannon Galea.

Episode 243: How Do You Start a Governing Body?

Release Date: July 1, 2022

We talk a lot about more nations getting involved with sports, or smaller nations having more presence at an Olympics or Paralympics. For a nation to be at the Games, they need to have a national governing body in the sport – but what does it take to start one? On this episode we’re talking with skeleton athlete Shannon Galea, who has dual citizenship with Canada and Malta, and who founded the Maltese Bobsled and Skeleton Federation with hopes of qualifying for the Olympics

Follow Shannon on Insta, and you’ll be able to find her federation’s website through Malta’s National Olympic Committee once it’s finalized.

In our Albertville 1992 history moment, Alison found a competitor who went on to have some notoriety in life. What sport are we talking about? Oh, yeah, the demonstration sport of speed skiing:

A lot’s been happening in TKFLASTAN too. We’ve got updates from:

The Modern Penthathlonovela has an update too – and this is getting to be a very slick TV production, as the UIPM (modern pentathlon’s international federation) tested Ninja obstacle racing using actual sets from Sasuke/Ninja Warrior shows.

We also have updates from Paris 2024, including the launch of its Cultural Olympiad, and lots of news on Milan-Cortina 2026, namely budget woes (who’s surprised at this?) and the announcement of the sports program….which does have more equality for women, but not for our very own Annika Malacinski.

Finally, Spain’s out of the running for hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics, and the USOPC gives reasons why Salt Lake City might also not be selected to host those Games, even though they are ready and willing for whenever the IOC needs them.

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

Photo courtesy of Shannon Galea.


Note: This is a 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 Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.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: [00:00:00] Hello, fans of TKFLASTAN, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast, for 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: Hello? I am no, so yeah. So when we’re talking about today’s guests, we’re gonna talk about Malta and I know somebody else from mal.

Who was my sewing teacher. When I tried to learn how to sew as an adult, I, I failed miserably. Let’s just, I’ve got a bag and half a skirt, but anytime anyone mentions Malta in my head, I hear her saying no, no, no, not seem allowance. You, you did not measure for the seem allowance.

So thankfully our, guest today was so incredibly lovely and has wiped out my Maltra

Jill: That’s good. All right. Well, why don’t we just get right to it . We talk a lot about getting more nations involved with sports and how the IOC wants to get more nations involved with sports and especially smaller nations or nations in regions that particularly don’t have a sports culture at the Olympics or Paralympics.

So for a nation to be at the games, they need to have a national governing body in the sport. But what does it take to start one? Today. We are talking with a skeleton athlete, Shannon Galea, who has dual citizenship with Canada and Malta, and who founded the Maltese Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation with hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.

Take a listen.

Shannon. Thank you so much for joining us. We met you in Beijing at the Paralympics, but you almost were there for the Olympics as an athlete. Tell us a little bit about how that came about.

Shannon Galea: Yes. It’s quite interesting. So I, this year I was I was an Olympic hopeful in the sport of skeleton and it all started about four years ago when I started to look at the sport and think about, is it possible for me to qualify it?

And what does it take to, to get there? And as a dual citizen um, Canadian and Maltese. I wanted to know what it would take to consider doing it for my second nation, because they don’t have the sport. They don’t have a winter sport culture. And so I looked further into things and connected with the malts Olympic committee to see if there was any sort of club that had winter sport or had skeleton and bobsleigh, and they, they responded with, we’ve never had anyone do the. . And so while I was here in Canada I connected with a lot of sliders and bobsledders in the community here and asked, how does a country go about doing something like this? And, and what are the steps. and I had done like talent ID camps here in Canada and considered the Canadian pathway, but I was so far long gone that journey because I was playing professionally in softball and that’s where I put my focus and I was getting to an age where, in the Canadian system I wouldn’t have been looked at.

And so I, I kind of wanted to go about it a unique way and. show people, you know what it’s like to start a sport and to still compete in sport at a high level, regardless of your age and, and where you’re at in your journey. And just how you can develop a sport and develop as an athlete at any stage.

And so a lot of people in the sliding community directed me towards small nations and they said, well, your second nation. It’s considered a small nation. There’s lots of programming available through the international Federation, which is the IBS F and, you might be able to find some opportunities there.

So after connecting with the IBS F as well as the Maltese Olympic Committee, you know, I got some ideas as to, how this could come about and what are those necessary steps to go, forward with. And after great deal of discussions with the Maltese Olympic Committee, they trusted me with a lot of the intentions I had because I had done a lot of work in softball previously by bringing international coaches to the community, developing the sport representing the nation through the European cups in that sport.

So, you know, I kind of had the upper hand in the sense that, you know, I’ve done it before. Why can’t she do it again And so I took some time to look at what was needed to start something [00:05:00] within Malta first, because in order for an international federation to, essentially establish you, you have to be established in the nation first as a club or as a, as a sport organization And so that took a lot of back and forth and connecting with people in that sport community as to how those things work. And so I kept getting turned around a lot because at one point I needed a Malteses lawyer to notarize the policies and, and to obviously push it through the system to become an official club under the Maltese Olympic Committee.

And then what I did is I started to look at. You know, What do we do here in Canada? And since I worked for the Canadian Olympic Committee, it’s been the past four years that I’ve been working for the co C. And I’ve learned from a lot of sport leaders that I’m surrounded by each day who are just inspiring and so, helpful in learning and, and growing. And you know, it was kind of a great way for me to understand and adopt a lot of the structures that we have here and sort of find a way to implement it and share with another nation. And so I like, I started looking at some of our best national sport organizations here in Canada and how they’re organized and what policies are in place. What are some key initiatives that you need to consider when you’re starting an organization? And policies and, starting an organization on, on its own is one thing. The other step I had to, really get over was can I see myself going down a sheet of ice at 140 kilometers?

So that took at least a good year to really assess and to, really thoroughly think about


Shannon Galea: I’m an older athlete. , I’m in my thirties, there’s a lot of different priorities that come at this age like career and family. And, I kind of had my sport experience with softball, but this was more so to see what I could do to start something for a small nation who’s looking to get exposure in winter sport. Like our, our friends of the Jamaican bobsled team who, similarly did the same thing. And now their program has, blossom. so I kind of just wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side and to see what could come of it. And partly because I was very well connected to a lot of Maltese athletes in different countries that I had competed in for softballs.

So, back in the 1970s and eighties, a lot of Maltese citizens fled the country because of the government being UNS settle. And so a lot of citizens either immigrated to Australia or moved to Canada. And a lot of my family members split and went to, I have half my family in Australia and some of my family in Canada and there’s pockets of Maltesers everywhere.

So there’s definitely. Like a really cool recruitment strategy that could come of this eventually. So that was, kind of the first steps that I took was, there’s the policy and, and the, establishing side to the story, but there was also the, work on the ground physically, where I had to the training part like going to the gym and, and keeping fit that stuff was relatively easy for me because I’m a PhysEd teacher.

I’d always maintained my fitness after I retired from softball, it’s always been a big part of my life. And I like to coin it as training for life. I don’t think I’ll ever give up my fitness, but obviously when you’re looking at a sport like this, it becomes very specific again. So your training does transition to a little bit of a different level.

But once I had moved back to Canada, I started to take some trips to Whistler, took a trip to Calgary to go to the ice house to learn, what does this even look like? Because when I had done the ID camps here in Canada, the biggest flaw I wanted to share with some of the, the Canadian NSO here in Canada, the Bobsleigh and Skeleton Canada was, you know, you go to these ID camps and they give you a squat test.

They do your sprint test. They do all these fitness. But there’s no true attachment to the sport. There’s no culture. So as an outsider, I thought, well, I can put up these numbers and get a coach and, bring my numbers down for whatever level you need them to be at. But I don’t even know if I could physically see myself go down a sheet of ice.

Like there’s there was that element missing. And the accessibility to the sport is, extremely challenging. Especially even as a Canadian athlete. All of our athletes in the sport tend to live in the west coast. Anybody from Ontario and Quebec will have to eventually relocate because the access to the facilities are out west. So athletes who, are born, raised in Calgary, have the ice house, they have the exposure to the sport. They can easily train and, see themselves at a much earlier age. Try the sport and typically the way they recruit in this sport in Canada is it’s called a second generation sport.

So athletes who retire from collegiate sports and don’t pursue the professional route often go into[00:10:00] doing these ID camps, cuz it’s their last shot at maybe considering their Olympic dream. And for me it was just a. I was ready to leave softball. I had my fun, I, played to the highest level that I, I played and played here nationally in Canada.

And I was just happy with my journey. And we were outta the Olympics up until Tokyo, even up until 20 17, 20 18, we weren’t in the Olympics. So my Olympic dream shifted immensely at an earlier time in my life because I knew that playing internationally was gonna give me that fix and. It was gonna give me a much more, I’d say in a lot of my teammates who played on team Canada, they sometimes would say, Shannon, you did it right.

You went overseas and you lived in different cultures. You learned the languages, you grew the sport, you got to develop it. And so I learned a lot through all that experience about sport development, sports structures in different countries. How they funnel their pathways from the school system to the collegiate system, to their national team programs.

And I got to, experience that in all the different nations I played in, but then always reflected back to how awesome Canada has it in, in some of the structures that we have here and the programs that we, implement. You know, we’re not perfect. There’s so many things that we’re still continuously working on as a nation.

And so are many other countries. There’s always a new initiative or a new way to look at sport from holistic perspectives. And I think that’s what continuously, lights my fire. And so that’s, that’s where my Olympic dream kind of put on pause. You know, I always would tell those girls, just you wait, you guys are gonna be wearing the maple leaf in the Olympics.

And you guys are the true athletes who, held onto the dream in a much more unique way. I just decided my Olympics were gonna be a little bit different and that’s kind of how I framed it.

Alison: So why skeleton, as opposed to all the other Olympic sports, I mean, there was a snowboarder from all, so there was an Alpine skier, so there’s lots of individuals yeah.

Could have chosen.

Shannon Galea: It’s so funny. So the girl Janice the snowboarder, she is from California. She started her journey eight years ago. It’s funny, you know, looking at those sports and, and then there’s Elise, who’s the skier I spoke with her. It’s a very small winter sport community on the Maltese side, as you can see.

And for me, it was just where I was in my life. There was an easy transfer of skills for me to go into skeleton. I was a pitcher in softball. So the mental components of focus and just putting yourself in this state of mind I knew I had and I knew I could bring that to the track.

I pick things up easy. I know how things should feel like biomechanically I’m quite sound. The only thing that was gonna be a challenge for me was the sprint at the start. And that’s a big component to the sport. Um, Sprinting bent over is like the most awkward thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ll never forget my first ice house session.

and I still have the videos and they haunt me a little bit, cuz they, I looked like Bambi on ice. Cuz you have these little spikes on, you know, your cleats with spikes and you’re pushing this heavy sled for the first time. Your core in your body is just so out of, sink because you’re just running on ice for the first time.

and then I also kind of had a, a misunderstanding to what the whole sport was about when it came to going down a track and feeling pressures and feeling the speed. I thought you’re on a sled and you’re planking, and I thought. I do core workouts all the time. I can plank for days, let I can do this sport.

No problem. And my first time down the Whistler track, I looked like I was so stiff as a board. I’ll never forget it. And my coach was like, Chan, are you planking down the entire track? And I’m like, well, yeah, I’m holding it together. I’m, I’m making sure I’m getting, good core stability in and I’m, you know, managing.

the track as best I can. He’s like, no, no, no. It’s actually the opposite. Like you have to relax into the sled and I thought that’s insane, but it makes sense. You really do have to relax in the saddle. it’s like yoga on a cafeteria tray. That is my coined statement that I share with everybody.

When they ask, you know, what does it feel? and it really does feel like yoga on a cafeteria tray because your breathing matters in towards how you handle those pressures and how you handle the corners and how you steer. Eventually, once you build your skills and you work your way up the tracks, cuz some tracks you’ll start at lower points just because it’s for safety.

And because you’re new to the sport you need to learn just what certain speeds feel like into those pressures.[00:15:00] What, I mean,

Jill: Malta had had winter Olympians before, but what’s it like when you knock on the door and say, Hey, I’d like to represent you in the Winter Olympics.

Shannon Galea: Yeah. Well, it takes a lot of, it took a bit of convincing because, I don’t live in Malta.

I’d say that my biggest connection that I had was the work that I had done in softball. And I had um, some of the community, me members vouch for me in the work that I had done. And because I brought NCAA coaches, professional athletes to Malta to grow the sport. We even created a partnership with the Italian team so that when we went to the European cup, we were under two nations called the Mediterranean team.

Mediterranean essentially is what we were called. And that was essentially to help, you know, there was a small pocket of athletes from Malta to, get exposure to that level. And so they went to their first European cup and we ended up winning the European cup. It was the lowest, it was the C. So they have a, B and C, but winning at the lowest level meant that they were getting more funding.

There was gonna be more opportunities to connect with other nations in their softball programs. And so when I went to connect with the Malteses Olympic Committee on this idea, I actually had to do a lot of my homework. And, and so I wrote policies cuz I had gotten information from the international side, you know how an organization should, look when it comes to the statutes and the statutes are what is written in your policies and that’s what the IBS F looks for.

So I was able to model other nations and what they had done. . But I also brought in the Canadian context because I just felt like that Canada is a world leading sport nation. A lot of our structures and our policies are well respected around the world. And so I used, and I I’ve said this before I used Volleyball Canada.

I looked at some of their policies and their codes and I matched it to what I think it was the Jamaican Bob SL team. And. Volleyball Canada. And I kind of mixed the policies together, made sure that our official name is the malt Maltese Bob land skeleton Federation, and was able to look and review each of the policy statements so that it reflected not only what’s expected at the international level.

But also what’s re respected or needed in the Maltese-sport community and then adopt, those Canadian sport values that I felt were really important. And that was making sure that the WADA code was included. Making sure that anything with equity safe, safe sport um, any anti-discrimination policies were included into that piece.

And that was very important for me to consider because. I wanted to make sure that it was done right from the start. So once I had all that stuff written, I shared it with the Malteses Olympic Committee and they reviewed everything. And the president at the time, his name was Joseph Kaar and we sat down, we had a few meetings and he, he was amazing in the whole process.

He ended up helping pay for some of the fees that go into paying for Federation at the mal. In the malt sport community, I think it’s like 300 euros. And that’s where the lawyers and policy makers, officialize everything. Once he had done that, then we had to go to the IBS F and I think they do, what’s called executive committee meetings and they call it Exco.

And I think they happen every year After a season, typically around now, till June, they have a meeting placed in there and that’s when they, they approve new nations who are looking to take part and participate in the sport. And so I think it was like may 20, 20. I had finally sent all the paperwork off by, I think it was the fall of 2019.

So COVID hadn’t happened. I was going to some training camps in Whistler, but I was still also. , you know, not all in, because it, I mean, I was in the sense that I was taking all the opportunities I could when it came to training camps, but I also like didn’t have a Federation. So I, I didn’t wanna just, you know, I’m 30 at this point, I was 32 years old, 31 years old.

I, I wanted to make sure that I was investing in it right when I knew it was gonna be legitimate. So I kept my training up. I would go to the tracks when I could. As an international, technically I was still able to pay some of my fees as a Canadian because I technically didn’t have a nation established yet.

So the, coaches were really kind in keeping me as a Canadian development athlete, which was helpful because it gets very expensive. And because I don’t live in the west coast, you know, I was flying out to Whistler renting equipment. Training out there working remotely when I could. So there was a lot of moving parts, this whole [00:20:00] experience.

And then once COVID happened the executive committee had their final meeting. It was obviously heading into the Olympic season. We were in the second year of the quad and it was the year where you really have to get a lot of races under your belt to get exposure and experience on the track.

If I didn’t have that season, I mean, my Olympic journey would’ve probably ended right there. I mean, it essentially did in a lot of ways with COVID um, it made the access to tracks challenging, being new to the sport. You’re still understanding how a lot of things work on the organizational side and the admin side, let alone adding in the layer of COVID to do all your testing, all the protocols and.

It varied country to country with what those protocols were. And then you had to worry about just getting down the track safely so there was just so much taken on. But that may of 2020, I, we officially got the email from the IBS F that Malta has been welcomed into the sliding sport community. And it was really exciting because it was obviously the start of this Olympic journey.

And the qualification period had to start, which meant I needed to get what was called a 5 32. And that is the rule for any athlete to qualify. In sliding sports, you have to be experienced. You have to have five races on three different tracks within two years before the Olympic games. So it eliminates countries coming in in the last year and sandbagging their way into the Olympic games.

And it’s, it’s a fairness thing. It’s, saying I’ve been, connected to this sport and I’ve been invested as a nation. You’re taking part in those races and participating and, and being a part of the community. And there’s still a lot of things that I still wasn’t able to do to, officially make myself feel a part of the community.

You know, I, I got to really get to know a lot of the athletes this year, because I was training so much in Canada due to COVID, there was no real connection to other athletes from other nation. Leading up to the games in that first year. And those connections are extremely important because small nations tend to pair up with smaller nations or they pair up with bigger nations to get that support.

And I only had so much networking abilities because of just the access. So. Lot of work .

Alison: So here in the United States, and for you in Canada, we think of the Olympic committee as something very large, very complex, very corporate. And you just kind of called the Maltese Olympic committee. What, does that actually look like?

How many people is that? What’s the, what’s the office like and how is

Shannon Galea: that relationship? Yeah, I could honestly say that working for the Canadian Olympic committee would have been a big help in that connection. It was great, you know, I only knew the P. And I think one other lady who’s in the education space and because I was a phys ed teacher and I had done work in the sport development space, I was able to kind of show and explain, these are some of the ideas that I have for you.

And it was more like a pitch. It was, this is what I can offer for you. these are some of the ideas I have. I would love to, help in any way I can essentially. I don’t know how big the malt Olympic committee is, but I do know it’s quite small and it’s volunteer basis. So a lot of these smaller nations when we go and you look at an Olympic games, you know, we see the prestige and what these nations put out to get their athletes there.

But behind the scenes, some of these nations are organizationally very, very small. And the administration is very taxing and they’re the ones leading sport initiatives in their country. And what’s also fascinating when I learned, when I connected with Joseph to understand how it’s cuz each Olympic committee is either attached to their government.

There’s obviously some sort of relationship to their, their government or they’re self-funded and privately funded. and that’s what I I’ve learned obviously, working here at the Canadian Olympic committee. There’s a lot of influence from our government and, that’s how most nations operate because that’s where that additional funding comes from.

And in Malta, because it’s volunteer basis with, maybe some stipends, I, I can’t really speak to that because I don’t know entirely what that is, but I do know that some of the committee operates on a volunteer basis and there’s a disconnect when it comes to the education system.

So when I had done a lot of work in softball there, I had learned that a lot of kids don’t have sport or physical education in their timetables in school. And I think that that’s a challenge, no matter what country we’re in, even in Canada. I, if I had it my way as a teacher, the kids would be outside learning.

And I mean, obviously not in the winters. Well, No, they should be the [00:25:00] win. You gotta celebrate winter. If you’re a Canadian, you’re gonna be celebrating winter, but we don’t, our kids aren’t playing enough. and that’s quite inevitable in a lot of nations. And in Malta because tourism, it’s an island nation, tourism is the biggest driving force of the industries over there.

So when summer comes, forget sport, kids are. Doing organized activities that they’re very connected to their family and they’re going on holidays or they’re contributing to the tourism industry. And so it’s one of those things where, you think you wanna make change, but you can’t just come in here thinking, this is what’s needed when you really don’t know culturally, how that country operates and where the gaps are.

It was a bit of a learning curve for me, cuz I’m, I’ll never forget. I went to my first camp with these kids for softball and I had, I thought they were on a different level. I had no idea what their experience was. So I had all these drills planned. I had, tons of activities and I had to scale back completely on my plan.

Like I, they were out the window actually. We had to work on fundamental movement skills, how to stretch, how to. We did some softball, but I almost wanted to just throw all the gloves in the air and say, we’re not touching a softball. You guys need to learn how to run properly. And it was eyeopening to see just the amount of skills missing in the early years.

And it’s not to say that they’re at fault. it was just a cultural difference that I had experienced and was exposed to. and, you know, there’s some things here in Canada, I come from the province of Ontario that that’s where I teach. who knows what COVID has done now to those skills.

I, I couldn’t even really tell you, especially with teaching virtually there’s a lot of gaps, in those fundamental movement skills. and that’s where my, first site. learning how you know, sport is implemented into, the malt community. And I still don’t have a full grasp on it, to be honest.

And, and that’s what this whole initiative was supposed to be about was to hopefully bring some sport organizations together into creating a pathway for athletes to get into winter sport, connecting with the track and field clubs, formula one racing is big. And race car driving and in Malta is quite big.

And they’re actually known to be, I spoke to the, the Jamaican Bob sled team coach. He said, if you want athletes to get into this sport, don’t always look for the sprinters. Look for the drivers too, because a big piece of this, there’s the fear part that you have to get over, but there’s also this innate understanding of pressures and how to drive under these pressure.

That isn’t taught in a sprint and other skills, right. So it’s a whole other head space. And I think that’s, what’s been so fascinating about transitioning from softball to a sliding sport where it’s, you know, all or nothing, you’ve make it down alive essentially. So it’s quite a unique mindset to get into.

Alison: How familiar were you with mal. before you, you started this process. Did you speak the language? Had you visited there many times? I know you said you did softball drills, but even before that, had you traveled through a child?

Shannon Galea: Yeah. My first trip to Malta was in 2012. I didn’t visit as a kid. My dad immigrated when he was immigrated to Canada when he was eight years old.

And once my sister and I were born He spoke the language, but would never ever teach it to us, partly because he was ashamed of the language and what it did to his transition to Canada, held him back in school by a year. And so he didn’t want that to happen for us. If we were picking up another language, you know, his mindset now towards languages has definitely changed because, we see the benefits of being BI.

but it’s also a very, very particular language. It’s not like German or French. it’s a language spoken on the island. So it’s, it wasn’t gonna really benefit me. But it would’ve been nice to have been connected to my grandparents and extended family differently through language. And. It’s such a phonetic language that even now there’s a big fear in the community that youth and Malta are speaking less malt because of.

the last country to occupy Malta was the British. And so English is very easily spoken there. Um, And because it’s so easily spoken, a lot of youth are not really picking up the malts language as much. they’re speaking more English than mals. So it’s going through a bit of transition and, and it’s become a bit of a fear in their community to, because they think it might become a lost language.

In decades to come because it is a very challenging language. It’s Italian, Spanish French. And I wanna say Arabic all mixed in one. It’s [00:30:00] insane. And I had no idea as a kid that that was what the language was. And even when I told people. You know, As a kid, you’re sharing, show and tell about who you are.

And I always thought it was just a fun thing to share because no one ever knew where the hell it was from. I’m like, see that little island underneath Sicily. Yeah. That’s where I’m from. And, and it was always interesting to me to. to realize how unknown the place was and how remote it was. And so you know, I learned a lot about my culture through my, my grandparents because they were European snowbirds.

They would stay for part of the Canadian summer. And when they come home after six. You know, They were speaking fluent Maltese. They would bring home all the food and our family celebrations were always about food and probably why I’m a big foodie still to this day.

but yeah, it’s, it’s quite fascinating to understand, where you come from and, and as you get older, how your connection to it can really open your. So my first trip, yes was in 2012 and I pretty much went back every year, once a season. whenever I was playing softball over there, I’d always do a quick trip to visit my my ne who was my grandpa.

And we would travel together and we would do little trips on the island. And I was probably one of the only grandkids who really spent a lot of time traveling with him. Other family members had done big trips, Once in a while, but I was the one that consistently, you know, at Christmas time he would nudge me and he’s like, where are we going?

Next time whenever I was in Europe. So he was my little travel buddy. And gosh, the guy could stay up so late, all those elderly people in Malta, like they party crazy. I can’t, I was like falling asleep at 11 o’clock and my nanny’s still celebrating. The feasts are a big thing over there through the churches.

And another thing is religion is a big part of the culture over there. So again, these are things that like, you come and bring your Canadian values over to another country and, you know, you think you can implement certain things that you feel are gonna be good for them, but it’s just culturally different.

And so it takes time to build a new sense of awareness and educate, I think it’s education first and for. And that’s a piece that I still don’t fully have an understanding on because I get different stories from different community leaders on, on how those timetables work with sport. And I could definitely tell you the gender equity in sport over there is quite low.

I’ll never forget. I went to this water polo match. with my cousin and she’s a big sport advocate over there. She coached the netball national team and she played water polo. So she was a bit of an athlete herself and, a big reason why I got so connected to sport over there was through her.

We went to the men’s national water polo team game. And it was like the finals and it, you know, the whole city was in, watching this game, the stands were, just flooded with people. And it was cool. It was a great experience. It was like my first like cool national sport experience in, in Malta.

And then she’s like, yeah, my game’s tomorrow. And we get to do the same thing that the men. So the winning team wins like a tour bus and they get to go around the entire city and celebrate and honk the horn and they get a party and the streets are flooded. Right? So it’s a big celebration. It’s like football in Spain or something.

Next day was her match. And her team won. They got a bus, but not one men’s player. from the same club, came out and watched the women’s team compete. And it just really, really showed the gap in female sports over there and, and the exposure. I mean, that’s in a lot of countries now that it’s become a big thing in the media nowadays.

It’s great to see. Women’s sports are leveling up, but it was even far worse, in Malta than, than I’d ever seen. So, it was really interesting to, to be exposed to that.

Alison: When you say you have to start a club for sliding sports, what does that look like in a country that doesn’t have a sliding track that doesn’t really have snow?

What, what does that club do?

Shannon Galea: You have to attach yourself to a track? Whether it’s in Canada or internationally in Europe you can create it like, I think for me, because I established the mals skeleton and Bob slay Federation, it gave me a little bit more flexibility in accessing other tracks, but the IBS F has a lot of development programs available, but you can’t access those programs until you’re established under a nation.

Because then you get funding and support through the IBS F to help you get coaching through the small nations coaching initiative that they have. They allow you to get accommodations paid for and ice time paid [00:35:00] for. So there is a great deal of support that they offer. But unfortunately, with COVID when it happened I was given I think, 5,000 euros.

To help my first season. And I got another additional 5,000 for the second season, but it goes fast. Like by the time you pay a hotel flights and track time and race fees, like you might get two races out of that. Plus your equipment equipment is like, what determines almost your success in this sport.

It’s another, a whole. Field of learning when it comes to equipment and how it works on the track and how it works for you as an athlete. So when it comes to starting a club, it’s more so about doing the learn to slide sessions in a place that has a track. And then once you get that experience, The sliding sport community’s quite small.

So you could easily get connected to the right people who could direct you to those contacts on taking those next steps. It’s it is quite small, I would say, especially when it comes to the European side of it, which I, I didn’t get to get experience until this year. So if I was living in Malta, my home track, would I ideally be probably Eagles in Austria?

It’s probably one of the best tracks to learn on. It’s it’s known as a gliders track and it’s actually one of the first tracks that I feel like everyone would love to learn sliding because it, it really does feel like you’re tobogganing on your belly and. it would be a nice, easy way to like expose somebody new to the sport.

Whereas me, I learned on Whistler and it’s the fastest and the most aggressive track in the world, but it is the best track to learn on because you learn all the technical skills that you need to tackle any other track in the. So there’s a bit of give and take in terms of what you get your first taste of experience on.

So when I went to Eagles this year, I was like, oh, this would’ve been so nice to, not have as many bruises. Leading up to the games, but it, it is a little, the ending of the track actually does kind of hurt. It’s known to have a bad ending, but the whole start of it it’s, just very flowy and it’s like, woo, wait, feels like a water slide.

It’s really fun. Whistler. It’s like a, oh, okay. I’m okay. I’m hitting this wall is when you’re learning is of. Whistler can be your best friend once you really understand it and understand the pressures and where you are on the track, which takes hundreds of runs. Hundreds of runs. My first season, I think I got 20.

20 runs in 30, not even you need like 80 to a hundred, it’s all about volume because after each run, you’re taking notes on where you were, how you felt, what you need to do. you know, You have a visual of the track. for me. When I first started, I used to write down left or. You know which way the corners were going, which way I needed to make sure I had my steers applied.

And then once you get really good at the sport, you can really start to learn how to understand the pressures relating to your body mechanics. everyone’s different with how they’re facing different pressures and, you can learn from other sliders too by a, what did you do in this corner?

Because it’s not working for me this way and you kind of take pieces here and there from different athletes and make it work for yourself. And then once you get even more. Experience it’s about the speed, how do I get faster? Which is crazy because you know, when you’re first doing it, you’re just trying to survive.

just make it down the track. It was so funny. Like some people I trained with, they’re like, oh my time, wasn’t here. And I was like, I am not fixated on time. I just wanna like. I’m a technical person. I wanna know how I feel and how I feel on a track is more important to me than speed when I’m first learning, because that’s, what’s gonna make me execute at a higher level down the road.

And that is my pitching mentality. It’s, it’s gotta be progressive and, and it’s even how I coach, we get these kids who come in with their parents and their parents are like, well, I want my kids to throw 60 kilometers hour. And I’m like, yeah, it’ll happen. But there’s so many other aspects to their development that they need to work on to get there.

So let’s focus on this first and the speed will come. And that’s the same approach that I brought to my sliding experience. Speed will come. My times will cut down once I learn certain skill sets and apply it to my sliding.

Jill: So what is next for you and for the Maltese Bob SL skeleton Federation?

Shannon Galea: That’s a good question.

I’ve been working with the mal Olympic committee. I, I, we haven’t had time to. Solidify the season financially, you know, I need to show my receipts. I keep tabs on everything I spent all my expenses, coaching fees, equipment fees, you name it. So I created a spreadsheet. I also created a budget.

[00:40:00] Forecast on, how much the quad was gonna cost. The Malteses Olympic committee was extremely helpful in throwing some extra funding my way to support me in the Olympic journey. I definitely got short in funds towards the end of the season, just because, Europe’s expensive.

COVID was adding. And I ended up having a car theft at the beginning of season, which kind of took a bit of my funding. I, I didn’t plan for those whoopsy moments so that was unfortunate, but I mean, I still stuck to budget quite rigidly. And, and then it was sponsorships. Like I had a sponsorship fall through which wasn’t, it was pretty well set in stone, but.

These things happen and it’s something that you learn as this as an athlete in the sport and especially realiz. This sport is heavily geared towards those sponsorships beyond, the little funding top ups that you get from the IBS F and, and your own committee. So that is, one thing that I’m looking to work on is a sponsorships piece.

I also don’t wanna be the only athlete in the sport. So it’s about connecting with them and saying, know, seeing how we. Get more athletes involved through virtual clinics. I’m looking to do some sort of advertisement through the IBS F to say that we’re looking to recruit. My goal would be to see athletes compete in the 20, 30 games.

I think that’s two quads away. It’s enough time to, connect younger athletes to the different initiatives that are available in the sport through those small nations development opportunities at different tracks. So Lake Placid. And that was a big piece. Why I moved to, as to why I moved to Montreal Lake PLA is only two hours for me, that was supposed to be my home track, not Whistler

So, so that was another cost added to my whole experience and my whole plan. I had a car I could have easily just drove down, taken some ice time. It’s one of the best tracks to learn on as well, because it’s a driver’s. It can get just as fast as Whistler, but it’s a little bit more technical. And that technical experience can really, really help you on a lot of the European tracks.

Because there’s a lot of features that that track has, that are easy for you to take away. Whistler is just known to be fast and aggressive and you just learn how to take speed. those are the differences between those tracks. But yeah, the small nation’s development programs typically are stationed either at Eagles and in Austria lake PLA is typically where they have it in north America park.

City’s another great track where you can get exposure to learning, to slide. So my next steps would be, I would love to compete at the world championships. I don’t wanna be a, a one and done kind of person. I was hoping obviously to qualify, but knowing that how challenging it was gonna be, that dream started to dwindle.

As I started the season in terms of seeing how challenging it was gonna be. And just, I was kind of relying on putting out my best self on the tracks and. waiting for the unknowns to, play my way, cuz that also does happen in an Olympic season. So I would like to attend the world championships, which are next year in St.

Ritz. It’s one of my favorite tracks. It’s the most beautiful track in the world. It’s outdoor, it’s manmade and it’s outside. It’s outdoor, it’s natural, natural ice. And it’s just. Important as the Olympics, I think when it comes to a world championship. So that would be a really great experience.

And then if there’s progress in my own development and there’s improvements, then I, I will consider Milan. But there’s a lot of things in my life that I need to make sure are, still put forward before I make those decisions. But whether I go forward with it or take a backseat and help on the development side, that is something I’d be happy to do.

you know, When you look at running a sport organization, a lot of organizers do this voluntarily anyways, and now that I know how to do the admin stuff, I was the one in the back end, registering myself for races. I was registering my coaches, getting all their identifications registering for all the tests that I had to do to be eligible, to compete in the season.

You have to do like your concussion protocol. There’s some videos that the IBS F puts out. So there’s a lot of funneling from the IFF to. The N O C when it comes to operating your, your organization. And I shouldn’t say N C would be national sport organization. So I thought that was really cool to get that exposure with learning how an international Federation operates, how their policies and procedures are implemented into your own sport organization.

And just how the, that information flows from top down.

Jill: Excellent. Shannon. Thank you so much. It’s been great to catch up with you again, for sure.

Shannon Galea: Yeah, definitely amazing.

Jill: Your story and the trying to build the Federation, especially in a country that doesn’t have much [00:45:00] snow sport culture.

That’s I mean, it’s really cool. And it’s, it’s interesting to see. a, how much work goes into something like this and, and B like, you never know who it will inspire to do something that is meaningful to them, or does something that builds up a community in some way. And it’s just, it’s a ton of work. So

Shannon Galea: a congratulations.

And that’s what it is. You know, I I don’t look at this year as unsuccessful. It was, I put myself out there. And it’s now a chance to, yeah. See what can come of this. I’m in a place in my life where I’m just letting things come to me. Whether I, I do another quad or I just do the world championships, I’m not pressuring myself on those decisions.

I will make plans of course, but it is literally about giving opportunity. And that’s what this whole thing has been about is just creating exposure. Someone might dream about it. Might do it better than me. And you know, what’s great about it is once I was in St. Ritz for the world cup had tons of mal athletes, female athletes message me.

And they’re like, this is so cool. Like how do I get involved? And I want to, create a signup sheet, do recruitment, but I wanna make sure I connect with the Maltese Olympic committee more on this piece because I wanna make sure I’m bringing those cultural aspects that are important to the C. And also important to the sport.

So those are some of the next tackles that I have and I’m looking forward to it.

Jill: Excellent.

Thank you so much. Shannon, you can follow Shannon on Insta at ES Scalia 88. We will have a link to that in the show notes. The Federation’s website is still in development, but you’ll be able to find it through N C

That sound means it’s time for our history moment. All year long, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Albertville 1992 Winter Games. Alison. It is your turn for a story. What do you have for me?

Alison: Okay. I do not have figure skating this week. I decide to give it a rest. I have Jordan at the Winter Olympics.

Whoa. Yes. The country of Jordan has only appeared once at the Winter Olympics at Albertville 1992. , it was none other than luxury real estate developer, developer, Mohamed Hadid who is the ex-husband of Yolanda Hadid, who appears on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the father of Bella and Gigi Hadid who are famous models.

And would you like to know what sport Mohamed

Jill: your dad? Yes. Cause I am just I’m speechless. When I, when I saw Mohamed Hadid I went, wait a second. The model’s father, what

Alison: he was a speed skier.

He basically did it as a Lark. He was friends with other speed skiers. and they said, you should give this a shot.

And he says he did it to bring some attention to Jordan, kind of like what Shannon was talking about to bring more attention to sports in countries that don’t normally have winter sports. He reached 118 miles an hour, but he did not reach the finals. So he technically does not have a finishing place.

Because if you’re not in the finals, you aren’t placed, but he has continued to be involved in the Olympic movement to the extent that he had a lot to say recently on TMZ about the Russian ban. Oh yes. Which he was very in favor of and says, doesn’t know why this didn’t happen sooner because of doping.

So he’s very up on this information. Of course, as he was speaking, he could barely move his face because it, his . So pit, which kind of made sense why he liked ski speed skiing so much. Cause it would blow its face back like a facelift. And another interesting thing was he was one of the oldest competitors in 1992.

He was already 43 years old.

Jill: That’s incredible.

Alison: Welcome to TKFLASTAN.

Jill: It is time to check in with our Team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show that make up our country of TKFLASTAN. First off, congratulations to a canoeist Andres Toro, who is named recipient of the Olympic and Paralympic torch award in recognition of outstanding service to the us Olympic and Paralympic movements.

Alison: Race Walker, Evan Dunfee won the Canadian national title in the 20 K race walk with a time of 1 23, 24.

Jill: Sticking with Canada track and field nationals. Ness Murby became the first openly trans athlete to compete in the Canadian track and field national championships. He competed in men’s discs, para [00:50:00] ambulatory and finished fourth.

Alison: And Michelle Carter has announced her retirement from athletics. She placed. At the USA track and field champs. And she did not make the world team,

Jill: In a way I’m very sad. She’s retiring, but in a way, I’m not because she is incredible. Like, I just am excited to see what she does next.

Alison: She is not done. That’s for sure.

Jill: Also at the USA track and field championships, hammer thrower, Deanna Price placed fourth. She has a buy into world. So we will see her compete in July.

Alison: Mallory Comerford was part of the bronze winning four by 100 freestyle relay team at the FNA world

Jill: championships. And also at the FNA world championships reporter Nick Zaccardi did his first poolside assignment for NBC doing live interviews for all eight days.

Alison: If it’s like your first time, do they throw you into the pool at the end of the championships?

Jill: I don’t know.

Alison: Sorry. Nick, did I give somebody an

Jill: idea?

Alison: and at USA shooting nationals, Ginny Thrasher took 13th in women’s air rifle and the bronze medal in women’s small boar rifle.

Jill: Oh, we have some update on our modern pentathlon novel. So, The modern pentathlon the Federation, the U I P M they are testing obstacle course racing. As we mentioned. Listener Meredith posted some pictures in our Facebook group of what they have tested. If you want to take a look at that. The obstacles look a little familiar to you and you are a fan of Ninja Warrior or Sasuke as they call it in Japan.

It’s because they used actual sets from Tokyo Broadcasting Systems, Suzuki or ninja warrior shows because the, there are some additions of it in countries in Europe, so they could bring the sets in from there. And so they had. Wall flip and parallel pipes and, and tire swing. And they had a warped wall kind of thing.

Ninja competition obstacle course racing is one of two types that they’re testing. So, that’s what’s happening to replace writing so far. There was I would say mixed reaction. I think the modern pin athletes realized that this type of obstacle course racing takes a much different type of strength than they have.

Cuz it’s this a ninja courses take a lot of upper body strength and I don’t think modern pin athletes had that same kind of upper body strength. Maybe they do, but it it’s different. It’s different

Alison: fencing and swimming are very specific upper body. Yes, I would think I’m not a fencer or much of a swimmer, but it’s more of a long muscle versus a short Twitch muscle.

It’s kind of that flowing strength, as opposed to, if I don’t catch this beam, I’m going to fall 20 feet in the air from the air. So kind of a different pressure there.

Jill: Uh, We’ve got news from Paris, 2024. I had a dream about

Alison: Paris 20, 24 last night. Really? What was it? It was, I was lost down the Parisian subway. .

Jill: Did you have two volunteers on either side of you helping you out? I, I did not,

Alison: but I did have sort of these monsters from Stranger Things. So, you know, I was watching Stranger Things yesterday and getting ready for the show and it combined in my sleep

Jill: Well, the IOC executive board had a meeting last week. So we have big news for Paris and big news for Milan Cortina. The big news from Paris is that. Once again, the IOC is not allowing the international boxing association to run the boxing tournament at Paris 2024. Now this is a big deal because the international federations run all the competitions.

The IOC does not necessarily do anything in that realm, nor does the organizing committee, although in Tokyo, the organizing committee was suddenly. Tasked with taking over the boxing competition and as well. So pairs 20, 24, both the qualifications and the tournament are going to be managed by not the IBA.

I’m not quite sure who’s managing them cuz the IOC didn’t necessarily say that they were. may Paris 2024. Your boyfriend Kit McConnell did say they had learned some lessons from Tokyo. You

Alison: think Kit ? at this point like Pierre and Claude from the coffee shop down, the street is gonna end, are gonna end up running this competition.

Jill: oh, but he was, he looked like he was so tired of talking about boxing. And I,[00:55:00] pardon the pun, but they are really on the ropes for 20, 28. So they’re not on the program. I would not be surprised if they are out of, of LA 20, 28 as they should

Alison: pay. we can’t keep doing this.

Jill: It’s sad because boxing has a pretty big following in the us. And it’s an important sport in the America’s region. As well, and it, it’s kind of sad that the IBA can’t manage itself very well, but we’ll see what happens. I don’t have high hopes because the, LA program’s gonna get announced fairly soon.

Paris 20, 24 and the French ministry of culture have launched a cultural Olympiad in relation with the games. So there’s going to be a lot of cultural events this summer and. and over the next couple of years, they are also putting out a call for proposals for future events. So you can find out more about that.

We’ll have a link to the website in our show notes. and then Inside the Games had an exclusive interview with Andrew Parsons, who said that the International Paralympic Committee is considering innovative options for the Paralympics opening ceremony.

Andrew really liked the idea of the athletes parade along the Seine. Said it likely couldn’t be replicated for the Paralympics, just because of the logistics of the accessibility and all of those issues. But he likes the outside the box thinking.

Alison: I hope somebody was able to give him a hug. maybe that’s how they got the exclusive.

We will meet with you in person and give you a hug.

Jill: um, Milan Cortina, 20, 26, so much.

Alison: This is not their fault.

Jill: Well, oh, later on, they’re gonna have stuff that’s their fault.

Alison: So, absolutely. But this one is not the Italian’s fault. Okay.

Jill: So the sports program has been finalized again, plan on hearing more gender equity than ever before. Quotas is gonna be 2,900 athletes at these games for the Olympics, at least.

New event will be ski mountaineering. They will have a men’s and a women’s sprint events, and then a mixed relay. They have added in a mixed team event for skeleton, which is kind of cool. Women’s doubles luge will have its own event finally. And then for freestyle skiing, we’re gonna have men’s and women’s dual moguls, which I’m kind of excited about, cuz that’s just gonna make.

even more bananas as an event.

Alison: anything that involves people racing down a mountain and getting slapped around seems to excite

Jill: you. Well, yeah, I guess so. I, I mean, I’ve always been like that demolition Derby type person so person, so, but that’s that I think I watched a little bit of dual moguls online just to see what that was like.

I was like, oh yeah, this is gonna be fun. Just cuz it’s so fast. And so UN predict. Okay. And let’s

Alison: point out that it is dual D U a L not D U E L, which could also be exciting

Jill: and then other good news is that in ski jumping women will now have a large hill event as well. So now they have two events. The men have two events were unequal footing there. One event that was taken out is the Alpine mixed team parallel event, which I know, I know you like your mixed teams, so that’s, that’s a little rough for you.

I’m okay

Alison: with it because I’m much happier with the ski jumping, getting that second event for women because that just never made any sense to me. And the Lu women’s doubles is fantastic.

Jill: The other big decision that was made. No, women’s Nordic combined. If you listen to our interview with Annika Malacinski last week, she was really hopeful that it would be included and it just, it wasn’t.

And. the shocking thing is that the men’s event might be out for 2030. And the only reason they’re keeping it on is because so many athletes have already been working towards 20, 26 as a goal. And to take that away from them would be undue punishment.

Alison: I mean, it’s one thing to pull the Alpine mixed team re. Parallel race because nobody is training specifically for that one event. Those athletes are gonna be another. But if you pull an entire sport basically out with so few years ago, that would really be kind of cruel.

Jill: Exactly. And they said that the issue with Nordic combined is that two, few countries are participating in it and it’s too Eurocentric.

[01:00:00] And that is true. I would say the other problem is. The sport has low viewership and engagement numbers when it comes to the Olympics. The interesting thing is that listener John in the Facebook group pulled together some really interesting numbers. He crunched some numbers and said really biathlon is the one that has less.

Representation on the medal stand, because that was another thing representation on the podium for Nordic combined is very Eurocentric. But listener John found out that the number of medals that have gone to non-Europeans Nordic combined 11 out of 120 medal opportunities. So that’s 9.2% have gone to non-Europeans lose 5.2% of their opportunities cross country.

2% of their opportunities. Only 11 medals out of 544 opportunities have gone to non-Europeans biathlon one medal out of 287 possibilities for a 0.3%.

Alison: Wow. How I read the decision on women’s Nordic combined in Nordic combine in general, was it wasn’t just the medal opportunities. It was participation as well.

Jill: Yeah. Yeah. That there’s just not enough countries coming in. Right. And when

Alison: you look at something like biathlon, especially, it is not one or two European countries, you basically have every country in Europe. Who’s got a biathlete out there and you see a lot of different, even though it’s Europe, you do see a lot of different European countries.

On the medal stand.

Jill: Yes. And you do see representation like over time you have representation, solid representation from Canada. Us, Japan has been in the gains for a long or in, biathlon for a long time. China’s been in, we’ll see how much they stay in going forward, but they have been in and they do.

rather well for a country that doesn’t have participation. I think biathlons thing is that they have a rabid fan

Alison: base, right? Those worlds cup races are huge, their super bowl, like events in some of these places. So to pull this out of the Olympic program would be devastating to those fans and take away a whole fan base from the Olympics, which would make no.


Jill: And I’m sure Nordic combine has it sheriff FARs, but I don’t think it’s as spread out as it could be because I, I have a feeling that they may have looked at numbers if they have like an Olympic channel equivalent or NBC probably shares numbers about what’s on Peacock. In terms of viewership and you’d look at Nordic combined versus biathlon.

And, and I would imagine that some of those numbers are just very different. So Nordic combine’s got its work cut out for them. They of course are very disappointed all, all around. It is disappointing to have this kind of put in your face, but you know, gotta say the IOC just sound and granted, they moved.

So. , but they’re really like, we have had it up to here with a lot of sports and we are just about done with all of you.

Alison: Papa

Jill: TBach had enough. He’s putting you

Alison: all in the corner. You all have a time out and you’re going to have to show you have learned your

Jill: lesson. Mm-hmm .

Some more tough news.

Milan. Cortina has no. color me shocked. And there’s an Italian publication called ITO qu Diano. They have noted that the committee has been in the red for two years.

They have forecast that they would be able to get 550 million euros in domestic sponsors, which would be about 35% of their total budget. They don’t have any contracts signed yet. And the IOC is gonna contribute about 39% of the budget. and they will also get ticket revenues, but you know, those aren’t coming right now.

Those will be a while in coming. Don’t know what’s gonna happen. Don’t know if the government will be in there to bail them out, but we shall see. The same news outlet also noted that the cor mayor just got defeated in an election and.

He was a big proponent of the games. The new mayor of the area was, is, is going to be Jan, Luca Lorenzi and he said he would, and I’ve got this via Google translate. So, he said, be, he’d be looking at the Olympic Bob sled track for sure. This’ll be interesting to see what happened. On the 5th of June, a bunch of environmentalists climbed Jail [01:05:00] pass in Italy, up in the DOL mites.

And they wanted to raise the Olympic alarm because there’s a bunch of issues to be resolved. They say there’s the Bob SL run, which is going to cost 61 million euros. And they now predict that it’s going to have a 30% price increase. from inflation and also a budget deficit of 400,000 euros a year for the next 20 years.

And another problem is the Olympic village that will be in FMAs, which should be temporary, but apparently requires what Google translates says as urbanization works. So I imagine there’s some infrastructure stuff that needs to happen for this

Alison: shocking. Who won’t be lending them any money

Jill: who

Alison: the Swedes and they’re all sitting there saying you could have avoided all of this and had your Ikea flat packed Olympics.

If you had voted with your head and not your heart

Jill: yes. And, given the fact that we’ve had COVID, there is a war in Europe. And inflation everywhere. the IOC would’ve done better to vote with their head at that point. Thankfully, we have this new bid city commission. So hopefully that makes it a little bit more.

I, sustainable’s not the word, but hopefully it makes it a little bit more practic. in the choice of host city,

Alison: new norm, we’re counting

Jill: on you. Oh my gosh. You better have that pocket protector in at all times, norm that is your protection against the heart. It’s like a heart shield, the pocket protector

Alison: norm better get new glasses.

Make sure their prescription is up to date. Cuz this is gonna be a rough go. Looking at this budget.

Jill: Speaking of the host city commission, we have 20, 30 news. The Spanish bid is out. They cannot get along the two regions that were going to be in the purines. They, they just can’t get, make it anything work.

So they have pulled out us OPC went over to loon and they had a meeting with them. They’ve also had I said in, on a us OPC media call and they said, They’re ready for when the IOC wants them. That could be 2030. It could be 20, 34. .

So Suzanne Lyons, who is the outgoing president of the board was leading the call and she was pretty practical about this and fairly forthcoming. And she said, look, we’ve got the games in 2028. Having back to back games in America would be tough from a sponsorship thing. Also tough from a global perspective because.

Hey guess what not? Everybody’s happy with the us government pulling the diplomatic boycot of Beijing. Hmm. So, okay. We got that. They’re not necessarily not thrilled with the Salt Lake bid. I think the Salt Lake bid is probably very well put together and very easy to put into place and activate it.

It’s just that the government in this country is not appreciated by everyone around the world. And the optics of having two games in a row in the us would be an issue.

Alison: So I know there was a little gossip gossip talking about doing the same thing for 30, 34 that they did for 24 and 28. So they awarded Paris LA at the same time.

And now the rumor is we’re gonna award possibly Vancouver and Salt Lake at the same

Jill: time could be don’t know about Sapporo. so we do have three cities still who are fairly far along in their bid process, who have things fairly thought out. And some plants nobody’s been invited yet to that targeted dialogue stage, which is the next one.

They’re all in still that first conversational stage in the fall we’ll come. Hey, we will invite you to targeted dialogue. And then the next few months will be the big push for a decision. So they’re not

Alison: Instagram official yet.

Jill: we’re not

Alison: exclusive, still dating around.

Jill: So we shall see uh, we would like to give a big shout out to our Patreon patrons who keep our flame alive. Find out more about [01:10:00] patronage at alive pod.

And if ongoing patronage is not for you, you can also slash support for several options for one time donations. So that is going to do it for this week. Let us know your thoughts about this week’s episode.

Alison: You can get in touch with us by email flame, iPod, Caller text us at 2 0 8 3 5 2 6 3 4.

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

Jill: Facebook. Next week is the start of the World Games, which is another global multi-sport event that has IOC support. So we’re gonna learn a little bit more about them and talk with an athlete who competed at the last World Games.

So thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame.