Seoul 1988 Olympic logo during Opening Ceremonies

Watch Party: Seoul 1988 Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Release Date: July 13, 2023

Category: Podcast | Seoul 1988

With just about one year to go until Paris 2024, we’ve got to start getting our daily show muscles into shape! We’re training with you this week as we get deep into our yearlong look at the Seoul 1988 Olympics and Paralympics by watching the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. This look back is just a preview of what you have to look forward to when Paris 2024 starts (but the bonus is that we’ll be podcasting from Paris!).

Coincidentally, the start of the Seoul 1988 Opening Ceremonies is a foreshadowing of the plans for Paris 2024, as it starts with performers boating down the Han River. In Paris, the plans are for the athletes to boat down the Seine, so it’ll be interesting to see if next year’s show emulates 1988’s. One thing’s for certain though–Paris 2024 won’t have Hidori the mascot water skiing down the river (if the Phryges water ski down the Seine, that would be an amazing tip of the cap to Olympic history):

Hidori the Seoul 1988 Olympic mascot waterskiing during the opening ceremony.

One of the things Alison loves about Opening Ceremonies is when they are emblematic of the year in which they’re produced. The Parade of Nations does not disappoint with its 1988 fashion and hairstyles. Our faves included:

Beyond the amazing story of torchbearer Sohn Kee Chung, the lighting of the cauldron may best be known for this unfortunate event:

But the show didn’t end there! The athletes left, but the audience was treated to many, many more segments of folklore, formations, and the young child symbolizing the hope of the future (much to our chagrin). Finally, we get to the 1988 fever pitch of Koreana:

It’s a ceremony for the ages! You can watch it in full here.

In our visit to TKFLASTAN, we have news from:

We’ve got news on the current status of bid-rigging scandals related to Tokyo 2020.

In Paris 2024 news, the cycling road race and time trial routes are out. Team Italy’s kit has been revealed (not a bad deal when your kit is made by Armani). Hong Kong won’t be holding a 3×3 Olympic qualifier. And you could stay at Pierre de Coubertin’s home–it’s being Airbnb’d for One Year to Go!

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


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 Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

Watch Party: Seoul 1988 Olympics Opening Ceremonies

(Episode 295)

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 cohost, Alison Brown.

Alison, hello, how are you?

Alison: I stayed up too late preparing for the show today, which actually gets us totally into the mindset of where we’re gonna be doing daily shows.

Jill: Right, right. We are getting close to one year to go to Paris, which means Alison and I need to start exercising those daily show muscles.

And getting to talk about that. So as we are about halfway through our year of Seoul, 1988, we wanted to take a look at the full opening ceremonies and see how it was and how it compares to more recent games and what is planned for Paris. Let me put the music on here. Get us in the mood.

Seoul 1988 Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Alison: And speaking of music, we have talked about the song, we have talked about the baked pigeon flambe.

Jill: Which I’m not convinced. I think that’s a media thing. I mean, I, I think maybe one or two pigeons got, or doves got a little toasted in that cauldron, but I’m not sure, like most of them went up in flames.


Alison: So we have, touched on a few things of the opening Ceremony, but we’re going full [00:02:00] hog as if we’re seeing this for the first time. And I have to say there were huge sections of it. I did not remember. Oh gosh. So it felt like it was seeing it for the first time. I did not know. You could have so many different people forming different formations on a field for that long.

This was a very low tech ceremony. You know, this is just on the fields with the track. This was before they did the floors. This is before they had fireworks. It was during the day,

Jill: Well, I did some research on that. You know why it was during the day. So it could be on, in the US in prime time on Friday night.

So this ceremony was on Saturday morning at like 10 30 and that made it very odd. And since then I, I didn’t get too much into the research, but I did find that, oh, it’s so was, could be on Friday night in the us and. Competition started like two hours after the opening ceremonies was over. So we’ve talked about athletes who have skipped the opening ceremonies because they competed the next day.

Well, these, you can’t go from opening ceremonies and standing out in the baking sun, probably in a black outfit because half of the countries chose to dress their athletes in dark clothing and then go straight to a, a competition. It’s just not feasible. So yeah, am ceremony. It was, that was really, really odd.

Alison: So you’ve got no lighting effects, no sparkling, right? No such evening things. There was no evening wear.

Jill: But oddly enough, when you think about what is gonna happen at Paris 2024, there was a whole river parade.

Alison: Yeah, so just like they do now, this probably was one of the first, they had sort of an intro movie with.

A river parade, so it made sense. And people singing on the river, which was a little odd. Right? Well, they were all performers. All

Jill: the performers were coming in on [00:04:00] boats throughout the river.

Alison: he Dori? The mascot was water skiing. Yes. It felt really bad for him because all I kept thinking was, if that guy goes down, he is gonna sink like a log in that costume.

Did we lose any, had Doris to the river because later we had 475 had Doris coming out and that was terrifying as

Jill: well. You know, it was, and the Haddo costume and also very tearing. So we start with this river parade. they go to the stadium, and that’s when we

Alison: get the drumming. You know, I love a good drum section, and it was, I, it looked like it was all women, or mostly women. Mm-hmm. And not only did they drum, they were drumming backwards. They were drumming, not looking right, like they would be drumming sideways.

But looking forward, I’m like, these girls got skills.

Jill: They did. It was amazing to watch and kind of emblematic of what we would see a little bit later at Beijing 2008. But you know, this is the first opening ceremony. In Asia for summer games since Tokyo 1964. So it’s gotta be a very different, and have a very different field than the last few ceremonies, which have been in like North America and in Europe.

it really started off with getting that. Asian feel to it. And the drumming was just tremendous, I have to say that.

Alison: And lots of eighties makeup, which was fantastic.

Jill: Mm-hmm.

Alison: I did not remember how many colors of eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush you could put in streaks on one’s face. Loved

Jill: it. The hours we lost doing that

Alison: and to perms.

Mm-hmm. A lot of perms.

Jill: That’s great. So there’s a lot of dancing on the, the field dancers eventually form an 88, so it’s, funny to watch all these formations cuz we are in the [00:06:00] time now. Today it would be all projection mapping .

Alison: Right. Like I said, it was very low tech and they managed to make flowers and different symbols and different words and words in English and words in Korean and it was fun up to a point.

Once we hit like hour three of this, I’m saying I have seen enough formations. This is like one of those marching band competitions. If you’re like a marching band parent and you have to go and watch the competitions and it just goes on for hours, and you’re saying to yourself, how many formations can I make with human bodies?

Jill: well, I was surprised that I thought it was just gonna be the beginning. I wondered, well, where are all these extra performers that are coming in that were on the River parade? And then, and then we found out, they came at the end too, but Parade of Nations. Wow. There were some themes in clothing.

There were some themes. I

Alison: have four themes. Okay. Okay. So my, my four themes. My four themes was where you had the traditional costume. You know, Swaziland La Soto, they included some of those. You had the track suit? Mm-hmm. Okay. Then you had the smooth criminal, which Bulgaria was the best example of this.

It’s the sort of loose double breasted suit with fedora. Right. And then my final one was high school principal, and that’s sort of the midi skirt with oversized sweater and white pumps.

Jill: Yes I felt bad for everybody who was stuck in a sweater, a lot of sweaters. I forgot what that boxy blazer looked like, especially some of somebody had a, like, it might have been Switzerland, who had a really pronounced shoulder pad in those boxy blazers, those boxy double breasted blazers, lots of black and khaki and cream and white.

And you know, you’re in the middle of the day and it’s September, so it’s still gonna be pretty warm, I’m guessing. And these poor athletes and [00:08:00] officials are standing out there in like dark suits, some very boring stuff.

Alison: Lots of oversized cardigans. Mm-hmm. The US had these sort, the women had these light blue cardigans and white skirts, and it was.

Oh dear. What sort of Mormon convention was happening there? It was not good, but I do have sort of an honorary mention for another category of which there was only two. Okay. Norway and Canada, apparently our ice cream salesman red bow ties with these sort of white shirts and these odd little caps.

Jill: And then Canada had Frisbees, which they decided to start throwing out into the audience.

Alison: Did somebody lose an eye because of the Canadian Frisbee? That’s what I really wanna know.

Jill: I, one more category would add Oh. Along with your native dress. Best examples were Mongolia. Yes.

Alison: Capes and Speedos.

Jill: Yes.

That was incredible. And. Before Peter to Toa, there was a woman flag bearer at Seoul, 1988, who was also slicked up. I mean, she had a full on native costume that had like a, coconut kind of belt, but, her top was covered, but boy, her shoulders were all


Alison: up. Did you also, the other element of the smooth criminal that I forgot, U s s R with red fingerless

Jill: gloves. I was just gonna say, I hope you’re saying the red fingerless gloves and so fingerless, they didn’t even have like finger holes.

Yes. The whole

Alison: hand just went in. I was thinking what in the material girl early Madonna situation was happening in the Soviet Union at that time.

Jill: The other color I thought was very unfortunate was the prominence of gold. Yellowish goldish. Golden Rod Australia got st. The women got stuck in these all gold dresses with big long [00:10:00] jackets on.

It was not pretty. I

Alison: think you’re being kind calling them golds because my note on in Australia is these poor women look like mustard jars.

Jill: They did look like mustard dark. One other sighting. Did you notice that with Thailand, miss Universe?

Alison: Yes, I have her name written down, yeah.

So Miss Universe, 1988 was from Thailand, and early on she was spotted in the stands, but then she marched with the full crown in the parade. Her name was Porn Tip Knock. He run Kaneko. that was my best attempt and I apologize cause I’m sure I got it wrong. But Yes. And interestingly enough, in the 1988 Miss Universe pageant, miss Korea was the first runner up.

So, miss Universe from Thailand took her life in her hands, marching through Korea, because, you know, someone could have just taken that crown and said, no, it is ours.

Jill: Well, she did bring a lot of sparkle to the brown uniforms of Thailand. I will say that.

Alison: And she had the wave down. She knew what she was doing when she was waving.

Jill: Any other parade nations?

Alison: No, I just thought it was very odd that they then said Athletes march out. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen that. So they put them on the field and then they sent them away and it was kind of like, we’re done with you. Go away.

Jill: Yeah. It was really interesting because the athletes did come on the field.

There was a lot of backup, it, it really felt like when you were watching, they wanted to announce the countries as quickly as possible. And they got kind of bunched up and it was hard to tell who was who at some times.

And then with the replay I’m grateful that the replays exist, but there’s no commentary, so there’s not much else to go on. So the athletes are on the field for the opening remarks from the organizing committee from Juan Antonio Samran and the president opening the games and they bring out the flag.

then it’s time for the [00:12:00] torch to come in And I gotta say those opening remarks were short, so,

Alison: Very short cuz they needed more time for more formations on the field.

Jill: Torch bearers. Did you know this story about the first guy who came out? Yes.

Alison: In the research I’ve come across it.

Jill: , great story. The first person out into the stadium is Song Hun, who was gold medalist in 1936 for the marathon. And in 1936, Japan was occupying Korea at the time, and they forced all the athletes to compete under the Japanese flag, and when he won and they played the Japanese anthem, he bowed his head and refused to acknowledge it and told reporters he was ashamed he had to run for Japan. So for him to get to run in the opening ceremony with the torch under the Korean flag, big deal. He was a big

Alison: man. Thank you. And it seemed like the crowd understood Yes. In the way that they responded to when his name was announced. Which is amazing. Yes. And then we have the bird fry.

Jill: Yes. And then we had the bird fry cuz they passed the torch off to a limb hun. A and I believe, from what I understood she was at the Pan-Asian games

because she is not showing up in Edia where we get our, we get a lot of our athlete information. Then she passes it to three Igniters. Who represents sport, academics and artistic endeavors. And those were Chung man, Kim One Talk and song me chu. They are on this platform and it’s like an elevator platform that rises up to the cauldron, which is on a big stick in the stadium, not above the stadium yet, but that’s where all the birds are resting and they ignite the torch, they ignite the birds.


Alison: when we did the Seoul moment, Talking about, you know, specifically talking about the cauldron. Those torches were very smoky. Mm-hmm. [00:14:00] So I guess it’s whatever fuel that they were burning was extremely smoky and most of the birds got the hint to get out of the way. But then some of them came back, I guess the cauldron was very comfy.

But I think it was only the birds on the far side of the cauldron. Cuz even after the cauldron was lit, you saw some birds flying away. But on the backside of the cauldron away from the camera, it did look like we had a little bit of a flambe dove.

But not too many.

Jill: No, I hope not. But I think that was something that you saw it and went, oh, and then I. Quick cutaway maybe. Yes, exactly. Exactly. Then we finish up with all of our OS and the athletes march out and we are back to the show. And first up we have parachuting into the stadium. I

Alison: was so concerned about those PA because there was a lot.

Mm-hmm. I mean, there were a couple of dozen jumpers and they all had to land in the stadium and not get tangled up. And they all had additional fabric that they were carrying. So not only did they have their parachute silks, they had almost a scarf coming off of the back of the parachute. It was very beautiful and very dramatic, and I’m sure in the stadium was super cool, but that’s a good way to kill a parachute.

The other thing that they’re pros, it’s true. The other thing that we didn’t comment is there was a lot of ring formations made. Mm-hmm.

Jill: Yes. Also

Alison: the skydive. Yeah. Right. The skydivers did it in the air. They did it on the ground. Lots of dancers did different rings, so they did the rings in many formations and ways

Jill: And then we get back from modern times.

We go back to traditional Korean stuff and do a Huan dance. Sometimes they would show the scoreboard and the jumbotron that would announce what this was. So we’d known what the different segments were not consistent all the way throughout the show. Not surprised that it was, but this is what I could kind of make out.

Beautiful costumes. In this number, these traditional [00:16:00] handbook dresses with sleeves that had very arms that draped to the floor. They’re carrying beautiful streamers, lot of formations ends up in a flower. Very nice. I thought that was a very cool one.

Then it dissolves to this, I don’t know what it was, but all these dancers come out with, Big giant masks on long poles that were animal heads or freaky heads and monsters and I don’t know what was going on. And then they had big freaky heads on the stadium roof too,

Alison: in balloons. And that was another big thing.

There were a lot of balloons. The environmental impact of this opening ceremony was problematic, but there was a lot of very, very large balloon formations. And it’s actually, it was a clever way of using these. Creating these very large items that could look like these giant masks coming down from the stadium in a way that wasn’t too heavy or too cumbersome or too expensive.

But you know what? You didn’t see what dragons

A, so. The director, Lee o Young, specifically, did not want dragons in his opening ceremony because he wanted people in the west to understand that Korea is not China.


Jill: interesting.

Alison: The people in the media were calling him the Dragon Slayer because dragons still have a significant portion in a lot of Korean culture. But he said, no, Westerners are stupid. They’re not gonna understand the difference between China and Korea.

Jill: He has a point.

I, I don’t know what the lore and the folklore is around the freaky heads. But I really wanted a guidebook for that one, cuz there it was obviously something, very important. Well, I think

Alison: it, probably goes back to puppetry and there’s a tradition of theatrical puppetry.

Mm-hmm. And probably folk folklore, a lot of those characters were folk characters.

Jill: Next up we had a [00:18:00] TaeKwonDo demonstration.

Alison: It went on forever. It was cool in the stadium. Probably. This did not fly on tv.

Jill: Well, everyone was white. It, they’re obviously dressed in white because that’s their uniforms and They did a PO se, which is their form.

So if you remember, like in when karate was at Tokyo 2020, they had the form competition called Kata. So PO se are TaeKwonDo forms. So they did a lot of those and then they had the board kicking. So boards are flying everywhere. Jump, the people are jumping over each other lifting people up to do like two story kicks.

I thought it was cool. I know he thought it went on forever, but it was cool. And

Alison: also the sound during the board kicking just sounded like screaming. And I realized it, it was just like one long excessive scream to me. And I realized it was distinctive. You know, each person was doing whatever sound that they make when you crash a board.

But this was definitely prior to, we are designing opening ceremonies for television. You can see such a difference because this must have been incredible in person. Mm-hmm. And on TV it was just boring.

Jill: Okay, now we’ve got one of those iconic segments that everybody talked about where the. Lone little boy rolling a hoop comes and rolls his hoop to the center of the field waves to everybody and then continues rolling his hoop. Cuz

Alison: you have to have the single child in every opening ceremony.

They will not allow the Olympics to open until you have some single child doing some sporting activity. And everyone can clap

Jill: for him. Right? It’s the hope of the world right there on this poor guy. So, and

Alison: then after that kid shows up, that is when the show goes off the rails.

Jill: Then we have all these other kids come up in the new [00:20:00] Sprouts segment.

Alison: Little girls have the cute yellow dresses. I guess they’re supposed to be flowers.

Jill: Was that I, I don’t know. But they were the, also this mustard yellow gold, golden rod frilly dresses, boys and little blue shorts and white top kind of thing. And they do little school dances and jump rope and clap hands and stuff like that.

But pinwheels, yes. Lots of pinwheels, lots of formations. They’d make a

Alison: giant pinwheel with their selves.

Jill: Mm-hmm. when they get cleared off the field, it looks like we’re gonna go slay the dragon.

Alison: But it wasn’t a dragon because there’s no dragons

Jill: in this show, which was a surprise to me. Cause they could not figure out what these guys were writing.

They had guys riding these giant rope snakes. I

Alison: thought they were supposed to be boots.

Jill: Oh, because they had like lots of people on either side carrying poles, right? Like you would have people row boats back in the day.

Alison: I thought it was supposed to be a traditional boat.

Jill: Could be, I don’t know. It was blue versus red and then as it should be, and then they were doing, I, I thought it was a fight and then I thought it was going to be how the blue and red.

Became intertwined on the flag symbol. That’s what I really thought we were going for here. And that did not manifest itself in a formation.

Alison: It was Korean West side story

And there was music that didn’t have really anything to do with this boat feud. A lot of people yelling and it was visually very impressive. But I agree. I did not understand what was happening. But it was cool. But unfortunately we were at our like three and a half at that point,

Jill: so I was No, no, no, no.

It felt like our three and a half. But you’re at like hour almost three. Cuz this whole thing was only three hours and

Alison: 20 minutes. I was waning at that point. [00:22:00] So I was like, sure there are people boats coming and fighting with each other in the middle of the track field. That makes perfect sense at this point.

Jill: And then we switch back from the traditional. To the modern. With our pop music portion. = It did feel so disjointed. And we have these children, let’s have the children segment. Okay, let’s go back to something traditional because we had this really cool idea that somebody came up with and then we’re gonna go, we gotta go out with our pop music and our song that you talked about as well,

Alison: cor, hand in hand.

And seeing the entire opening ceremonies this segment. Was so gonzo. It just, you know, like you said, it kind of came outta nowhere. It kind of didn’t really fit in with all these wonderful traditional EL elements and , I thought it was off the rails when I first just watched that segment when I was talking about the song.

But to see it integrated in the show, there was this fever dream of mascots. There was, a hundred head Doris coming out also accompanied by previous mascots.

Jill: Yes I said every mascot is there in multiple. And then you realized, yes. And then you realized there were only. Five mascots at that point total for summer games.

And they all looked very sad. I mean, I don’t know if these were original costumes coming out, but the Dory costume, poor her Dory, did look a little sad.

Alison: He did look a bit like a dime store. Tony the tiger.

And Sam the eagle was a little crooked and

Jill: it was, and I had to, I’ve really had to think about a Nook the beaver, cause I couldn’t figure out what that big brown blob was from

Alison: 76. Yes. And then they had all these people doing square dancing.

Jill: Yes. It was the one world segment. So they had. People from around the world come for [00:24:00] this segment.

They had, yes, American Square dancers. They had another culture where they danced on stilts and women played accordions and I, I don’t know what all else was there. But it was kind of mind blowing that they had so many people and so many different things and I, I don’t even know where to begin because I’m still back on the, what is that aerobic outfit that they are having on the stage with Ana and there were the, these poor women in.

Full on like shiny lyra spandex.

Alison: But they did have the, let’s get physical headband across the forehead.

Jill: Yes. And then they had that singlet under their whole leotard, legging getup. And they’re waving pompoms all over the place, getting their cotton in their permed hair.

Alison: You know, one of the things I love about overnight ceremonies is when elements of the opening ceremony could happen. Only in that time and place. Like when you pull out things from the opening ceremony, you could say, oh, that’s gotta be from Korea, that has to be from Canada and everything before that point.

Was low tech. Yes, and clearly Korean, but this was so late eighties and I was in a fever dream. I thought I might have e drank a, I thought I might have had a bit of bad tea. I didn’t know what was happening, but I did get pepped up again after I was waning a bit on the no dragon fight going on. And then it’s just over.

That’s always the worst part. And we experienced this when we were in Beijing, even sitting live the announcer comes on and says, you know, this is the end. And I’m like, I don’t know. It didn’t feel like the end. And it should have, because. Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John had showed up in their leotards and sung to me with their perms, and I should have known that that was the [00:26:00] end.

But it it, and I think it was the lack of fireworks,

Jill: right? you could hear like pops that sounded like may have been fireworks, but because it was during the day they couldn’t do anything

Alison: I hope going forward that they, everyone takes a page from Beijing and does shorten it up.

I think this would’ve been much more effective if we had cut out two segments.

Jill: Could have been, but I wonder if it’s a, an element of you want your money’s worth too and what do you, I mean, you think about a primetime show would’ve been three hours long. So do we have to keep our show right around then?

Although Atlanta looking at you four hours I mean, when YouTube was promoting the other other ones to watch and like four hours for Atlanta, that a hundred years celebration ain’t worth another hour of stuff, although probably,

Alison: and of course the parade of Nations. Does get longer after this point.

Mm-hmm. You know, we’ve hit the maximum. There’s over 11,000 athletes. every time it’s more n OCS than ever before, but it’s slow. Mm-hmm. Can we figure out a way to speed that up? And apparently Paris has had, cuz we’re just throwing everybody on a boat,

Jill: I guess. So I’m very curious as to how long that will take and how long. how they will be announced because it’ll be interesting to hear from athletes who have been to pre 2020 Olympics and they always talk about that. When you come out of the tunnel and everybody is cheering for you, will it just be one solid state cheering for. Half an hour because they’re going down such a long stretch of river or When do you get that moment? or do you even get that moment cuz you’re all in this together and you don’t have the whole United States? Where do they announce the countries?

Alison: Right. And do they then get off the boat and go into the stadium? We haven’t gotten the details yet as to where things are gonna happen.

Where are we gonna have the cauldron? Where are we gonna [00:28:00] have the oaths taken? Where is the show going to be? Or is it going to be in multiple spots?

Because now it’s really produced for television and the experience of the attendee is secondary.

Jill: It’ll be interesting. It’ll be interesting to see how much. the attendee experience will differ from the viewer experience. we’ll have to see, but this was a fun little walk down memory lane.

Alison: Did you have a 1988 perm? I did, yes. Okay. So did I. We’ll post some

Jill: pictures. I had my 1988 perm in probably 19 89, 19 90. But yeah,

Alison: we’ll post some pictures. So you can see that our hair would not have fit in the little hats that they clearly gave away in the swag bag that everyone’s wearing.

Jill: Oh boy. We’ll look for those.

Hey, did you know that we were on Ye Olde Crime podcast? I.

Alison: That, that’s the only oldest word I know.

Jill: this was so much fun. If you don’t know, Ye Olde Crime P odcast. Check it out. The regular stories are so interesting. Lindsay’s voice, who’s one of the co-hosts, her voice makes me feel so calm, so I’ll say that. And she’s telling

Alison: you about, people from the 18 hundreds. Getting hung and.

Jill: Other dastardly things, and yet you feel so calm. Yeah, exactly. So we were on their interstitial episodes, which are you stumped by the cramp word, which is, do you know, Victorian slang? And we talked about some Olympics True crime. And, uh, you’ll have to hear if we were stumped by the cramp board.

So we will have a link to that in the show notes. It was again, so much fun. Thank you so much, Lindsay, for having us on the show.


Alison: Welcome to Stan.

Jill: Stan has been busy. There’s a bunch of world championships coming up, we’ve got athletes who are involved with [00:30:00] things at the U S A Track and Field National Championships pole vaulter, Katie Moon won her competition with a jump of 4.90 meters, which is a new world lead. And our hammer thrower, Deanna Price, came in second in her competition with a season’s best throw of 78.18.

Meters. She is a little over two meters off her best ever throw of 80.31, which was at the 2021 Olympic trials. But she has been injured and has had surgeries and stuff, so seeing her come back this strong is so exciting. Both women have qualified for World Championships in Budapest on August 19th through 27th.

So go. Stan

Alison: Beach volleyball players. Kelly Chang and Sarah Hughes took second place at the Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 in Gestad, Switzerland. This is their second medal of the

Jill: season. And I believe their first giant cowbell win. Did you see the giant cowbells they got? I

Alison: did. And these are all qualifiers, these all points add

Jill: up?

Yes. They are doing very well in the points so far for qualifying for Paris. Geoff Whiteman’s son, Jake Whiteman, who he coaches Jake is out of worlds due to his sprained midfoot that he thought would be better now by now, but it keeps setting him back. So sadly, he will not be able to defend his 1500 meter title this year.

Alison: Sailors, Maggie Shay and Stephanie Roble are competing in the Olympic test event in Marsai. This week they won the first day of competition and currently stand in third.

Jill: Yay. And then Stan adjacent, we have news on the Castor Semenya case, the European Court of Human Rights found that Castros men’s appeal against the Swiss government was not heard properly.

So, they’ve ruled in her favor for that bit. It opens the way for the Swiss Supreme Court to reader reconsider its decision. [00:32:00] And that might result in the case going back to the court of arbitration for sport. And only then might the hon. Highly controversial ruling infor and. Once it goes back to Cass, then we might start seeing where world athletics judgments could be removed.

This is, they have stipulated testosterone levels for women’s races. this is a step in the right direction for castor semenya, but not. Nothing really actionable happens from it from a competition point of view because her case wasn’t against world athletics. they’re maintaining their rules on differences in sex development and the testosterone levels they say that women need to have for competing in those races.

Alison: And this affects several other athletes going into Paris. Yes. So this could get very complicated. Yes.

Tokyo 2020 News

Jill: A little bit of news from Tokyo 2020. We have former Olympic officials admitting to bid, rigging and the problem here, lots of controversy and scandal coming back from. Tokyo’s bid and also how they organized the games a little bit. So companies that won the bids to run test events were just given contracts to run the competitions during the Olympics and.

The organizing committee and people involved with this, , they were supposed to have a bid process to run the test events, a bid process to run the games. They didn’t put that bid process in for the games competitions, cuz I said it was too expensive and time consuming, which, in one sense I totally get, but in the other sense, you needed to have a tender and a, a contract for both the test events and the games at once.

To make that fair.

Alison: And Milan Cort is running into a similar problem. They’ve got new tenders coming out for the biathlon event the biathlon [00:34:00] venue because the first time around might not have been so much on the up and up. So, g shocking. We’ve got corruption,

Jill: right? So not great news, but wanted to let you know if you have seen something in the news lately.

That’s what we got going on there.

Paris 2024 News

Alison: There’s been a lot of discussion in different Facebook groups that we’re on about, I haven’t gotten tickets. What can I see? What can I see for free? What’s gonna be hanging out in the city? And we’re starting to get some information about that with the marathon routes and now the routes for road cycling.

Jill: Yes. So the cycling routes for Road in Time trial were revealed and. The time trial is going to be on the same route for men and women for the first time at an Olympics. That is really cool. It will be starting at the Esplanade Inval passes through the Saint Germain Dupree District and the Bastille before it cuts through the Vincents Woods and ends on the Alexander TWA Bridge.

That’s a big bridge for watching stuff. I will say just go and hang out at that bridge for for two

Alison: weeks. Weeks, for two weeks. Just set up a tent on the ont on the bridge Premier camp chair. You’ll see a lot, but that’s true. There is gonna be a good amount just in the city. So if you didn’t get tickets for every day, you’re going to be there.

Number one. There’s plenty of time. We’re gonna talk about that next week. And two, there will be things that you can go to without tickets.

Jill: Exactly. And road cycling race is another one that takes place on August 3rd for the men. And the August 4th for the women will start and finish at the ERO site opposite the Eiffel Tower, the.

You will have ample opportunity to line up and watch the men because [00:36:00] they are cycling 273 kilometers, which is 169.3 miles. The women are doing 158 kilometers, which is 98 miles. They’re going through this Chis Valley and climbing up in the Mon Marra district on its way back to the Raro. So lots of cycling will be at play for that and will be free to watch.

There may be, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are tickets set up for the finish line and having a few bleacher areas there, but plenty of opportunity to watch some the cyclist come through for free. Did you see that a kit has been released? Italy put its kit out. So early, so early

Alison: Armani needs to recoup its expenses here.

Jill: Yes. So Armani did design the kit. It is an Armani blue, so it’s very deep Navy ish blue the. Sweatshirt and track jacket type things have Italia in large letters across with a W on the T of Italia. I guess the Walia theme is, is a thing in Italy. The national anthem is literally woven into the clothing, so the polos and t tee-shirts have the opening of the Italian anthem in them, and the jackets had the first verse printed inside.

Alison: So if you got bored at an event, you can just read your jacket,

Jill: but they look pretty chic and something that you would expect from Italy. So I’m, I’m excited about them. I’m excited to see Kit. We were talking on the Facebook group about the Annon Beach games being canceled, and that’s, A last minute cancellation for these games that it means many athletes will not get to go and participate like they thought they would.

That didn’t have a ton of impact on Paris qualifying situations, but this one does. Hong Kong has pulled out of hosting an official [00:38:00] qualifying tournament for three x three basketball citing costs. It was gonna cost them 2.55 million US dollars to put this tournament on. They couldn’t find a, a sponsor cuz they say in, in Hong Kong finding sponsorship post covid has been hard to get.

FIBA has said that Hong Kong is lagging behind in the sports development and was hoping that this tournament would help promote the sport. Sounds like other cities are interested in stepping in and hosting but we shall see what happens here.

Also Airbnb is giving somebody a chance to stay at Pierre de ton’s home. Chateau de Merville.

Alison: This is like saying in Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. This is very

Jill: cool. This is but it’s funny because booking opens on July 18th at 6:00 PM Central European time. You may request for a one night stay for two guests.

That will happen on July 26th, 2023. So my guest from what I’m getting from this announcement is that two people will get to stay the house will be open to you for one night on the one year to go. And that’s the shtick. You will get to sleep in the Room that was originally Cooper Town’s private study.

You will be given the opportunity to play tennis with French tennis player, Caroline Garcia, on the grounds of where the one of the first games of lawn tennis was supposedly played. In France, you’ll get a private tour of the estate. Given to you by your host, who is Pier de Ton’s great grand nephew, Jacques.

You will take a punt on the lake where Cooperton developed his love of rowing, followed by a picnic of French delicacies on a specially constructed floating pontoon, which I just, you know, if we were there, this sounds [00:40:00] amazing but let’s be honest, if you and I were on that floating pontoon, we would soon be in the lake, or our delicacies would be in the lake.

Alison: You know, I, but as long as, as long as we’re not wearing the Hedo costume, then we’re not going down. We, we can swim.

Jill: you’ll be immersed into the origins of the Olympics, including exclusive access to the historic memorabilia such as his uh, Cooper Town’s 1892 Olympic Manifesto. The document that shows the rings.

As he sketched them for the very first time, and an original ticket from France’s first Games in 1900, as well as you’ll receive a selection of items from the very latest I O C Olympic Collection named in honor of Pierre de Cooperton.


Alison: long as we’re not immersed in the lake, I’m all for it.

Jill: I would be all for this too, but it really it. And you have to agree that there, there might be media attention during your state. So you, if you are the people who get to stay there, you have to agree to be covered by the media as well. Yeah, it, I don’t know what this is beyond the, you can applications kind of open up for the guest.

I don’t know if they’re. How they are choosing the lucky winners, or even if they’re calling them winners, because you do have to pay, you’re paying 24 euros for the night, but that’s not a bad deal.

Alison: That didn’t pay for my French delicacies. That’s amazing.

Jill: if you apply, let us know because we would love to hear what this is all about. That’s for sure.

And that will do it for this week. Let us know your favorite memories from Seoul, or if you are walking hand in hand like Ana wants us to do.

Alison: You can connect with us on Twitter and Instagram. Our handle is at Flame Alive Pod. Email us at flame alive pod You can call or text us at (208) 352-6348. [00:42:00] That’s 2 0 8 Flame it. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook, and don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episodes.

You can sign up for

Jill: Hey, and if you don’t subscribe to Net Newsletter, you will want to, because Alison puts together some amazing stories that are extra Olympic tidbits and are newsletter only. So sure. Be sure to sign up for that. A special thank you to our intern Anna Lee Day for doing research for this episode. Join us again next week for more stories and news from the world of the Olympics app Paralympics.

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