RESEARCH

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

One Day in September

The 1972 Olympic Games were overshadowed by what is now
referred to as the Munich Massacre. On September 5th, eight
Palestinian guerrillas kidnapped eleven Israeli athletes,
coaches and officials and held them hostage in their Olympic
Village apartments. Two of the hostages initially resisted
and were killed. Later that evening, the terrorists and their
hostages boarded a helicopter bound for a military airport.
The German authorities planned to ambush them there but under
estimated the number of terrorists and failed in their attempt.
Four of the hostages were shot and then blown up in the
helicopter by a Palestinian grenade. The remaining five were
gunned down by another terrorist. Three of the Palestinians
survived the event and were imprisoned. In October, they
were exchanged for a Lufthansa jet. Reportedly, the Mossad
successfully hunted down two of terrorists. The games resumed
on September 6th.

The movie by Kevin MacDonald, "One Day in September", covers this event and has interviews with a wife of one of the athletes as well as the last surviving terrorist.  It also shows the footage from the event.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

The Media Event as an Aparatus for Time and Space

 

The Media Event as an Aparatus for Time and Space

The Media event can be conceptualized as a massive occasion in respect to both time and space. These events tend to revolve around news events ( a distiction to be made later) but are intensified through a period of speculation, coverage, and post event analysis. Sports journalism finds itself in the midst of the “media event” as an apparatus for effecting both time and space.

As this graphic illustrates, the media event is a significant part of the identity of an event. The individuals involved in the viewing and participation in the event are largely dislocated through space (specificly distance) and, in many cases, time ( this is a siginficant departure from previous interpretations of the Media event which speculate that it must be a live broadcast. Yet, the realm of the media event has not had a significant change since the use of broadcast delay as a means of sensoring (the Super Bowl is an example of this since the 2004 half time show with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson) as well as time delay to account for time zone differences (NBC’s use of ‘plausably live’ editing during the 2000 Sydney Olympics).

In the absence of the ‘live transmission’ requirement for media events, the essential guidelines include: preplanned event, framed in time and space, featuring a heroic personality or group, having high dramatic or ritual significance, and the force of a social norm which makes viewing mandatory.

Yet the most important aspect of these occurances is the interaction with the viewer. The inclusion of the self (even seperated by time and space) creates a world network which can “transport us simultaneously to where the event is taking place”(Elihu Katz, “Media Events: The Sense of Occasion”).

Sports “… is essential to the globalizing structure of media organizations. Sports is a relatively cheap method for filling hours of television time and moves easily across cultural and linguistic borders,” (Nancy K. Rivenburgh, “The Olympic Games: Twenty-First Century Challenges as a Global Media Event”). Sport Events fit will as national and global Media Events because they do not depend on culturally or socially unique elements. As such, it sits well as a unifier accross these many cultures and societies. As it stands, some of the most infulencal global media events are sports: the Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics, The World Cup, the Americas Cup, etc.  The World Cup, for example receives viewerships numbering in the billions.


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Olympic Legacy or Olympic Debt

Known as the “Olympic Legacy,” the decade after a city hosts the games is often quite prosperous. With an enhanced infrastructure system in place, the city is often a tourist and corporate business haven.

The city reap the benefits of enhanced public transportation and will often secure future sporting events due to the excitement of hosting an event at a former Olympic site, but the cost of maintaining those buildings can come at a price.

Cities like Seoul have used their Olympic Stadium since 1984 and still use it today, but it was not used when Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup. Cities like Montreal put themselves into so much debt from the 1976 Olympic Games, that they just finished paying if off in the past decade. These stadiums and venues often created a burden on a city to manage it when they are unable to use that land to built more functional and needed infrastructure.

Often, countries like Korea and China use the Olympics to showcase their entire nation and not just one specific city.

Maybe there is a way to begin to think how these megastructures can be reconfigured to serve other purposes for a city.


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Be Green or Get Protested

International environmental watchdogs, such as Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme have become more vocal on large scale sporting events trying to get the respective organizing committees to think about all issues that encompass an event from pre-event planning to post-event reuse and recycling.

Greenpeace has created Olympic Environmental Guidelines that outline 34 guidelines that should be addressed when planning for the Games.  Click here to read them.

The United Nations Environment Programme has partnered with the IOC since 1994 to advise them on environmental decisions regarding the Olympic games.

 


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Ecology takes back seat to Economy-Sydney’s Toxic Remediation

Leading up to Sydney’s Olympic bid in 1993, they were faced with a difficult decision. What should they do with the potential Olympic park site?  They needed to address the toxic waste that was there from cement and brick making factories over the decades, but they didn’t want to invest too much money if they ended up not securing the bid.

 

Estimates put full site decontamination around $160 million USD. The removal of all of that dirt off-site would also take more time than Sydney wanted.  The other options were to isolate the contaminated soil into pockets throughout the Olympic site.

 

Option 1, known as the Bank Vault trapped the soil through a double liner system. The thought behind this was that the liner would hold for a long time, but once it broke, the toxins would rush into the soil system. This strategy was used near the Aquatics Centre due to its proximity to the creek.

 

Option 2 involved relocating the toxic material into pockets throughout the Olympic Park. There was an opening at the bottom that allowed for a gradual dispersement of the toxins, with a larger amount being leached sooner, rather than later.

 

Both options are covered by layers of clean clay soil and landscaped with native plants making visitors oblivious to what is under their feet.

 

Both options, although more cost effective, costing only $70 million USD, don’t truly address the remediation of toxins on the Olympic site.


Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Investment in the Olympics

 

The data was all for summer host cities.  If someone finds investment information about any of the games not listed above I’d like to see it please.

 

The International Journal of the History of Sport

 “A Brief Historical Review of Olympic Urbanization”   by Hanwen Liao and Adrian Pitts

– Excerpt –

Planning in Olympic Host Cities: Successful Olympic Urbanization

 

A successful Olympic urban scheme seems always to be associated with a suitable and linked long-term master-plan for the host city in terms of project determination, land usage, resource mobilization and development orientation.  Emphasis on such may help to avoid over-ambitious initiatives triggered by infatuated enthusiasm, or any hasty decision-making because of the tight Olympic deadline.  It also helps to rationalize the budgetary deployment so that Olympic projects do not overshadow the development of other essential facilities in the city.


Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Types of Olympic Urban Development

I am still developing this diagram.  If you have any comments or information pertinent to this I’d love to hear it.

The International Journal of the History of Sport

 “A Brief Historical Review of Olympic Urbanization”   by Hanwen Liao and Adrian Pitts

– Excerpt –

Planning in Olympic Host Cities: Successful Olympic Urbanization

 

 

A successful Olympic scheme also derives from a holistic planning concept that respects the distinct character of host cities in urbanization conditions, demographic change, socio-economic reality and environmental deficiencies.  This is particularly reflected by the integration of major Olympic facilities into host cities’ urban fabric as fundamental to the overall planning intervention.  Historically Olympic sites have been integrated with cities in six models, with each having different advantages and limitations, and should be used or adapted based on local externalities.

In general, the decentralized model is suitable for a city having good civic infrastructures, with no obvious environmental deficiencies to be redressed in a planning manner, yet a partial adjustment of its urban fabric to balance the holistic development.  Inner-city clustering models are suitable for a city suffering from inner city decline, suburbanization and hence sprawl.  They can help to re-nucleate an even dispersed urban form and introduced large green and public spaces to the city’s central mass.  The periphery clustering model is suitable for cities experiencing a considerable population growth, with outward development pressure and expansion needs.  It can help to define the development orientation and convert an outspread urban form into a linear-shaped transit-oriented form.  The satellite clustering model is suitable for large conurbations where internal development pressures need to be organically dispersed and multi-hierarchy settlements need to be reinforced in the whole region.  The joint clustering model is suitable for the coordination of two closely located developing urban areas for a strategic development.


Sunday, September 18th, 2011

LED Lights Make Augmented Vision a Reality

www.elementalled.com/leducation/blog/innovative-technology/led-lights-make-augmented-vision-a-reality/

 

“University of Washington researchers have figured out how to implant semitransparent red and blue LED lights in contact lenses, for the purpose of receiving and displaying data in sharp visual images and video. This means wearers will literally be able to watch TV or view photos that are projected directly onto their eyeballs.”

 

– How will this new way of perceiving change the way that people watch the Olympics in the future?


Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Red Light: Atlanta ’96

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An underdeveloped transportation infrastructure led to the unfortunate nickname “the Chaos Games” for Atlanta in 1996.  The Atlanta Olympic Games were approached by private investors with private interests, following the Los Angeles ’84 plan: they wanted to save money wherever they could and maximize their profits, so they used as much existing infrastructure as was available and skimped on a few very important developments, concentrating their money instead in the Central Business District.

The planners underestimated the flow of people that would attend the events, and concentrated most of them in the very center of the city.  Some events had to be moved outside the ring road because they had specific constraints (canoeing, equestrian events, and shooting events) and others took place in sister host cities (Athens, Miami, Orlando) because Atlanta lacked the stadiums to hold them in. (Most of these were american football games)

They relied heavily on the existing four metro lines and a maddening tangle of bus routes to transport the athletes and their supporters to the events.  This crucial time-sensitive passenger load was applied to the system on top of the incoming flow of spectators that took public transportation because they couldn’t park their personal vehicles in the city.  Three separate transport entities had to borrow an additional 2,000 buses from neighboring districts with drivers who weren’t familiar with Atlanta.  They did manage to add HOV lanes to the highways though, so some measures were taken to make the flow move somewhat smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Yellow Light: Tokyo ’64

 

Stay tuned for maps analyzing the massive transportation infrastructure developments of Tokyo, adequately supported the short-term influx of visitors for the Games as well as the long-term growth of the mega-city over time.

 

Also, some sort of critique or commentary on the efficiency of Japanese planning strategies, especially those implemented anyway after their original purpose has eroded away.



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