In Which a Political Party Gets It

…and the IOC doesn’t.

Norway, led by its Conservative Party, has declined to support a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics originally offered by its capital, Oslo. The nation was put off by cost concerns—the 2014 Sochi Winter Games ran to $50 billion—and they were put off by IOC…let’s call it arrogance.

Among other IOC demands were requirements for a cocktail reception with the King of Norway (they’re a constitutional monarchy) and special traffic lanes set aside in the middle of Oslo’s busy thoroughfares so that fans of the Games could have priority and their own paths to the games.

Of course the IOC denies all this. IOC spokesman Mark Adams blamed the Norwegian media of misreporting the situation.

The documents have been widely and often deliberately misreported. Even a cursory glance would show they contain suggestions and guidance, not demands. These were gathered from previous games organizers and are advice on how to improve the games experience for all.

Of course. It couldn’t possibly that the only purpose of including such “suggestions” in their request for proposal is that the IOC intended them to be met; never say that these were words to the wise and that not satisfying them would count against Oslo in its competition for the hosting.

And [emphasis added]

The IOC’s 7,000-page manual on running the games does say that a pre-Olympic gathering for IOC members should include a meeting with the head of state, and insists upon a strict protocol for the order in which he should greet his guests and seating in the stadium.

The manual on protocols also says the opening ceremony “is usually preceded by an aperitif and followed by a reception.”

Because it really is all about the IOC members and not the athletes or the games.

Norway also remembered this little tidbit from the ’14 Winter Games:

…the IOC…reprimanded four Norwegian female cross-country skiers in Sochi for wearing black armbands in memory of an athlete’s brother who died on the eve of the games.

No, IOC, you don’t get a special party or to hobnob with government leadership just because you think you’re special.

No, IOC, Games attendees and fans don’t get a special lane through traffic on your host country’s busy roads and streets.

You guys aren’t as special as you think you are. You are, though, just as precious as you think.

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