SHIFTING GEARS AT OlyBLOG.com CityTV Breakfast Television with Simi Sara
Simi Sara, CityTV,
interviewed me (Maurice Cardinal, editor of OlyBLOG.com)
March 20, 2007 on Breakfast Television Vancouver regarding Olympic
opportunities for small and midsize businesses in Vancouver.
We spoke about my book, Leverage
Olympic Momentum, and the challenges and opportunities local small
and midsize businesses have regarding the Olympics.
We also discussed issues like the increased cost of living in and doing
business in our 2010 Olympic region, and how difficult it is for small
businesses to participate profitably.
As all SMBs know, if a small business can't profit in at least a nominal
way, it is almost impossible to become involved in any type of project.
Many SMBs in our very expensive region operate on a shoestring, and profit
is a matter of day-to-day survival, and not a luxury buoyed by volume.
VANOC and their partners invite local companies to become involved, but
they make it very clear during seminars and workshops that SMBs should
not use direct financial gain as a reason to pursue Olympic contracts.
Olympic organizations suggest that SMBs use the opportunity to elevate
their visibility, which in normal circumstances is a very good strategy,
but only if you can afford to cover the operating costs and the time spent
away from pursuing paying work. What they fail to make clear is that unless
you are a multimillion dollar sponsor, like Rona for example, you can't
tell anyone that you are an Olympic supplier or contractor - and they
mean no one. They have a ninety plus page contract to enforce it. The
first time I read one I couldn't believe it. It seemed to contradict itself,
so I read it again, and again. However, it turned out I understood it
correctly the first time.
Olympic organizations expect you to provide products and services for
negligible or no compensation, and without recognition until they give
you permission. For most companies, that permission never comes. It is
purely at Olympic discretion. When you take this odd and very outdated
business model into consideration it's easy to understand why Olympic
organizations find it so difficult to lure companies into this Catch 22,
and why they are forced to bait companies with hooks like, "experience
of a lifetime." In the "old days," pre-internet, this
model worked because SMBs could not easily trade notes, but today, in
a booming era of citizen journalism, everyone knows everybody else's business.
The good news is that there are profitable opportunities, and plenty of
them, but they are not where most people look. You have to learn to think
differently and explore contemporary online strategies. In our modern
era, progressive small companies use technology and the internet to easily
and cost-effectively reach out around the world to Olympic athletes before
they arrive for training and competition, or before spectators arrive
to enjoy the Games. Their secret is to connect with specific groups early,
and entice them to patronize their companies well in advance.
Like most things, it's a step-by-step process, which means that first
you have to let people know you exist, and then give them a reason to
search you out. If you don't make an effort the odds of anyone stumbling
upon you in the confusing and hectic Olympic crush are dismal at best.
In order to survive 2010 you have to stack the deck in your favor and
compete with Olympic organizations. They will never be your
partners, but you can make them your reluctant allies.
Most companies fail to appreciate until it is way too late that they have
to compete for attention, because most people mistakenly believe
Olympic organizations protect the interests of the host community. Unfortunately,
their agenda and your agenda are two very different animals.
I mentioned during the CityTV Breakfast Television interview with Simi
that VANOC is preparing to build a 2010 Olympic Superstore in Vancouver,
and that they predict it will suck $22.6 million out of the economy, which
will go directly into Olympic coffers. The reality is that it will be
a big box retail model, probably managed by HBC, and the revenue will
not be shared proportionately with our small business community. The ideal
situation would be to spread as much Olympic merchandise as possible around
the region instead of localizing it under one roof. When merchandise is
concentrated like this, SMBs throughout the region will only receive "token"
amounts, and just enough to keep them placated, but nothing of real consequence.
Simi and I never had an opportunity to expand upon it due to time limitations,
but not only will the Superstore horde revenue, this business model is
purposely designed to herd Olympic spectators into their branded and licensed
locations, which means spectators and athletes will have even less time
in their very hectic, and ground-transportation-challenged schedules to
explore our region. If you recall, the Bid claimed that a large part of
the reason for hosting the Games was to show the world the unique side
of Vancouver and our people, but as you can see, a superstore has the
exact opposite affect. My perennial question is, "If we have to
pay for it, shouldn't we benefit too?"
Tourists and athletes often don't realize until it's too late that Olympic
regions are rich with unique businesses and wonderful people who bring
special charm to the sporting events. When Olympic visitors and athletes
are lucky enough to stumble upon a city's hidden treasures they often
report it as being the best part of their experience. It's easy to appreciate
this sentiment when you consider that television is by far the best way
to watch Olympic sporting events. Olympic Spirit is generated by people
in a holistic environment. It's not driven by convenient Olympic souvenir
shops. No one goes to an arena concert to listen to the music, they go
for the collective experience.
It would be in our community's best interest if VANOC instead used funds
currently reserved for the Superstore to ensure our ground transportation
system works efficiently so athletes and tourists won't waste seven hours
traveling on a two hour route like CEO John Furlong did in Turin in 2006.
If you're stuck in a crowded bus for seven hours, how much energy will
you have left to explore the city? You would think that something as simple
as bus transportation would be slam a dunk, but our research indicates
that the system never, and I mean NEVER works, and even worse, it never
improves. Salt Lake City and Turin were both nightmares, and the only
reason Athens worked was because no one showed up to put even moderate
pressure on ground transportation. This is one of the reasons VANOC lacks
transparency. It's a dirty business and if our community really knew what
was happening they would revolt. If an audience is held captive and their
precious time is squandered they will have no choice but to spend their
money on convenient Olympic trinkets if they can't or don't have energy
or time to explore.
I was hoping to be able to share a few more tips with Breakfast Television
viewers, but Simi and I ran out of time. If you'd like to know more about
what your business can do, and how you can effectively and profitably
leverage Olympic momentum, take a moment to check out my short video directly
below . . . Business
Strategy TIPS for Olympic Regions
Fish Where the Fish Are - Video #3
Many retailers in Olympic regions are intimidated to
leverage Olympic momentum, but the smart ones know
that if they want to get in on the excitement they have
to look to Olympic athletes to bridge the gap.
Watch Video #3 in our series and learn how ...
One of your biggest challenges is to remain
I support the 2010 Olympics, but not unconditionally, and I appreciate
why people in our region protest, but I am not anti-Olympic. There
is a middle ground called Olympic neutral and it's the best place to stand.
I am a critic even though I support the Games, which is also a good strategy
for all small and midsize business owners in Olympic regions who want
to profit from the Games instead of just pay for 2010.
The Games are coming whether you like it or not. Hopefully you do. I decided
long ago that I was going to make the best of it for our community, and
for me. If the community does well, I do too. It's common sense, but it
wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to put an ethical plan into practice.
Like sponsors, I could go pure pro-Olympic and make a killing off the
back of the community, but I wouldn't sleep well.
Leverage Olympic momentum isn't simply a slogan or a book title ... it's
the solution to a community's survival when it is subjected to the pressure
of a global event as powerful and overwhelming as the Olympics.
The challenge is that Olympic organizations run roughshod over the host
community. There is no denying or ignoring it, but there is a solution,
and it has nothing to do with violent protesting. That's old school.
The solution to leveraging Olympic momentum is
so simple that most people find it hard to believe.
The solution ... is to share information.
Let the world know that you live in and
do business in an Olympic region.
You don't have to be an Olympic supplier,
or "ever" want to be an official supplier.
All you have to do is share information
about your Olympic region.
Go online via your company website or blog, and share with the world a
critical perspective of Olympic related news. Reach out and touch someone,
and use Olympic related news and your proximity to it to connect. Citizen
news is sought after and growing more popular every day. The secret is
to publish critical news that doesn't make you look anti-Olympic. No one
said diplomacy is easy. You don't want potential customers to ostracize
you, you just want to tell them the other side of the Olympic story. If
you treat them honestly and give them a heads-up, or maybe even cover
their back, you will win friends.
Talk up our region. Support the core athleticism of the Games, and tell
everyone what your company is doing to make the event as great as possibly.
Don't wait for help from VANOC, because as you can already see in 2007,
they are overwhelmed trying to keep their tail out of the fire. They don't
have the time or resources to help small businesses, and as we
approach 2010 the pressure on them will increase exponentially. Develop
2010-related solutions independently to promote, protect, and advance
your interests. Take responsibility for yourself. The first thing you
can do is make your website Olympic-region friendly, but don't infringe
trademark or copyright laws. Learn the rules and color within the lines.
I make a number of predictions in my book, Leverage
Olympic Momentum, and when they come to fruition I usually mention
them here in OlyBLOG. One prediction of serious consequence was that our
three levels of government would change laws midstream at the request
of Olympic organizations and sponsors. I made this prediction to warn
small business owners that they should remain flexible, and either protect
themselves from such change, or develop strategies to leverage the new
laws in the same manner that Olympic organizations and sponsors would.
I also warned that many of the new laws and by-laws would be temporary
and revert back to their original definitions after 2010. Well C-47 is
exactly what I was predicting. Read it carefully, and understand it clearly.
It could hurt, or help you.
If you are a producer or manufacturer, use your website to invite other
companies from around the world to contact you regarding your products
and services, or invite them to contact you regarding local information
about our region. If you are a retailer, reach out around the world to
Olympic athletes and their trainers, coaches, and also to Olympic spectators
and invite them to visit your location when they arrive in town. Don't
expect that they will accidentally stumble upon you. You must be proactive
and let them know you exist and where to find you. The sooner you establish
this relationship the better. Producers and retailers should both start
immediately to augment their product line to appeal to the Olympic market.
Develop and promote products and services that are unique to not only
our region, but also to your industry.
Tell companies throughout Canada and around the world what they should
be prepared for either as a spectator or business. Let them know it's
a great place to do business, but that the Olympic environment creates
unique and difficult challenges. Make sure they know how to contact key
players in our region, and especially that you are available to give them
advice and provide introductions. Create alliances that will work for
you, them, and our community. Become the consummate"host."
Most importantly, get out there and support amateur athletes. We
all know by now that they need help, and that official Olympic sponsors
primarily provide support for only those elite athletes who demonstrate
gold medal potential. Locate all those other contenders and lend your
support to them, because without all the athletes, 2010 could not
Amateur athletes are literally your bridge to the podium.
Help them help you help them.
The secret to making it work is to remain Olympic Neutral.
Since 2004, OlyBLOG has been the leading (and in the
beginning the only) news source to provide accurate and balanced
Olympic related business strategy information. We literally wrote
the book - it's called Leverage
Olympic Momentum. As you've witnessed over the last three years, mainstream
news media have been derelict in their duty to help our community understand
their options. Instead, news media told, and some still do, the Olympic
story primarily from a perspective that helps them make money. Unfortunately,
it is often at the community's expense.
Some news media are still very clearly Olympic boosters, but by now you
probably know whom they are, and if you don't, click
here to read all about news media in Olympic regions and here
too! Today, in March of 2007, most people in our Olympic region have
a realistic picture of what is really happening regarding 2010 and our
Everyone now realizes that our community is going to pay dearly for the
Olympics, and it will be way more than anyone at first thought.
You know it, I know it, and Olympic organizations have always known it.
We want to shift gears again at OlyBLOG, and concentrate more on how small
and midsize business owners and the general public can leverage Olympic
momentum. It is now obvious to everyone that Olympic sponsors like Visa,
and Coca-Cola, and RBC, HBC, NBC, Rona, etc., are all profitably leveraging
Olympic momentum. And we all also know that our community, for the most
part, has been shut out of sharing in this wealth. What you probably don't
know is how to make a place for yourself on the podium. One of our slogans,
"If you have to pay for it you should benefit too,"
now makes more sense to more people. We want to help make this slogan
a reality for more businesses and people in our community.
How are we doing it? Well for starters, we remain Olympic Neutral,
which means we criticize the Games, but in a way that is constructive
for our community. We use information from my book to help you see what
is playing out in our region. We think that if you can see more clearly
that Olympic organizations have never had a plan to include the average
small business, that you will come up with ways on your own to take advantage
of all the opportunity that until recently has been out of your reach.
Part of our plan is to also give you confidence to stand up for your rights
as a taxpayer and business owner, and to demonstrate that you do not have
to sit back and passively wait for the 2010 bill to arrive. Thanks to
the internet, you have a voice, which means you now have options that
never existed to such a large degree in other Olympic regions. Contrary
to what Olympic organizations tell you, not everyone invited or wanted
the Olympics here. There are tens of thousands of business owners interested
in reaching people who think the same way they think. To be a critic does
not mean to be a radical. Just because you criticize the Olympics does
not mean you are anti-Olympic or a protester, although that is what Olympic
organizations would like you to believe. There is a rational middle ground.
Here's a bit of advice you can bank on;
Don't be fooled when Olympic organizations like
VANOC come up with strategies at this late date to include small and midsize
companies in their business plan. If they really wanted you at the table
they would have invited you to sit down three years ago and asked for
your help when they were making plans and writing rules (I describe in
my book how they executed Johnny-come-lately strategies in other Olympic
regions). Anything they do today is simply posturing and a reaction to
the pressure books and blogs like mine place upon them. If they are
really concerned they should have handled the issue regarding the Olympia
restaurant on Denman in a more responsible manner, and publicly apologize
to the owners for bullying them so aggressively. Whether the restaurant
is right or wrong, VANOC pressured them unfairly.
Recently, in March of 2007, VANOC proposed that they "might"
want to become more transparent. They claim they are considering it because
they feel it is the right thing to do. The reality again is that books
like Leverage Olympic Momentum and blogs like this put so much pressure
on them, they now know that to remain behind closed doors as they have
for the last five years is futile. We will explain their actions every
time they do something that harms our community.
Traditional street protesting certainly concerns them, but as evidenced
in past Olympic regions, they know exactly how to deal with it effectively.
Basically, they change the laws and send in the military. Protesters are
simply a cost of doing business. Vancouver protesters are not the first
to cause a ruckus. In Athens during the 2004 Olympic Summer Games thousands
of protesters smashed storefront windows and lit fires in the streets
while Olympic tourists watched, but did you hear about it in Vancouver?
Not likely. Olympic organizations, led by the IOC, have effectively managed
protesters for countless decades, and they are expert at coaching local
organizing committees like VANOC. Dealing with protesters is well-covered
in legacy information the IOC passes from region to region.
What they can't handle so easily though, is how information regarding
their business model and operational strategies are shared and traded
through communication tools like my book and this blog. Once citizens
understand how Olympic organizations really operate it changes the dynamic
regarding how VANOC will conscript volunteers, and without volunteers,
2010 will wither on the vine. I know it, they know it, and now you know
it. They have no choice but to become more transparent. We won't allow
it any other way. It's a new era of accountability that they cannot possibly
continue to ignore.
For the first time in Olympic history, my book and blog pushes open their
door - whether they like it or not. When we share information, you have
a better understanding of what really happens in their inner sanctum.
If they wanted to do what is good for the community they should have opened
their doors years ago right from the start. I'm glad they are finally
coming around, but much of the damage is done. Be careful what they tell
you now regarding their motivations. The race isn't over yet, and they
have very sharp elbows.
Here's more good advice;
Be extremely careful when VANOC wants you to sign anything, especially,
non-compete or confidentiality agreements. As soon as you do, your rights
are severely limited.
Also, don't fall for the "Once in a Lifetime" pitch.
"Once in a Lifetime" is laced with false sentiment that
often leaves many companies economically drained. If VANOC wants you to
volunteer your time, services and products, they should just come out
and say it without having to use misleading slogans.
The reality is that Olympic organizations experience very
high "churn rates." The "once in a lifetime experience"
is often so upsetting that many volunteers and paid workers never complete
the entire run. Olympic organizations hold back money earned, and
pay it out only if you make it all the way through to the end. Other than
migrant farm workers, what company do you know holds back workers' pay
to keep them on the job? Olympic organizations refer to it as an "AWARD,"
but it is more like ransom. You don't get your money unless you survive
the entire period. Many Olympic volunteers quit after only one or two
days after they see how they are treated. It is often a result of mismanagement.
Ground transportation is also so mismanaged in Olympic regions that it
can take over two hours to travel a route that normally only takes twenty
minutes. John Furlong reported back from Turin that it took him 7 hours
to travel a route comparable to Vancouver / Whistler. The same thing happened
in Salt Lake City and Sydney, Australia. If Vancouver can't even keep
its regular city buses running during normal times, how do you think we
will fair during the 2010 Games? When you add the frustration of travel
within the region, to the disorganized environment volunteers face on
the job, it's easier to understand why they quit in droves on day two.
It's hard to remain Olympic neutral, but you must, especially if you want
to survive, and make a profit to compensate for the higher cost of living
in and doing business in our Olympic region. It's common sense.
In Sydney, Australia, reported by Olympic organizations as the "best
Olympics ever," the Olympic volunteer churn rate was documented as
3:1, and in some departments even higher, which means that for VANOC to
fill 25,000 volunteer positions in 2010, they will have to hire and train
three times as many applicants in order to compensate for people quitting.
Make sure you know what you're getting into before you commit your company
to a "once in a lifetime opportunity." If it's too good to be
true, it probably is. Be prepared too, to have your employee roster raided
by Olympic organizations. Warm bodies have to come from somewhere, and
the closer, the better.
OlyBLOG can only do so much. At some point you have to take the reins,
so don't underestimate the value of the information in this blog and in
my book. I explain the unwritten rules, and very clearly demonstrate that
what you see happening here happens in all Olympic regions. Sharing and
being aware of this information makes it harder for local politicians
and news media to pretend that all this insanity is spontaneous and out
of anyone's control, when in reality it has been part of their plan from
the beginning. If you know what is about to befall you and our community,
you can work towards controlling the downside, and make educated decisions
that will place you in a better economic position.
Vancouver Sun - Juxtaposition & Timing How to promote Fear, Intimidation & CENSORSHIP
This post started as a quick response regarding the front page of the
Vancouver Sun on March 29, 2007, but a second Sun article a day later
caused it to get a little more complicated. The Sun ran a BIG color headline
at the top of the front page warning readers that if they used trademarked
and copyrighted words owned by VANOC and the COC that it would bring harsh
penalties. The headline was so big that it looked like it was NEW
news, or that another war had broken out, when in fact almost everyone
but the most naive are more than familiar with the oppressive Bill C-47,
which was submitted by a backbencher on behalf of the minister of industry.
Government Whip Jay Hill submitted the bill a few weeks ago on March 2
at the end of the day on a Friday just before MPs took a two-week hiatus.
Consequently, it's not exactly breaking news over three weeks later worthy
of the front page of any newspaper, but there it was in all its intimidating
glory above the fold of the Vancouver Sun. At this stage of the process
it won't be news until its passed.
The blaring headline made it look like you'd be labeled a criminal for
even thinking the word "Olympics." It was positioned
purely as a fear and intimidation tactic. The placement once again indicates
that the Vancouver Sun is more interested in protecting the Olympics,
and any financial interest they may have in it, than they are in the welfare
of our community. It's the type of sensationalism and half-truth journalism
I've often cautioned readers about, and the Sun, once again, could not
have proven my point more succinctly.
Reporter Jeff Lee forgot to mention that even if this bill is passed,
in this era of citizen journalism, there are ethical ways to use trademarked
words and terms without breaking the law. If Lee and the Sun really wanted
to be helpful, they could have explained that all of the words and phrases
they listed in big scary letters on their front page can be used by anyone
in exactly the same manner the Sun or I use them - in the context of news
or as a criticism of the 2010 Games. It's perfectly legal, ethical, accepted
and even recommended to use Olympic related words in this way.
Lee was very careful to make a big point that you couldn't use these words
to trick people into associating your company with 2010 - but we already
know that Jeff, so other than a feeble scare tactic, what's your point?
Why kill more trees just to tell us what we already know? Think green
my friend and save a tree. Tell us something new. Something we can use
to help counterbalance the high cost of living in and doing business in
our overpriced real estate hyped and frenzied Olympic region.
It's obvious the Vancouver Sun and Jeff Lee won't help you, but I will.
To learn how Olympic related words "can" be used, click
Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention, the reason newspapers don't want to tell
you about citizen journalism is because it's knocking the crap out their
business. The last thing news publishing companies need during these very
difficult time for for newspapers is everyone spreading Olympic news -
either good or bad.
... a quick follow up to the story above; the following
day, March 30, again on the front page, and once again by reporter Jeff
Lee, the Sun ran a story about the trademark issue, but this time with
a very slight favorable lean towards our community. I'm glad Lee
finally came around to reporting that the proposed law is overbearing
and ridiculous, but it should have been part of his big headline at the
top of the front page story yesterday. Today, the other half of the story
was told, but it's below the fold where it commands less respect. Apparently
VANOC's perspective is more important than the community's perspective.
Even though the Sun offered a veiled mea culpa a day late, they still
could not tell it like it is, and opened the article with, "Ottawa
is preparing new legislation, " like the bill is a foregone conclusion.
The Sun positioned bill C-47 as if it had already been passed. Ottawa
isn't "preparing" anything yet. They haven't even discussed
it at length in parliament. The real story, and the full truth is that
Olympic organizations try this in all Olympic regions, but unconstitutional
bills like this are not always passed, and least not in their full format.
Not to quibble, but Sun reporter Lee stated that "Maxime Bernier
introduced the legislation," and I suppose in a roundabout way he
did, but more accurately, the
bill was introduced by a backbencher on behalf of the minister of industry
Bernier, and a bill being put forth by a Whip doesn't exactly elicit
a strong vote of confidence.
The Sun also ran an editorial buried at the back of the paper on day 2
criticizing the oppressive heavy-handed treatment by VANOC, but again,
why a day late and a dollar short? First the Sun catalyzed an atmosphere
of fear and intimidation within our community, and then they came back
a day later to say, oh, we don't think it's a good idea either. Readers
must have inundated them with angry letters to throw them into a fit of
illusion. I don't buy their disingenuous concern for a second.
If the Sun really meant it, put it where all your readers will see it,
at the top of the front page to counterbalance the other side of the story.
It's a perfect example of juxtaposition,
and illustrates clearly that newspapers take tremendous license to sway
public opinion. The right thing to do, the ethical journalistic choice,
would have been to tell both sides of the Olympic story in one article,
or at least in the same space and issue. It would have given readers an
opportunity to see the picture from both perspectives and allowed them
to form a logical and rational opinion. Unfortunately, that never happened
because readers were left swirling for a day in an atmosphere of manufactured
fear and intimidation - similar to manufactured Olympic real estate frenzy.
I'm starting to wonder what the Sun is really up to. They know I have
no choice but to respond as I did yesterday. And they know it paints them
as biased Olympic boosters, but still they persist. Surely it can't just
be to create controversy. That would be the epitome of desperation. Can
it be that they thought they would pull one over on their readers, or
that I wouldn't notice? Or is "day 2" a feeble attempt to fabricate
a public record that they do not spread half-truths regarding 2010? One
day they scare the community, and the next day they soften the blow.
It's like watching a cat play with a mouse.
Vancouver Sun - three years late and a million
The Vancouver Sun ran an editorial on March 16, 2007,
stating that "Olympic organizers should open up."
As I read the editorial all I could think was, where has the Sun been
for the last two years while OlyBLOG and a few thousand others have been
debating this point to death? It's a bit late now, after the damage is
done, for necessary
illusion posturing wrapped in righteous indignation. The editorial
made it sound like the writer was surprised and incensed that VANOC works
this way. I'm surprised they're surprised. Anyone who reads this blog
knows how it works.
I understand why it took so long for the Sun to publish this editorial,
and I'm sure most of you do too. Hyping an Olympic-frenzied real estate
market like they have over the last few years contributed to the obscene
market in our already price-sensitive region. I fully appreciate why they
wouldn't want to jeopardize advertising revenue tied to real estate frenzy,
but to pop up like a protector at this late date is insulting to our community.
The Sun fails to recognize, in this era of citizen journalism, that asking,
or politely telling VANOC to open up and become more transparent is moot.
Our community needed them to publish this editorial three years ago. As
the old saying goes, "They're a day late and a dollar a short,"
except now it's three years and $250 million if you believe BC's auditor
If you've been a regular OlyBLOG reader, or have checked out my book,
do you really care at this late date how closed-door or transparent VANOC
is? To begin with, it's not as if we don't know what's happening back
there, or that we could do something to affect their decisions even if
we had all the details. VANOC's past actions and well-documented history
from other Olympic regions as retold in this blog and my book give everyone
a pretty good idea what transpires behind their secretive walls. Other
than the political wrangling, it's not that complicated. If you've followed
this blog and read my book, small and midsize business owners already
have almost everything they need in order to profitably leverage Olympic
momentum. The primary purpose of this blog and my book is not to change
how Olympic organizing committees do business respective of VANOC or 2010.
The purpose is to help you figure out how to leverage their style of management,
or more accurately mismanagement.
I've stated quite clearly and often that it is not VANOC or the IOC that
must change (although it would be nice), it is you, and how you think.
Unfortunately, the Sun seems to naively believe that in order to save
our community from further harm that VANOC must become more transparent.
Granted, it's a start, but at this late date that argument is unrealistic
and borders on absurd. What the Sun should be doing, is telling our community
that VANOC and the IOC are not your friends, nor are they your enemy ...
they just are, and that you have to figure out how to beat them at their
own game. You have to leverage their momentum and use their weight against
them. You have to compete with them in the same way you would compete
with Microsoft or the government. It is foolhardy to go head to head against
them, or argue about whether they are transparent. Instead, do what they
cannot, and do it faster and better. When they get into trouble, bail
Small business will never become a swim coach to the IOC or VANOC, but
you can be a lifeguard and save them when they are drowning. The IOC and
VANOC would love to have you waste your time arguing whether they are
transparent or not, because the more time you waste doing so, the less
money and time you have to actually leverage Olympic momentum. Don't fall
for this oft repeated time-waster. It's a sucker's bet and a strategy
they use in every Olympic region. As Nike would say, just do it.
It's a bit late now for the Vancouver Sun to pose as a spokesperson of
our community. It's like pushing someone onto the tracks and then pulling
them to safety just before the train comes thundering through. It would
have been nice two or three years ago if they would have written editorials
like this each time they placed full color double spread condo king ads
in their newspaper announcing the latest greatest artificially inflated
feeding frenzy that drove home prices to an obscene level - so obscene
that Vancouver residents now have no choice but to retreat to Abbotsford.
Not that there is anything wrong with the valley, except for the very
long drive on an inadequate highway, plus the pollution and distance from
the ocean. Thankfully, the people are nice, and it's safe place to raise
a family, but it's not the first choice for a Canadian city dweller.
Now that the Vancouver Sun made a killing selling real estate advertising
off the back of our community they want to help out. Can Vancouverites
be so naive? I hope not.
As interesting as the Sun's recent editorial is, there is another article
in the same issue also worthy of scrutiny, except this one is buried on
the very back page of the Business section. It's all about the real estate
bubble bursting in the U.S. and how it is already affecting the Canadian
market. Shouldn't this news be placed in a more appropriate place where
Vancouverites can see the train barreling down on us, like maybe on the
front page beside all those Sun articles about Vancouverites becoming
overextended paper millionaires, or on the front page of the real estate
section so people will proceed with caution? Don't count on it because
it would negatively impact the Sun's real estate ad revenue and we saw
what happened in this regard last year with Vivian
Smith at a CanWest sister publication in Victoria.
A few days later on March 17, I also saw an advertorial in the Sun's real
estate section for a seminar where they very proudly proclaim to be a
sponsor. The headline reads, "Seminar aids first-time buyers
- de-mystify (sic) the home buying process by attending this free seminar
sponsored by the Vancouver Sun and other Lower Mainland businesses"
It looks like a regular newspaper article, but it is really an advertisement
for the seminar. The "other" businesses are real estate companies.
How is it possible the Vancouver Sun could remain unbiased when they so
closely tie themselves to the real estate industry? What happened to journalistic
integrity? If they are so blatant with his display of partisan participation
can you trust anything they publish?
So ... why is the Vancouver Sun coming out at this late
date and feigning disgust with VANOC? If I had to guess, which I don't
because I do extensive research and pay close attention to what happens
in other Olympic regions, I would say that a bovine bead of perspiration
is forming on the collective upper lip of VANOC and the Sun. I think they
just figured out that blogs like this, and books like Leverage
Olympic Momentum, are reaching deeper and resonating with the community.
I'd say that VANOC and the Sun are worried that they might have a much
harder time than they expected to attract Olympic volunteers.
I'm getting a strong sense that VANOC will very shortly announce which
newspaper they will pick as their official Olympic sponsor, and I still
think that the Vancouver Sun is at the top of the list even though VANOC's
connection with the Globe and Mail through Olympic supplier sister
company Workopolis makes it seem like they could be the obvious
choice, but I can't believe the Globe and Mail would lower their standards.
It's also possible that other CanWest publications could do the job, but
they don't have the cachet of the Sun, and the IOC is big on cachet. These
are the guys who won't let VANOC house international news media journalists
in luxury liners docked in Squamish, because it wouldn't have the right
The Sun states that they don't think VANOC's editorial board understands
how important it is to keep the public on their side, but to me, that
doesn't make sense. I think the board knows exactly how important the
public is because the IOC passes on this type of legacy information years
in advance. In fact, it is the absolute most important piece of information
to pass on. 2010 won't happen without volunteers. Read my book if you
don't appreciate how seriously Olympic organizations regard volunteer
cooperation. VANOC VP Dave Cobb isn't a fool. He gets it. And I'm sure
he's explained the importance quite clearly to all the board members long
What I think happened, is that the Vancouver Sun underestimated
how important it is to keep the public happy. They thought it would be
a slam dunk, and now that they see public sentiment turning sour, they
also see an opportunity for them to become an Olympic newspaper sponsor
going south too. What company in their right mind would want to get onboard
when they see the ship sinking? It's possible too that the Vancouver Sun
is using misdirection and mock disgust as a negotiating tactic to improve
their bargaining position with VANOC, but I also wouldn't be surprised
to learn that VANOC warned the Sun that if they have plans to become the
official Olympic newspaper, they better pull out all the stops and get
the public turned around and back on track. When you look carefully, it
is clear to see that the Sun is an Olympic booster, but it can also be
confusing because they occasionally place a well aimed shot over VANOC's
bow in a tepid attempt at positioning themselves as our protector. It's
that Noam Chomsky necessary illusion thing. If the Sun really wanted
to protect our community all they have to do is explain upfront how the
IOC system really works, but they don't. I do. They should also publicly
state that they have no interest or plans to become an official Olympic
sponsor, but they don't. The truth is, they're not telling the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this regard, but they're
not lying either - they're just not saying anything.
In past Olympic regions the internet didn't play as crucial role as it
has here in Vancouver. If VANOC could take the internet out of the equation
it would be easier to manage the public and volunteers. On good months
this blog generates 3 million hits, and almost 3,000 people drop by to
see what's happening. Plus my book doesn't exactly make it a walk in the
park for VANOC or local news media. It's also important to consider that
I'm only one person in the parade. There are at least a half dozen other
respected publications in the Lower Mainland publishing similar information,
and as we get closer to 2010 this number will balloon.
When you consider that it was newspaper like the Vancouver Sun who helped
create "paper millionaire" real estate frenzy on the
back of our community it is hypocritical of them to now write that "British
Columbians have to be treated as more than just a cash cow for the organizing
committee" The Sun leapt into bed with real estate developers
and marketers like Bob Rennie, and made what could amount to millions
of dollars in the last few years selling advertising and providing editorial
space in their real estate sections. I don't begrudge their right to sell
advertising, or Rennie's right to buy it, more power to them, but the
Sun didn't make enough of an effort to counterbalance the ads by warning
people not to stupidly fall for this oft-repeated artificial frenzy that
is precisely manufactured and well documented in almost every single Olympic
region in the free world.
Now that taxes are rising to match inflated property assessments there
is no turning back. Don't be surprised when property values flat line
or even drop as they have in other Olympic regions - like Salt Lake City
for example. In the three months surrounding their Games in 2002, not
one property was sold in the entire region. It broke an all-time national
record that stunned the real estate board in Utah. They couldn't believe
the hole they dug themselves into. Plus, SLC residents were all so hopped
up by local news media that they took out huge loans to fix up their homes
believing they could rent them out during the Games, but that fell through
too. Real estate companies at the eleventh hour pleaded with homeowners
to lower rental rates, but they couldn't because they had to cover their
investments. If it happened in Utah, it can also happen in BC. If you
read my book you know all the details, but did local news media in BC
share this critical info? Instead they ran paper millionaire stories and
reports that hyped the market through the ceiling.
For every inch of advertising copy paid for by real estate companies,
the Vancouver Sun should have published an equal amount of information
urging people to use common sense. They should have warned the general
community the same way that OlyBLOG warned the business community. They
should have published information to illustrate that what you saw transpire
in Vancouver over the last three years happens in all Olympic regions.
They should not have left Vancouverites to believe that we are unique,
and that there was nothing that could be done to prevent the carnage we
are now facing. They should have done the long-term responsible thing,
but they didn't, because it would have sent real estate marketers running
to invest their millions in other publications.
Is it any wonder that newspaper tycoons like Conrad Black are charged
Never let your short term greed get in the way of your long term greed.
The hunt to find enough space to house people in the ramp up to, and during
Olympic events plays out in exactly the same way in every Olympic region.
Accommodation is, by far, the most difficult task Olympic organizations
like VANOC must manage. In some Olympic regions organizers start to make
plans as soon as the Bid is awarded, but in others, like Vancouver / Whistler
for example, citizens only start to hear of the challenges years later.
Securing housing for workers, volunteers, athletes and spectators in an
Olympic region is expensive, and if Olympic organizations and municipalities
do not address the challenge early, and in a responsible manner, it can
inflict tremendous negative economic impact on the Games and cause overwhelming
stress and add even more debt to a region. The best defense is to act
early and to make sure everyone in the region understands the ramifications.
Unfortunately locals news media like the Vancouver Sun are only now, four
years after winning the Bid, starting to figure out how serious this problem
really is. For example, today in The Sun, March 7, 2007, they blared out
through a BIG headline on their front page that it could cost $1 Billion
or more to house 2010 workers and spectators.
I've been apprising everyone about this for well over two years in this
blog because I wanted small and midsize business owners to be prepared.
It's expensive to scramble at the last minute, plus, opportunities are
... accommodations are one of the major stress points during Olympic events.
Hundreds of thousands of people move temporarily into the region to either
enjoy the Games or to work. Some move in a few years before the Games
and some only a few weeks in advance. These people have to stay somewhere,
and all available space is utilized. Universities are big players in this
respect because they are adept at managing temporary housing. It's part
of their daily routine. Olympic organizations count on universities to
put pressure on students to give up their space. Universities are always
Olympic suppliers, partners and sometimes sponsors, and as such they feel
a strong obligation to protect their economic interest, which means they
side with their big clients (Olympic organizations) and not their little
clients (students). Olympic organizations pay incredible amounts of money
to universities to rent facilitates, and universities repay them in kind
by shuffling and moving res students around. University students in Olympic
regions concerned about their quality of education have two choices. They
can either lobby the university to ensure they are treated fairly and
with respect during the year of the Games, or they can attend a university
outside of the Olympic region. Neither option is ever selected because
everyone always mistakenly believes universities will do the right thing.
Consequently, students don't lobby in a timely manner, or choose a school
that won't be distracted with meeting Olympic obligations. In Sydney,
students felt undue pressure to sign agreements that released their living
space for four weeks during the Games because they felt that if they didn't
sign the agreements they would be refused access for the rest of the semester.
Students had to move out of their spaces and rent storage space, plus
pay for reconnection costs for phones and services. Finding alternative
housing was nearly impossible because private landlords were not willing
to make space available to students when they could command a king's ransom
from new residents, temporary workers and tourists. Universities were
renting their space for ten times the amount students paid. Is it any
wonder the University of British Columbia wants to add four extra floors
overlooking Wreck Beach? International students were especially taken
advantage of because they were not around to inspect premises or talk
to their peers, and they had no idea what fair market value was. Some
paid more than double what their local peers paid. Student Housing Associations
were called upon constantly to deal with unscrupulous landlords and powerful
university administrators who put student needs second. Students had to
double and triple up in single rooms during the Games. Governments refused
to intervene and did nothing to protect tenant rights. In the past it
was easy pickings for landlords and anyone looking to capitalize on the
needs of students and low-income renters. Floating hotels and temporary
conversion of unused buildings in the Vancouver area are all options for
enterprising SMBs who want to alleviate the stressful situation and make
a respectful profit, but not hold low income renters up for ransom. (hjl61)
[hjl is Helen Jefferson Lenskyj]
One of the more unstable issues for universities and Olympic organizations
is the relationship they have with students. University students are mavericks
and cannot be silenced or easily manipulated. They almost single handedly
brought the powerful recording industry to its knees and are doing the
same thing with the movie business. University students are the best communicators
of our era. When they have something to say they can reach millions in
a nanosecond, and they do. Young people also innocently break the rules
because they don't know the rules. They are not handcuffed by decorum.
When they see something is not right they automatically act to correct
the situation. Olympic organizations do things for a reason, and often
the reason is not obvious. They cannot abide by partners who shoot from
the hip, and as we all know, university students can outdraw almost anyone.
They are the most feared guns for hire in the technological world because
they act impulsively and are not necessarily motivated by profit. Sometimes
they kill just to watch it die, or to brag about it later. Olympic organizations
are masters at burying information and university students are masters
at setting information free. University students also know that in order
to beat an enemy it helps to undermine their presence in the market. They
learned that lesson through MP3 files and peer-to-peer networking. Napster,
KaZaa, Grokster, and BitTorrent would have never taken off if it weren't
for university students.
Olympic organizations partner with universities for a number of reasons,
and another reason is for access to a volunteer workforce that is at least
eighteen years old. University students are hard and trustworthy workers.
Sun Tzu's old, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" tome
is exactly what Olympic organizations do. They know university students
are independent thinkers, but they also know they need them to work within
their system. What better way to keep them on your side then by offering
Olympic curriculums on their campuses? It is a brilliant strategy because
not only does it create an educated workforce with built in Olympic ideals,
but also the students pay for the education and then act as volunteers.
It is a perfect closed loop system. Plus, by keeping the students under
their wing they reduce the likelihood of critical debate regarding Olympic
Forcing university students to comply through a written agreement is almost
impossible, but suckling them creates a relationship that borders on maternal.
University administrators enter into agreements with Olympic organizations
on a number of levels that include "education, training, sponsorship support,
value in kind, workforce, facility and equipment leasing, rental space,"
etc. Universities also create relationships with media by supplying trained
students to do research for background material for accredited journalists
during the Games. Students also develop and manage internet outlets throughout
Olympic facilities where spectators can send messages to athletes. Students
usually work as volunteers, but in some instances, are paid a token salary.
In many cases they also earn credits. (hjl83)
There is no doubt some university students will benefit from the relationship,
but the tradeoff is that the entire university is muzzled in the process.
It will however present an opportunity for some SMBs. Obviously, not all
students will enroll in Olympic study courses, and the large numbers that
don't will have relationships with their peers who have enrolled. This
relationship can support a transfer of Olympic knowledge invaluable to
independent contractors. Knowing how the system is set up and managed
internally will give shrewd SMBs a jump on the competition. Universities
pride themselves on offering free and open debate on all matters, but
when Olympic culture is introduced the freedom to explore and expound
openly upon certain trains of thought is impeded. Some students find it
unconscionable, especially when they realize the university will place
undue stress on their education by putting Olympic needs over the needs
of the student body. It doesn't take long to sink in when costs escalate
and students are evicted from dorms or forced to cram a three-month semester
into eight weeks, etc. A university can generate revenue in the million-dollar
plus range as a result of leasing rooms and sport facilities to Olympic
organizations. Students often take a back seat. Olympic organizations
not only directly sway students they also influence media through professors.
By doing so they legitimize their position. What better way to get the
media to believe than to hear it from a respected academic? (hjl84)
A tenured professor can have serious impact when pitted against outspoken
members of the business community who do not agree with Olympic ideology.
The only way the business community can be heard above the university
din is to also create a communication strategy, but one based on real
world issues, and not academic conjecture. SMBs will do well to pay careful
attention to this because if they do go against the Olympic flow sooner
or later they might have to justify and make a public case for their position.
In the past an independent business would have had little recourse against
an Olympic organization that used media and a university to bolster their
position, but today media will tend to be a little more careful knowing
that an independent business or association has access to the public through
the internet. The average citizen can be drawn into the conversation by
finding a touch point that impacts them directly. Once you win the public
over you have ammunition to counterbalance the weight of a university
professor and media. The court of public opinion can be extremely powerful
in manipulating corporate decisions.
Blogs will appeal to university professors and students who feel they
are being censored as a result of their university's relationship with
Olympic organizations. You might not be able to get them to speak publicly
to support your position, but they can certainly be approached anonymously
to provide information. Approach them at the right time and in the right
manner and you will unearth information you would never discover on your
own. In general, be prepared to leverage the momentum generated by universities,
but also be aware that your strategy might be counter to how they work
in collusion with Olympic organizations, and if so they might try to undermine
your position. They probably won't do it directly because it would draw
attention to your perspective, but it's quite possible you will see articles
in media that describe your position and refute the legitimacy of it.
Media will not come right out and challenge you if you are right. Instead
they will offer examples opposite of yours and then bring forth a string
of academics to support their position.
Yes, I know, my headline is inflammatory, but the difference
between my inflammatory headline, and local mainstream news media's inflammatory
headline, is that I'm telling you up front that it's inflammatory,
while local newspapers and television do it surreptitiously.
Welcome to the world of 2010 Olympics news media manipulation.
On March 6, 2007, Vancouver's most popular broadsheet ran a story above
the fold in their WESTCOAST section with a headline that blurted "Elderly
activist gets 10 months - Cries of shame greet Betty Krawczyk's contempt
sentence." The emotional headline was accompanied by a large
picture of a smiling Betty K being hugged by anti-Olympic protesters in
front of the Supreme Court House just before her sentencing, while protesters
in the background solemnly stood and clapped their hands.
The headline and picture are manipulative, and if the story is to be used
at all, it belongs on page 3 with a much smaller picture and less emotional
tone. I feel sorry for 78 year old Betty K, but the real story here is
that smart young activists are using her to advance their dangerous and
violent anti-Olympic protest. She's being used as a pawn in a modern day
battle that this old lady doesn't quite understand. I know she's confused
because I took time to go to Eagleridge Bluffs last year to talk to Betty
K, and to ask her to reconsider her old habits of civil disobedience.
I agree that Betty K has a right to protest, and to defend helpless frogs
and trees. Good for her if that's what gets her out of bed every day.
Some seniors her age sit and knit. There's is no doubt this lady is a
trooper. The problem I have is that she's going to war with a pitchfork
against Olympic organizations that have the full weight of three governments
and over twenty multinationals backing them. It also disturbs me that
people like UBC professor Chris Shaw puts her out there on the front line
without proper information. Shaw is the guy you see at anti-Olympic protests
waving the menacing skull and crossbones flag on a ten foot pole.
Anti-Olympic protest leaders seem to have little or no qualms about seeing
a 78 year old women go to jail for 10 long months on their behalf. Do
you know anyone 78 years old? How well do you think they would do in jail?
How about your mother, or maybe your grandmother? Can you picture your
elderly mother in a BC jail for ten months with meth freaks, prostitutes
Thanks to Osama bin Laden, martyrdom is dead. It's no longer cool in North
America to die for a cause, especially one as ridiculous as this, but
still, The Vancouver Sun decided to pump this story in an effort to keep
the protest alive. If it dies the controversy goes away, but if they can
inflame the public into rallying behind this old women who mistakenly
believes she is making a difference, they can sell more advertising.
I don't see how this helps the homeless, trees, or frogs.
You might be wondering why I mentioned the homeless, considering that
Betty K is a professional environmental protester. The reality here is
that the leaders managing the protest are piggybacking on Betty K's green
issue because it's a more sensitive subject in Vancouver than gentrification.
Protest leaders are leveraging her issue to raise the visibility of their
cause, which seems to have fallen between the cracks and lost the attention
of Vancouver's new paper millionaires. Now that average houses have been
assessed at one million dollars, and taxes have risen to match it, no
one wants to devalue their property by getting on the anti-gentrification
train. It doesn't make sense if you are stuck with a big new property
tax bill to undermine the cost of your house. That would be economic suicide,
which means anti-Olympic protesters need a new pony to ride.
When I went to see Betty K at the Bluffs I brought her a copy of my book,
Olympic Momentum, and sat with her under a canopy and explained that
traditional tree-hugging tactics do not work in an Olympic region.
I warned her that if she stands with 100 supporters that Olympic organizations
would show up with 1,000 heavily protected and armed forces. She politely
told me she'd pass my book on to someone else in her camp that understood
the newfangled way of doing things, and maintained that the old way is
the best way. Unfortunately, the old way just landed her in jail for 10
months, while CanWest employees and owners, and her supporters go home
to warm safe beds every night.
Anti-Olympic protest is not about about protecting the homeless and trees
as much as it's about selling newspapers and advertising. That's the real
story. If the Vancouver Sun can raise emotions and keep protesters pumped
up it creates controversy. Controversy is good for the news business.
The Sun's sister company Global News Television has also jumped on this
bandwagon in their effort to keep this story alive. Parent company CanWest
Global is making a fortune off of Betty K's incarceration.
The very next day, March 7, 2007, the Vancouver Sun
ran an editorial that ripped Betty Krawczyk to shreds.
I too feel that reckless gentrification is bad for your community, and
I also feel that marginalized people are getting a raw deal as a result
of 2010, but I also know that there are better, and less violent ways
than civil disobedience to get the point across to our civic leaders and
especially Olympic organizations.
Traditional anti-Olympic protest always grows violent, and it is also
very expensive for the entire community. Unfortunately, anti-Olympic protesters,
who always arrive late to the party resort to old methods that never work
in Olympic regions. They don't understand that our governments will not
allow our region and country to be embarrassed by protest, but still they
troop on with heads down oblivious to what happened in past Olympic regions.
They ignore history while local news media make a killing selling headlines.
One of the ironies here is that when I went to Eagleridge to talk to Betty
K she was upset because protest leaders had allowed The Vancouver Sun
to embed a reporter in their camp, and she didn't trust them. She wanted
them out, but Bluff protest leaders wouldn't listen to her. It was then
that I knew for certain she was being manipulated by people she had mistaken
for friends. They'll use her body, but have little interest in her mind.
Sounds like a Joni Mitchell tune. She was then, and is now more than ever,
sleeping with the enemy.
POLICE CHIEF JAMIE GRAHAM QUITS
Vancouver Police Chief Jamie Graham announced
on February 22, 2007 that he will not renew his contract when it expires
in August 2007. Apparently, after only one term, he has had enough, but
don't count him down and out quite yet. Just because he quit doesn't mean
he's a quitter. For all we know it could be a clever negotiating tactic.
I don't blame him for being frustrated. Most police chiefs in Olympic
regions never last very long. The writing was on the wall a year ago,
but unfortunately politicians and the public in Olympic regions always
fail to see it until it is too late.
Here's what I published almost a year ago in my book, "Leverage Olympic
Momentum" about police chiefs, Olympic regions and budgets.
This article was published here in June of 2007, and in November of 2008 Graham announced he would become Victoria's Police Chief. Why on earth would a man give up being Police Chief of Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics? Don't you think having 2010 on your resume would be a good thing? Apparently Graham knows something you don't.
I can guarantee that the millisecond the Bid is won every police chief
in his or her respective Olympic region has a mini stroke. Policing an
Olympic spectacle will shorten anyone’s life. Considering the terrorist
threat, and that a police chief will have to relinquish power to outside
military and federal forces, the strain on a human is incomprehensible.
Police chiefs of large cities are characteristically power mongers. They
have to be in order to survive. Control is power, and power to a police
chief translates into peace within their community. Every leader knows
that in order to perform properly a person has to take ownership of a
situation. This same edict applies to police chiefs. They also have to
take ownership, and to take ownership means it is their territory and
they call the shots. Sharing the responsibility means opening the community
up to other policing leaders who might not agree with how the local chief
wants to run things. On top of this media will place absolutely everything
under a microscope. Nothing will get by. When a chief does a great job
managing an Olympic event people hardly notice, and the media barely acknowledges
it. But when even a small mistake occurs it becomes front-page fodder
for months, and sometimes years. It can destroy an impeccable career.
The upside is short and the downside catastrophic for a police chief.
Not only does the chief have to train you, he or she has to do it in short
order and in a way that creates the least controversy possible. It's not
easy when you consider that a very large portion of the infrastructure
of the regional police forces has to significantly change. It becomes
even more complicated if the police force isn't well run, or when you
take into account sensitive issues law enforcement agencies do not want
made public. At the best of times police forces are not transparent organizations.
There is more going on behind the scenes than you can ever imagine. The
entire policing structure will be under scrutiny and more open to public
and media assessment. When the Olympic Bid is won a chain reaction law
enforcement strategy is automatically engaged. It affects everyone including
politicians and the public. Decisions are made that will change how residents
of a community regard the world. As the Games draw near, your happy, laid-back
community will slowly turn into a pseudo-military zone. You might not
notice it at first, but shortly after winning the Bid, police forces will
divide and separate the criminal hot zones in your community. The first
thing to change will be the most visible sore spots. Neighborhoods that
have the greatest potential to catch the eye of unaccredited media will
be cleansed and prepped for gentrification. Gentrification is the physical,
social, economic, and cultural task of converting working-class and inner-city
neighborhoods into more affluent middle and upper class communities. It's
done by displacing poorer residents and remodeling buildings, which results
in increased property values and a prettier city. The first things to
go are low-income hotels. It started as early as 2005 in Vancouver. Olympic
organizations have been doing this for decades. They know that some members
of the community will create serious opposition when low-income residents
are displaced. Pushing out marginal neighborhoods means low-income housing
will disappear. It is the quickest, and in the short term, most effective
way to tweak the style of the city. In some cities it is nip and tuck,
and in others it's major surgery. The manner in which it is done, and
how it is presented to the public and media, has changed quite dramatically
in the last ten years. It's not easy to just push people out into the
streets, so instead of doing it at the last minute, police forces are
charged with slowly dividing the criminal element into small groups that
will be easier to manage. Police put so much pressure on criminals they
move to adjacent neighborhoods.
Police forces use fear to raise funds, and unfortunately in some respects
they are justified. The Olympics attracts two basic types of terrorists
- 'professionals and amateurs.' Professional terrorists are well known
to government and military organizations. Terrorists of this caliber are
a serious threat, but in some respects they are easier to defend against
because in order to get involved in Olympic action they have to devise
a coordinated plan. When everyone is on the alert it is incredibly difficult
to execute an attack. However, as we saw a few years ago in the Atlanta
Olympic bombing, amateur terrorists easily slip through the cracks. Amateur
terrorists have personal vendettas, or they operate on behalf of small,
and less visible organizations. It is this type of terrorism that poses
incredible danger because it comes from where we least expect - within
the community. Amateur terrorists keep police chiefs up at night from
the moment the Bid is won until all the Olympic sports fans leave the
city. Anti-terrorism is big business in Olympic regions and includes everything
from a spectacular increase in wiretaps in the years leading up to the
Games, to spying on average community organizations to ensure terrorists
are not infiltrating them for access to volunteer groups. End of
excerpts From LeverageOlympicMomentum.com
- the book
1st printing no longer available at CHAPTERS locations in Vancouver
Own the Podium?
The official creed (guiding principle) of the Olympics is a quote by the
founding father of the modern day Games Baron de Coubertin. He said, "The
most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,
just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.
The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
The Olympic motto consists of three Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius,
which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The 1924 motto is meant to encourage
athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their
No where does it imply that winning the most gold medals for your country
is part of the agenda. In fact it implies exactly the opposite.
The IOC maintains that it doesn't actively encourage countries to collectively
win the most gold medals, but on the other hand they also don't institute
anything to ensure that the Games are not turned into corporate money
In fact, IOC sponsorship and partnership business models encourage a win-at-all-costs
mentality. It is the reason they have doping, fraud and bribery scandals.
The IOC invites young people to compete in the Olympics using the original
Creed & Motto. But when it comes to delivering on the promise they
fall incredibly short.
The Olympics today isn't as much about sport as it is about money and
Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed &
If athletes go for the gold, and the IOC goes for the gold, and corporate
sponsors go for the gold, and governments go for the gold, and considering
that you will have to foot the bill for their gold, why should
you be edged out of the race?