Happy Olympic and Paralympic Year! It’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that phrase, but the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics are coming, and we couldn’t be more excited! This week we’ve got all the important news about the Summer Games: Hotel taxes, food, the Russian participation situation, and Snoop Dogg. More importantly:

  • Hospitality House news: The lottery to get tickets to the TeamNL House is now open. Register here by January 17. If you get selected in the lottery, you’ll have 48 hours to purchase your ticket (h/t House Party). TeamNL House will be open during the Olympics.
  • An IOC/Kinomapp partnership lets you exercise on the Paris 2024 courses at home.
  • We share quite possibly (but never say never) the last installment of the surfingnovela.

The International Olympic Committee published a long article following up on some climate change research it commissioned, which basically says that by 2050, there will be very few countries who will be able to host a Winter Olympic Games due to lack of snow. We’ve got more details on what they’re think about for the future of the Winter Olympic Games.

And in our visit to TKFLASTAN, we have news from:

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

Plus, remember that wild race at Tokyo 2020 where Dutch favorite Annemiek van Vleuten thought she had won the gold–until she realized she hadn’t? Coryn was in that second breakaway group and saw it all go down. She shares the full story with us!


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

Happy Olympic and Paralympic Year! (Episode 316)

[opening music]

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

Alison, hello! Happy Olympic and Paralympic year! How are you?

Alison: I don’t think I’m quite as excited as you are.

Jill: I’m not sure that’s possible. We haven’t been able to say that for one whole year.

Alison: I know. Happy Olympic and Paralympic year again. But no, this is, this is really exciting. And it feels like even though this quad has been only three years, it feels like Tokyo was a really long time ago.

A lot has happened. It does. And we’ve got Seven months to get ready.

Jill: Oh, don’t say that.

Alison: We have seven whole months.

Jill: A lot can happen in that time, including us getting ourselves together, taking the show on the road to the City of Lights.

Alison: Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. And I have, I’ve mentioned this on the show before, I have never been to France. I’ve never been to Paris. I have been working so hard on my Duolingo French and it is so bad.

So I apologize in advance to the French. I am going to try and I am going to fail and please forgive me.

Jill: It is as the Olympic motto is, trying is the most important thing.

Alison: I am definitely not even coming in the top eight for my diploma.

Jill: I’m right there with you. My sister in law is in Paris right now.

She had found a cheap flight and decided to celebrate New Year’s there. And it has been nonstop beautiful photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower at night, getting a coffee and like, if you’re alone, I think they give you a bear in the cafe. Like you get a little teddy bear to have coffee with you.

And I guess this was a COVID thing and they’ve just continued it. So she’s been having coffee with all these bears all over town. It is the cutest thing.

Alison: I will definitely have coffee with a bear, but I don’t know bear. I know coffee is un cafe, but

Jill: what’s bear? I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe during the Olympics, you can have a coffee with a fridge.

Alison: Or just un or,

Jill: or, or vo .

Alison: No, I do not like

Jill: birds . That is the fun thing about Duolingo is that they teach you weird phrases and that it often involve duo, the mascot, who is an owl. But yes, I’m getting very excited looking at her stuff. She has sent pictures of different.

Olympic banners she’s seen. That’s been very cool to see the stuff go up. It’s been cool. I don’t know if you saw, , the New Year’s Eve, , when it hit midnight and from the Champs Élysées. And they had the whole film on the Arc de Triomphe. Mm hmm. With the font the right way that they’re going to have for the games.

So that was super cool. Notre Dame, not going to be done. As we know.

Alison: We knew that. That’s been true. But it is supposedly going to be done, , for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception this December. Yes. That is the plan. So, way ahead of the original schedule.

Jill: Which is good. , so as we go on this year with the podcast, we’re , having a few changes because it is a games year.

First off, if you are new to the show, welcome. We hope you enjoy your time with us and, , get to know us and get to hang out with us. We also hang out on Facebook. We have a Facebook group called Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Facebook group and, , tons of listeners there , We have great conversations about all sorts of things, Olympic and Paralympic and

other games too, other sports too. So find your people there. We’re also on Twitter and Insta at Flame Alive Pods. So you can find us there as well. , some of the changes that we’re going to make to the podcast, , we’re going to move some segments around to different places. , you’ll notice that, but the big change is that our history moment is going to be its own.

episode this year. And if you’re new to the show, we do a history moment where we tell a story related to one games and every year we, the listeners choose a different games, , that has a significant anniversary. So this year they’ve chosen Chamonix in 1924 as that is the hundredth anniversary of the very first winter Olympics.

And, , we’ve decided to make that into its own separate show. Alison is leading the charge on that and we’ll have stories all year long. And that’s going to come out about once a month in the non games months. Correct.

Alison: So we expect to have probably about 10, , shamany shows. There are way more than 10 stories that I’ve already found.

this has been great diving into this. I will say just as a teaser, you will hear me say a lot. It depends on who you ask because there is a lot of conflicting information from reliable sources. So the number of athletes is in conflict. The number of sports is up for discussion. The fact that it’s not actually the first Winter Olympics, also up for discussion, Nepal and India are going to play a significant role in some stories, Sherpas, Matisse, but not that Matisse.


Jill: you won’t even have to pay for the full seat because you’ll only need the edge, it sounds like.

Alison: And I haven’t even mentioned, we’re going to be climbing Mount Everest several times.

Jill: Wow. Okay. I am looking forward to this.

And you know, we were concerned because 1924 Chamonix, hard to get information out of. You know, hard to find, it’s old, a lot of it will be in French, but you have soldiered on because, trained librarian.

Alison: this is just a joy for me, and it’s, yes, a lot of facts about the games are in dispute, but Thankfully, the people who participated in these games had some very interesting lives.

Jill: Excellent. Well, we’re looking forward to that. So you will find that drop into your feed, uh, whenever we have a new story and that’ll be on a different day, probably than the show tapes. So it’ll be a short episode, just, five to 15 minutes long. And, , I’m excited to see where this goes. C’est magnifique.

Paris 2024 News

Jill: Je stressée.

Oh, no, oh, I’m sorry you are stressed. We have seven months, so

this is a part of the show. We are going to do some Paris 2024 news. Usually if you’re new to the show, usually we have an interview, but we have so much news to catch up on and some interesting, , elements that have come up from the International Olympic Committee. So we’re going to focus on that. first off, we want to talk a little bit about the participation of the Russians because as we left you before the break, , the IOC had decided that certain athletes would be allowed to participate if they were from Russia or Belarus and they would be considered neutral athletes.

And there’s all these stipulations around. Who is allowed to participate and what they need to do in order to participate, and that would be only individuals. No teams are allowed regardless of what’s going on. , but we do know that World Athletics will not allow participants, but they have said that decision could change based on what’s happening in the world.

But like you say, we only have seven months. What’s the likelihood?

Alison: Well, considering how much happened before Tokyo in those seven months, please don’t jinx it.

. Yeah, that’s true. , we do know there will be no equestrian athletes because individual qualifications are based on rankings that span the Year of calendar, year of 2023 and no Russian or Bell Russian athletes took part in any of those competitions, so they will not be in equestrian events.

Jill: We also know that the Russian swimmer and two-time Olympic medalist Klement, Colin Zoff, has said he will not participate because he doesn’t agree with the criteria laid out by the IOC, which includes not supporting the war and not being involved with the military. So he is going to sit out these games.

Which I thought was interesting.

Alison: I think we’re going to see more and more Russian athletes doing that. Because they’re talking about, and we talked about this before the break, it’s policing what people think.

Jill: Uh, the Yomiuri Shimbun also noted in an editorial that quote, many elite athletes are supported by Russian oligarchs who are loyal to the Putin administration and state run enterprises.

It is impossible to regard such athletes as neutral, even if they meet the condition of not actively supporting the nation’s aggression. so many athletes need funding. And who better to fund them than very, very wealthy oligarchs? And that, that of course comes with a lot of stipulations, I would imagine.

Alison: And do we start policing who is funding all athletes? Do we start saying that we in the United States have a program with the U. S. military, and we’ve talked to athletes who are in it, where these athletes are in the military to train for elite athletics? , not just elite athletics, but elite sport. And how does the funding play into it?

Jill: Right. And even if they said, Oh, I am a neutral athlete, what will their funders do if they don’t agree with what is going on with the war, if they are for , the conflict in the Ukraine? , There’s just a whole lot of. Very ambiguous things that, that athletes have to navigate on top of everything else they’re doing.

And it can be very hard for them. So I do feel bad. Vladimir Putin, said in his year end news conference that he supports Russians competing, but that the country should ponder whether it should compete if the event is designed to portray Russian sport as dying. That was reported by Reuters.

Alison: Well, if Russian sport was dying, I know Putin will come up with a chemical that will keep it

Jill: alive. And that may be him competing himself.

Come on, we’ve seen him ride a horse. We’ve seen him. I think we’ve seen him bench

Alison: press a horse. I think there’s been some, but we do run into this very difficult problem with Russia because they were already causing so many problems for the Olympic and Paralympic movement in regards to doping.

Systematic, state sponsored, pervasive. And now you’ve got this second issue. Breaking the Olympic truce and a war going on, and how do those interplay, and are we just talking about one versus the other, it really muddies the water and makes it extraordinarily difficult to, as a moral question, because you can’t Separate the two things, really.

Jill: Mm hmm. two other items with the IOC announcement about Russia and Belarus, , that didn’t mention , last, , year is, , The Paralympics is also individual participation only, but they are going to have their own criteria for what individual participation means, and they will announce it early this year.

That is according to Frank Shu and related because if, if you’re new to the podcast, we do Olympics and Paralympics, but there’s also a related event. That has IOC support called the World Games and they will have their next event in 2025 in Chengdu and the International World Games Association has already announced that for Chengdu 2025 it will follow similar recommendations.

They will not have teams from Russia and Belarus and it will follow the IOC recommendations for. individuals. So, Russian and Belarusian athletes will be able to take part in qualifying events if the individual international federation allows it, but this does not guarantee that they will be allowed to participate in the games in 2025 and the IWGA executive committee will decide on that at a later date.

Alison: I’m also interested to see what happens for Gangwon 2024, which is in a month and a half ish. so the Winter Youth Olympics is going to be in, , Korea this winter. And how this plays out there, and I think that’ll be a good indicator. For what will happen with a lot of these athletes and with a lot of these sports as to Russia, how Russia is handling that,

Jill: if we’re going to stay on bad news for Paris 2024, the AFP reports that the French government added an increased to the tourist tax for hotels in its 2024 budget, which Was supposed to be pushed through at the end of the year and how they did it. There’s some kind of stipulation in their constitution that they don’t have to have a parliamentary approval if they enact this provision.

So they just kind of slid this through. The proposal is going to triple the rate. Of the tax, which, before this law change, it was 25 cents to 5 euros a night, depending on the quality of accommodation. And it could now triple. So that if you’re staying at a, place that charges five euros a night for, tax.

And you’re there for the duration of a games. That adds a chunk of change to your hotel bill. So the hoteliers are furious, of course, because they’ve already raised their prices for the rooms. Regardless, so, , now they’re going to be even more expensive. The hoteliers have also pointed out that this move is supposed to raise 423 million euros.

for public transport. That’s the whole reason , they wanted to enact this tax is because we need more money to fund public transport for the game’s time. And the public transport agency and government have said they needed 200 million for this. So what this other additional , expected 223 million euros is going to cover.

We don’t know.

Alison: There have been protests about this in Paris. Unsurprisingly, Parisians love to protest. Hotel costs are always an issue every Olympic Paralympic cycle. And Paris is an expensive city to start with. So shockingly. Price gouging is happening even without any of these tax increases. So if you are struggling to find a reasonably priced room for Paris 2024, many are in the same boat with you.

And don’t panic. Because a lot can happen in seven months.

Jill: That is very true. And as our Shifalistani Ken Hanscom has explained, now, January, is the time where hotel rooms should start opening up because they’ve been blocked off for federations, for National Olympic Committees, for all these other groups that have had contracts in place for years.

to save hotel rooms that they may need, this is a time where they need to, , have those either rooms filled or they need to give them back to the hotel to be resold. So you may find that, , hotel rooms are opening up more and more.

Alison: The other thing I want to mention, , when you said Ken Hanscom, there’s been a lot of discussion.

about when the resale platform for tickets is going to become live. So if you are one, you bought tickets, you can’t go, you bought tickets, you can’t find a hotel room. We do not have an exact date. We know it is coming. And when we have it, we will share it every possible place, but don’t panic about reselling tickets.

The platform is coming. You’re going to be able to do that , and buying tickets that you may not have caught before.

Jill: I, I also wonder if we should have a little game, what will the French protest during the games?

Alison: What won’t the French protest during the games? That’s your center square bingo. Will there be a protest?

Free space.

Jill: If you have thoughts, let us know. , also Team Netherlands. Has announced that it has more details for tickets to the Team Netherland house. This has traditionally been known as Heineken house. It’s one of the hospitality houses. Heineken is not sponsoring at this time. So it’s Team Netherlands house.

, it has a reputation for being a raucous good time and not a thing you should miss if you’re going to the games. So they are going to have a ticket lottery. to buy tickets for the house during the Olympics. Pre registration is now open and it closes on January 17th. The registration form does ask if you know the dates you want to go, but that’s not a requirement.

So if you don’t know when exactly you want to go, don’t worry, that’s not going to disqualify you from getting into the lottery. Ticket sales will start the week of January 22. If you get picked for the lottery, you will have 48 hours to buy your ticket. And after January 25, any remaining tickets will be sold to the general public.

I would imagine that is first come first serve, but I don’t know for sure. They will cost 27. 50 euros, and they will also have a two 50 service fee, , Paralympic tickets for the house will go on sale in March. And we will have links to the ticket lottery site in the show notes. And thank you to the house party blog for tipping us off to this note.

Also, if you’re planning, , things to do in Paris, the restaurant tour D’Argent has reopened. This is potentially the oldest. restaurant in Paris. It’s 441 years old and it was the inspiration for the movie Ratatouille. Did you say, I have not seen Ratatouille? Of course I have seen Ratatouille. So , the restaurant is supposed to be very spectacular.

It has wonderful views of the Seine and of Notre Dame. So potentially a site to watch some opening ceremonies action from. Certainly some fireworks. Yes, definitely some fireworks, very pricey, but the renovation includes a lounge for morning croissants and a bar in the building and also a bar on the rooftop.

So plenty of places where you could enjoy the place. if you are staying home for the games. As most people do. Yes. You can still be a part of it with KinoMap if you are a fitness buff. The International Olympic Committee has partnered with KinoMap, which is a fitness app that allows users to exercise virtually at different places around the world so you can run courses.

If you get KinoMap, you will be able to run the same courses that athletes in running and cycling and rowing will do at Paris 2024. So KinoMap has a free 14 day trial with monthly, annual and lifetime plans available for purchase. and I think it’s about 12 a month per person for a user.

Alison: So then I guess you’re hooking this up to your fitness machine. , whether it’s a treadmill, a rower, or a, , stationary bicycle. And then it would adjust your activities Yes. Based on

Jill: that. Right. And you will see the course laid out in front of you and you will run it.

Alison: That might actually

Jill: get me to run. It’s very cool.

I’ve done some of these, on a lot of treadmills, will have. You’ve run through Auckland, run through these woods, run every, and you’ve run around the world and it is very cool to be able to see different things. Besides other treadmills around you.

Alison: I’m not running through the woods.

Not unless I’m bringing one of the fencers with me.

Jill: So, uh, over the holiday break, maybe you saw a little feature in your local news where the organizing committee had a little tasting of the food that will be offered. at the Olympic Village. Did you see any of this? I did not. How did I miss the food news? I know. Well, they are going to have, , 60 percent vegetarian options on the menu and 80 percent of the dishes will be made from produce sourced in France in an effort to reduce the game’s carbon footprint.

, one of the things they showed was, , a meatless burger with a patty made of wheat. They also had quinoa salads and falafels as some of the options that the athletes will have during the games. And I will say that sounds cool. But what if you are a person who needs a lot of protein and you’d like your protein in meat form?

Alison: Well, that’s the 40 percent that’s not vegetarian.

Jill: I also have a point about, cause, oh, we’re going to hear about reducing the game’s carbon footprint so, so much. But we also know that teams like Team USA. Bring a lot of food with them and didn’t we talk to somebody who said oh team Canada we talked to Jackie Simenow who well, you’ll hear that interview in a few weeks, but she talked about how Team Canada brought food too because you wanted to be able to be sure to have something your body knew

Alison: Right.

This is not the time to find out that your version of orange juice is different than their version of orange juice and Your body goes no. Thank you

Jill: exactly. I, I do think that some of this whole reducing the game’s carbon footprint is hogwash in a sense.

Alison: A bit like the, , male female parity that we talked about last year.

Jill: Yes. Yes, exactly. The organizing committee may be reducing its carbon footprint, and I’m sure the IOC will tout that very much in the future, but we don’t take into account the carbon footprint it takes to do that. For every team to get there,

Alison: it’s kind of like the games that they, they play with the budget, that the organizing committee spent X, but they’re not taking into account what the city spent, what the, the national government spent, what this corporation over here spent, because it’s not on their balance sheet.

So what’s not on their carbon balance sheet, what the teams do is not their problem. But. But if they are reducing what’s on the organizing committee’s balance sheet, Olympics over Olympics, it’s still a reduction. And that’s still improvement.

Jill: Very true. So we shall see. Will it be like that legacy report we looked at the other year that had some fishy numbers?

Or will it be, uh, true on reduction? We will find out. when they tell us the numbers, that’ll be an interesting sign.

I’m sorry to say that our surfing novella is probably coming to an end.

Alison: I know, this is the final, I believe this might be the final episode, though I’m hoping that the Tahitians take a little Parisian. Flare and maybe start doing a protest or something and I don’t say that lightly. I mean, I have a real problem with what’s happening with this.

I think this is an environmental catastrophe and I don’t use that word lightly. This should not be happening. So I really do back the Tahitians and saying. This is not okay.

Jill: So if you are new to our novella, because these, there’s a lot of drama, dramatic things that happen at the Olympics that are very much like a telenovela.

, the surfing competition will be held in Tahiti, which is a French territory. It’s held there because it has the best wave at a place called Teahupo. However, this is in a remote part of the island. And the judges tower that is already in place because they do have surfing competitions there regularly.

That judges tower is wooden and it’s too small and it’s falling apart. So Paris 2024 said we are going to build a bigger aluminum tower complete with facilities like toilets and air conditioning. And this is going to be offshore in the ocean. There was protesting. and this just happened a few months ago.

And, and you go the games have been in the works for five, six years now. Why is this all of a sudden happening? But it is. So Paris 2024 said, no, no, no, we can make this happen. And in the process of going to figure it out in the boat, going out to the ocean, they damaged the coral reef, which is a huge deal because once you damage coral, it’s just not coming back.

And that. ecosystem really needs to thrive in order for ocean health. So this is a huge problem. , they backpedaled on their big plans and they said, we will build a smaller aluminum tower, but we must build a tower , and we will find a way to get around the reef. Don’t worry. And then all of a sudden the locals and athletes got involved and they started protesting

Alison: and athletes made little rumblings about boycotting.

Jill: Yes, again, less than one year to go. So, they’ve got this compromise of sorts and then at the 11th hour over the holiday break, the International Surfing Association came up with a proposal to stop the construction, put all of the equipment on land, and use cameras and drones to film the competition.

And you just wanted to go, where have you been? Because part of the deal with the Olympics is that you’ve got an organizing committee that provides the venues. But the International Federation runs the show, basically. And runs the, you know, is in charge of the event. So where the communication was, communication gap was, I’m not sure.

Alison: It’s like I was trying to conduct the conversation in French. Right.

Jill: And they just woke up and said, oh, hey, what are you doing? let us come up with the plan. And the French Polynesian president told the AFP that it is a little late for the ISA to wake up, realize the problem and propose something in the, at the last minute.

Which I loved that. That was hilarious to me. It also said besides if you’re going to use cameras, you can’t film from the ground and expect to be able to see the wave. So you have to have them above ground. And you would still need a platform that’s the same height that the judge’s platform would be. So you still have the same problem that you need a platform for something and , drones also aren’t going to cut it in terms of showing you what you need to see.

And Tony Stange, the president of the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, said it was impossible to film. 800 to 900 meters away from the wave. Can you imagine a camera being, a TV camera being that powerful to be? It would be like me with my little phone camera going, Hey, there’s a surfer up there.

Alison: So long, very long saga short, they’re building the aluminum tower.


Jill: And that may be it for the telenovela. That is.

Alison: Oh, it’s not going to be it.

Jill: Tahitians come through for me. Oh, but that is the latest on the surfing novella. It’s been a good one. I have missed that. I, and I know you’d never want anything to really happen like that, but boy, is it good. This was a juicy one.

Thank you. Paris. , also potentially juicy is that Snoop Dogg has been hired by NBC to be a commentator and provide primetime reporting during the games, at least during the Olympics.

Alison: Right. So he did this during Tokyo and. It was fun, like he did a late night spot from the desk and I’m sure people have seen the memes and the little clips and I thought it was great fun.

Other people found it kind of insulting and kind of demeaning. But the one thing I will say that Snoop Dogg really did was he was impressed with these athletes. He wasn’t making fun of them. He would say funny things like, Ooh, that horse is doing the crip walk. But he said it with this admiration. To these people are really amazing.

So I think this would be a lot of fun. If again, it’s coming from that place of what you guys do, I don’t totally understand, but I think is amazing and cool.

Jill: And he’s going to be walking around Paris. Reporting from the city, and I think he’s going to supplant your girl, Mary Carello. Which

Alison: I could not be more thrilled about.

We’ll let you know if we see Snoop

Jill: Dogg. Exactly. So if you are going to Paris, be sure to wear your Keep the Flame Alive gear. Our merch will be 35 percent off January 11th through 14th and 25 through 28. So please take advantage of the sale and stock up on shirts and more. And if you don’t see a design you want, let us know and we will try to create it.

You can go to flamealivepod. com and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the store link to get to our store. I’m looking forward to seeing some Shooklastani fashion.

Alison: And we have how many days of competition? I need some more shirts.

International Olympic Committee Update

Jill: We have some news from the International Olympic Committee, , about the future of the Winter Olympics. This was quite fascinating. , they published a big, long article by Steve Wilson, whose career includes being an editor and correspondent for the Associated Press. , and he has covered many an Olympic Games.

And talking about climate change and the problems that’s going to cause for the Winter Olympics and what are they going to do? Because, in some IOC commissioned research, they found out that, Two thirds of winter sports locations will be climate reliable until 2040, that goes down to a little over 50 percent by 2070, and by 2100, it’ll be less than 50%.

So what are they going to do to keep the games viable? They did talk about how Vancouver and Sochi had warm weather issues that postponed events I would love to see some kind of IOC paper published about the weather and how that’s changed because we even in our book club about Speed Kings had to talk about weather affecting Lake Placid 1932 and how they had issues with snow and being able to, , compete there.

, it’s been an interesting thing how weather is such a huge factor in the winter games.

Alison: And we had the issue in Beijing of it being. Too cold for the Olympics and then too warm for the Paralympics,

Jill: right? And they’ve talked about how artificial snow, which was what Beijing provided, it was all artificial snow that requires a certain temperature as well.

And like you say, Paralympics, we really found out it was, they were skiing on slush and it was really, really hard. It makes my shoulders burn thinking about that. And dangerous. The IOC mentioned that it’s possible to introduce plastic stuff as, you have in summer training, they particularly noted ski jumping where you can train in the summer and land on plastic, which mimics, the snow surface.

I know that , we’ve seen in Lake Placid that, , summer training for aerials involves jumping into a pool, but I don’t know if they would go that far. Depends on where they’re

Alison: considering to host it.

Jill: But, , speaking of hosts, by 2050, there will be just 10 to 12 National Olympic Committees who can host a Winter Games.

And right now there’s 15 NOCs that have at least 80 percent of the venues needed to host Uh, games, 10 have already been hosts, five are interested in hosting. So, we shall see how that plays out as the climate continues to, , warm up and the earth continues to get hotter. , they’re going to be doing a dual allocation of 2030 and 2034.

We already know that. France is in the running for 2030 and Salt Lake City is in the running for 2034. Take your bets now.

I think that’s a pretty safe bet. Yeah.

Alison: They pretty much announced it already to, they soft

Jill: launched the hosts. Right. Right. So they, they do, with that targeted dialogue, once they put them in targeted dialogue, you’re like, well, show’s over. it’s a A lot can happen in seven months. That is very true.

We have seen Japan totally pulling out Of hosting, , it’s just a tough time there in, uh, that country. There could be a rotation among a permanent host pool that would span several continents. . You would still have some issues though, because you have issues of venue maintenance and , how much you have to keep venues maintained.

I think that would be a good thing. Mary Katz Because you don’t have white elephants that you sometimes have. Dr. Carol Katz Yeah, that’s, that

Alison: idea of permanent hosts has come up time and time again for both the winter and the summer. The idea being that it would reduce costs, it could, , further planning, but the IOC is having a hard time letting go of that spectacle.

Jill: Right, also a potential issue would be when it is your turn to host again, does the population locally want it? And they could want it sometimes, and they could be like, No Olympics this time, please. Be interesting. But I wonder if you got into the mindset that, Oh, every 20 years we get to do this big event, and it’s really cool. they’re also considering creating a decentralized hosting model to reduce costs. Because many hosts, particularly in Europe, are not interested in hosting. So this would be more regional games, like Milan Cortina is edging into that regional. You know, if we would have Stockholm. We would also see that because they wanted to put Bobsledding in Segolda, Latvia, but we will not see that.

Alison: You know, there are three Nordic countries on this list of countries who could host, continue to host. Mm hmm. And I’m like, but the IOC for some reason hates the Nordic countries and won’t let them host.

Jill: Yeah, the last time we had Winter Games in Scandinavia was Lillehammer, 1994.

Alison: Why? Why? Why is the IOC anti Nordic?

Jill: I think it’s because of the government guarantees. I agree. Because the government’s pretty, you know, everyone’s pretty conservative there with the money. And the IOC, for as much as they talk about, we want to save money, we want to save money, they still want to see somebody else foot the bill.

Alison: I like a conspiracy that involves reindeer.

Elves, possibly some Arctic Circle like plants.

Jill: Gonna throw in the Aurora Borealis too. I

Alison: might. Some Swedish nobility. Hmm.

Jill: Hmm. I’m interested in this development.

Alison: Denmark is changing monarchs.

Jill: That’s right. so Karl Stoss, who is the head of the Winter Games Commission, at the IOC noted that the cost of certain Olympic events was four times higher than at a world championships. And an Olympic event is similar to a world championships.

Alison: They’re saying, for example, hosting an Olympic bobsled race is four times more expensive than hosting a world champion bobsled race.

Jill: Yes. And that’s because you want to pull out all the bells and whistles and, say that, Hey, this is the Olympics. We’re going to make it the biggest, grandest thing ever.

And I think there are elements of the IOC that want to move away from that largess, which we experienced during the big venue boom and how we want everything to be big and grand and fabulous. And there’s still that mentality that it has to be that way. But there are people in these committees who go, we’re going to have problems.

If we don’t change, and that’s been part of T Box, Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, that’s been part of his, , mindset in how we, how the games are run and how the games are bid for, and host cities are selected to show that we don’t need to have things cost as much, but they still, uh, because Karl Stoss said, there’s no reason for such a difference in costs between an Olympic event and a world championship event.

It’s that there is a difference between nice to have and need to have. And that’s where I think you run into the problem of the Olympics being such a special thing and other people jumping on the board of this is a special thing. We need to make it super special and I’m looking at Brisbane 2032. And the Gabba, because remember when the summer host commission, put up, put out that report about Brisbane before they selected it as a city and they said, you have a lovely stadium in the Gabba.

You do not need to rip it down and redevelop it. But we want to!

Alison: We want to take advantage of the situation and make an even fancier stadium.

Jill: And that’s what’s happening and that’s a problem.

Alison: Though, on the other hand, it is the Olympics and you, and the Paralympics, and you do want it to be special and you do want it to not feel like another World Championship or another World Cup.

Erase. You want it to feel like a once every four year event.

Jill: But does that need to cost four times as much? Agreed. Because I would think you’d get some bulk discount pricing on all those banners you’re printing up, you know.

Alison: So that is the push and pull. That’s the push and pull with the carbon footprint.

That’s the push and pull with costs. It’s always, how do we make it special? How do we make it once in a lifetime for many of these athletes and fans, yet not below the budget? And I’ll blow up the planet. Kind of important.

Jill: Right, so the IOC has , a lot of, a lot of things to talk about. And a lot of things to see happen.

Particularly with the winter games, because I think that’s more pressing than the summer games. But I’m curious to see how they will finally hammer home, look, we really need to pay attention to costs. I think LA 2028 will help. Because they don’t have to build any new venues and there’s been no cry for building new venues.


Alison: Twice before, L. A. has saved the Olympic movement, so we’ll see if they can do it again. Do it again, L. A. Do it again.

TKFLASTAN (Team Keep the Flame Alive) Update

Alison: Welcome to Shook Fla Stan.

Jill: It is the time of the show where we check in with our team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show and listeners who make up our citizenship of our very own country, Shook Fla Stan. If you are new to the show and wonder how we came up with that, team Keep the Flame Alive does not acronym well, but if you add Stan onto it, It definitely sounds like it could be a country in Central Asia.

Hence, we have a country called Shiklistan. What do you got for us? Uh,

Alison: Marnie McBean has been appointed to the Canadian Senate, filling a vacant seat for Ontario.

Jill: I’m sorry. Are we not surprised? Justin Trudeau, watch yourself. Well, he’s the one who appointed her. Well, you know. That’s true. I mean.

Alison: That’s Senator McBean to you.

I’m sorry. So now we know we’re in the world. So back during Tokyo, and we had a lot of fun because none of the fans could come. So Marnie McBean, as the Canadian Chef de Mission, took it upon herself to be Canada’s number one fan. She went to. Every event, not only that she could possibly get to, but that she could impossibly get to.

She was everywhere. So now, we will know where in the world is Marnie McBean. She’s in the Canadian Senate.

Jill: Will she have the drum?

Alison: If they annoy her enough, I have a feeling she would. Get those guys into shape.

Jill: Speaking of Canadians, Race Walker Evan Dunfee received a King Charles Coronation Emblem this was for his contributions to Richmond, Canada. He’s been very involved there and has run for local government as well. So congratulations to Evan.

Alison: Gymnast Jake Dalton and his wife Kay welcome their second child, a son, on December 29th.

Cash Jacob Dalton joins his older sister Luca, and mom and baby are well and at home.

Jill: Yay! I wonder if he’s bench pressing both of them. He could. He definitely could. Definitely could. Cash, you, if you’ve inherited Daddy’s genes, you are going to have one heck of an upper body someday.

Alison: Well, there are some fantastic pictures on Jake’s Instagram of Luca holding the baby and kissing her little brother.

So she’s, she is ready to bring him to the gym with her, with Mom and Dad. And they’re, they’re starting family training, I think, next week.

Jill: Excellent. And, uh, birth of a baby of another kind, author Amy Alley Card celebrating publication day this week. Her book, The Tigerbelles, Olympic Legends from Tennessee State has been officially released.

Uh, if you haven’t heard our conversation with her, go back and do that. We will have a link to that in the show notes. Great book. It is very good. It is very, very good. You can also get the book through our bookshop. org site. I believe that it’s bookshop. org slash shop slash flame alive pod.

Buying through that site helps us earn a commission and that commission helps us get to Paris. So thank you very much for those of you who do shop through bookshop. org. We appreciate it. And that is going to do it for this episode. Let us know what you think of what’s going to happen in Paris and the future of the Winter Olympics.

Alison: You can connect with us on XN Instagram at Flame Alive Pod. Email us at Flame Alive pod@gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive podcast group on Facebook, and don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter, which will be coming back this week, filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode.

Sign up for that at flamealivepod. com.

Jill: I am excited to see , the newsletter come back. I definitely missed it during the break.

Next week we will be hitting the road to talk road cycling with Olympian Corinne Lebecki. She’s going to demystify what it’s like to be in the Peloton and also tell us about that wild, wild, Finish from Tokyo 2020. So you won’t want to miss that. Thank you so much for listening. We appreciate you being there and until next time, keep the flame alive.