So, will there be a Sydney Olympic. The world will be watching. Perhaps more so, given the wealth of excellent literature and media coverage that will be lavished on this event, than on a dreadful 0-for-2 taper of floods the country saw on Thursday.
This speculation is baseless. For one thing, there is no actual way for anyone to apply for the IOC’s Olympic bid prize. But many countries have to apply. For another, Australia already occupies the top slot for Olympic bids. And the City of Sydney is already a leader. We are in a proud position not only as host city but as a regional authority.
Sydney isn’t going to hold the Games. But Sydney is “city”. You can read the advance publicity booklet (which should be free to the public) for this mythical “open city”, it reports. And the incumbent bids — London, Beijing, Moscow, Paris and now Rio — have done so-called “values analysis” to ascertain which will win the bid. Except Rio won’t be involved in how Sydney compels future Games promoters to get Sydney’s “preferred” status. Oh, sure, Rio’s approval rating goes up if it follows all the IOC’s recommendations but every Olympics is supposed to be judged on the votes of a small percentage of sports federations. Rio has no immediate motivation to market itself as a city on the rise because that would put it at a disadvantage of great sympathy to Beijing. But Rio won’t be embraced by the rest of the Olympic movement, let alone by the vast expanse of the city where it is.
Finally, talk of Sydney being next in line for an Olympics is a conspiracy. Surely it will all be over the years after the ’20s.
Also, won’t it suck to run at the expense of the whole city? Not just one city. Many small cities run in to the same boat as Sydney, with the two most important cities in themselves running out of money before Games begin.
Needless to say, such a prospect creates “serious” concerns for the Olympic bid committee. And, of course, there is the idea that it will fill Sydney’s bloated pools of enthusiasm with lobbyists from sports federations. But like Sydney, any city that is ranked ahead of it will likely raise its game. Plus, it’s not guaranteed Sydney will be the “top city” in 2022.
Sydney already feels old. We feel like the city that shrunk by more than 10,000sq m under the pressure of City Hall demands of it. And that’s before we get to the question of what next for our great city.