Oslo is dropping out of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, leaving Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing as the only remaining cities seeking to host the event. Why? One reason is that people are starting to realize that spending mega-money to build sporting venues that may not ever be used again doesn't make economic sense. Another is that the International Olympic Committee is a notoriously ridiculous organization run by grifters and hereditary aristocrats. Norwegian citizens were particularly amused/outraged (amuseraged) by the IOC's diva-like demands for luxury treatment during the hypothetical Games. Here's a piece in the Norwegian media about the controversy, with translation provided by a generous Norwegian reader named Mats Silberg:
- They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee.
- Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation.
- A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members' rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge ...)
- The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours “extra late” and the minibars must stock Coke products.
- The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives.
- The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport.
- During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge.
- IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.
- Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times.
- The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.
The IOC issued a statement responding to Oslo's decision:
This is a missed opportunity for the City of Oslo and for all the people of Norway who are known world-wide for being huge fans of winter sports. And it is mostly a missed opportunity for the outstanding Norwegian athletes who will not be able to reach new Olympic heights in their home country.
Sad. Very sad.