Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Boston in 2024?

January 12, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston as the city to represent the American bid for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games. Since there hasn’t been a Summer Games staged in the United States since Atlanta in 1996 and no Olympics since 2002 Salt Lake City, much is riding on this bid.Boston 2024

After the Chicago bid—and almost immediate rejection of that bid by the International Olympic Committee—the United States is looking to make this bid count. The Boston bid seems to be more of a cost-efficient proposal, rather than major spending on new venues as has been the norm in the last few bids.

The 2024 Olympics could include field hockey events at Harvard Stadium, archery at MIT and beach volleyball on the Boston Common, among other venues, taking advantage of the region’s many universities and public spaces.

In choosing Boston, the USOC bypassed Washington D.C. and two other cities, including

San Francisco and Los Angeles. L.A. is the host of the next US. Olympic Marathon Trials, and the awarding of that bid was seen as a move to bolster its Summer Olympics bid effort.

The Washington D.C. bid, which was led by local businessman Russ Ramsey and co-chaired by Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, included many of the area’s most prominent business and political leaders. It focused on constructing a new stadium on the site of RFK Stadium and an Olympic Village and tennis center along the Anacostia River that organizers hoped would help revitalize some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The IOC will make its final decision on a host city in September 2017. Other candidates could include Rome, Paris, the German cities of Hamburg or Berlin, and Durban or Johannesburg from South Africa.

A Durban or Johannesburg bid could lead to the first Olympics in Africa. A Paris Olympics would have the advantage of commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Games. Like Boston, Hamburg has never staged a Summer Games and Rome hasn’t hosted since 1960.

But unlike the failed Chicago bid, the U.S. bid seems to have a better chance of having its representative city be chosen for the Olympics. The USOC has worked hard to mend hard feelings and relationships between its group and the IOC, and sticky issues like money (isn’t it always about money?) and rights fees over broadcasts have been smoothed out.

Congratulations to Boston—now let’s figure out how traffic will be moving during the games on those narrow streets!

Updates to online profiles on NASC website

November 27, 2012

In the most recent video blog, Don discusses updates to the NASC website which will allow Active members to add more detailed information about venues to their online profile. The enhancements will allow event owners to search through the member directory by venue type.  This new tool is a valuable one; but it will only be a useful tool to help promote your destination’s facilities and venues if you update your organization’s profile.  The new area of the website that will be available in the coming weeks.

Here with just a few of our closest friends

August 3, 2012

As our Olympic Games journey comes to an end, we finally made it to where the games began – Olympic Park.  In order to access the Park, either a ticket for a venue within the area or a day-pass that had to be purchased months in advance is required.  At first, this made no sense to me as many sponsors have interactive exhibits here, and the Merchandise Mega Store takes up a good portion of the area.  Furthermore, it is a great place to people watch.  However, upon spending a few minutes here, I understand the method to what I assumed was madness.  I am guesstimating there will be upwards of 400,000 people here today. If they had opened the doors to everyone, it would be a security nightmare, nearly impossible to enjoy and just plain crazy.  It has been a great trip and I look forward to sharing the nearly 2,000 photos I have taken.

 

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

It’s Fun and Games

August 2, 2012

Greater London has caught the Olympic spirit. Banners are up on houses, businesses and streets. Free and pay activities have been created and heavily promoted such as BT Live in Hyde Park.  Large screens have been erected at Hampton Court Palace grounds to watch competitions.  Although there has been quite a fuss about tickets being listed as unavailable even though many seats have been empty at major events (you’ve probably seen them on TV), there are still plenty of ways to participate and catch the Olympic spirit.

Olympic Flags

BT Live

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

What is with all of this Pink?!

August 1, 2012

A few days before we left for the Games, a friend posted a picture of the Olympics gymnastics competition floor, and it was bright pink – I mean BRIGHT pink.  I shared the picture on Facebook with the comment “wow, that’s a lot of pink”, and a few friends posted things like “It hurts my eyes” and “I am sure the men love that”.  However, now that we have seen a gymnastics competition on that bright pink floor (and have learned that pink is the color scheme of the games), I think it was a brilliant move by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games).  Everything, and I mean everything a spectator would need to be able to identify, is pink – flooring at many of the venues, signage, volunteers uniforms, the big foam fingers that the “directional” volunteers hold to point spectators in the right direction, barrier coverings, etc.  It is so easy to identify Olympic Games features as they are all pink and stand out.  My overwhelming opinion of the London 2012 Games is how organised and well thought out they are – at least from a spectator’s perspective.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

Where is all the Merchandise?

July 31, 2012

I came to the London 2012 Olympic Games ready to spend a good amount of pound sterlings on goodies for me, my family and our friends at home.  The problem is I can’t find an official retail outlet!  I came with the assumption there would be a make-shift merchandise shop around every street corner, but we have only found one so far, in the Greenwich Arena (site of the gymnastics competitions). They had sold out of many items on day two of the gymnastics competition and were limited in sizes for what they did have for sale.  I was shocked!  We then headed to badminton that afternoon at Wembley Arena, clear on the other side of London and a ways out, so I guessed they’d have another store with more stock. Again I was disappointed.  The 10 minute shop from the Wembley tube station to the Arena was lined with shops for food and merchandise, but as you can see in the sad picture I took, all of the merchandise shops were closed up tight.  And this is only day two of the games!  My only thought is, “What were they thinking?!”

Beth Hecquet, CMP

Director of Meetings and Events

NASC

Volunteers a Plenty

July 30, 2012

Upon our arrival in the UK in the early morning hours, we had our first taste of the Olympic spirit within steps of departing the plane. Two volunteers dressed in their bright pink and purple shirts stood at the top of the jet bridge with a welcome sign. A few steps further down the path to baggage reclaim (as they call it at London’s Heathrow Airport) we encountered scores more of friendly and helpful volunteers. And this was only the beginning. On every street corner where Olympic spectators could wander, they will find at least two volunteers; at every tube, bus and train station, there are at least two volunteers as well (and many times upwards of six to eight). All are there to make getting in and around London and the Games as easy and stress free as possible. In the London 2012 official programme (spelling is correct, this is the UK) they make sure to state there are 70,000 volunteers organized by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games) there to help. And help they have, as well as given spectators a welcome feeling to a city that can be very overwhelming.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

NASC Member Cities Host 17 of 19 Olympic Trials

July 12, 2012

Recently we had occasion to take a look at the cities that hosted Olympic trials events in preparation for the London Games. As we did, we realized our members have played a huge role in helping to qualify and prepare our athletes.

Of the 19 Olympic sports that held trials for the 26 sports on this year’s program (7 sports select their teams without trials events), 17 were held in NASC member cities. Both of the exceptions are former members where a staff person left the organization prior to this year. This equals 89 percent of the sports holding trials.

Since some of those sports (aquatics, for example) have four sports, there were actually 31 different trials events for the 19 sports. Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo held their events in four different cities.

NASC members hosted 29 of the 31 different disciplines within the sports, or 94 percent of all of the trials events held for the 19 sports on the program for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It could not be any clearer: NASC members play an absolutely essential role in these events.

We are very proud of each host city and look forward to seeing the athletes who qualified medal for the USA in London!

– Don