With the Beijing Olympics only weeks away, the world is gearing up for another summer festival. There are widespread reports from US media outlets(like CNN) of the expected crackdown both on dissent and on ordinary life (like taking cars off the streets). Whether China can pull it off successfully, no one can tell. Will this be the Olympics that will be remembered for the athletics or the politics? We'll see.
Looking ahead, there is another fight going on—this one for the right to host the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago, Madrid, Rio, and Tokyo are the four surviving cities, each one with a plan obviously prepared by massive amounts of government funds, consulting expertise, and probably the best intellectual minds those nations could find (from within and without, I suppose).
Being a native of Tokyo (I lived there for 14 years), of course, I had to take a look at the Tokyo web-site, and look for any typos, and within 2-clicks I found one (see Categoly here-can you catch the typo?). Then I decided that I must not make fun of the web-site before I read the Mission Statement:
TOKYO 2016 Bid Committee
Tokyo, chosen as Japan's candidate city for the bid to host the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016, must develop an aggressive bid campaign that fully utilizes the combined wisdom of the nation if it is to emerge victorious from fierce competition with other leading cities of the world and be selected as the host city at the 2009 Session of the International Olympic Committee.
This Committee will be established as a Specified Nonprofit Corporation and in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Olympic Committee, as well as the Government of Japan, sports associations, private enterprises and other bodies, bring together specialists in Olympic bid activities to forge a strategic and effective bid campaign.
The Olympic Games are the world's greatest sporting event. They foster mutual understanding in a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play, and as the pinnacle of the Olympic Movement they are also a festival of culture and peace that unites the world through interaction among competitors and spectators alike.
Hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo will inspire and foster dreams in our future leaders – the youth of Japan, the youth of the world – and will contribute significantly to human advancement, global peace and prosperity.
The Committee, therefore, shall take on the central role in key activities for the bid to host the Olympic Games. This will include vigorously approaching those concerned with the Olympics and sport, and promoting projects to further the Olympic Movement in order to broaden support of the Olympics among the residents of Tokyo and the citizens of Japan.
WOW! That must be the longest Mission Statement I've ever read. Mr. Ishihara (the mayor) must really be serious about bringing the Olympics to Tokyo.
It is not fair for me to single out the Tokyo web-site without looking at the sites from the other nations.
First, let me check out how international and multi-lingual those sites are…
Tokyo’s has English, Japanese, French and Spanish. Not bad. Madrid’s has Spanish, English, French, Chinese, and even Arabic. Even better. Rio’s has an interesting twist. Instead of writing it out, it has the flags of Brazil (Portuguese), UK (English—obviously, a slap in the face to the Americans), Spain (Spanish) and France (French). Quite creative, I would dare say.
And our Chicago site has… exactly...one….language…. American (ok, ok, it's more commonly known as English).
But heck, that’s enough to be in a categoly all by itself.