Who hit it big and who busted at last week's momentous Olympic summit
By Brian Cazeneuve
Beijing, which will host the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Belgium's Jacques Rogge, who will succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch as IOC president, weren't the only ones with their five-ring futures at stake at the IOC meeting in Moscow. Here's a look at how others fared.
Olympic sponsors. Beijing's selection means that big-money sponsors like Coke and Kodak, who are paying roughly $70 million each, will win exposure to an emerging Chinese market of 1.3 billion people -- a tad larger than what Toronto or Paris offered.
Vancouver. Had Toronto won, Canada would have had no chance of hosting the 2010 Winter Games. Instead, with the Olympics going to Europe in 2004 (Greece) and 2006 (Italy) and Asia in 2008, this third-time bidder is an early front-runner against what insiders think will be a weak field. Toronto's loss also keeps alive the chances that a U.S. city could land the 2012 Games.
Détente-ists. The Beijing selection was cheered by those who think the Olympics will help create a more open China. "It is not quite Ping-Pong diplomacy, because China was really closed [when President Nixon visited there in 1972]," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who attended the session, told SI, "but the Olympics will expose more of China to the world and the world to China. This can be very good."
Reform. Rogge, unlike chief competitor Kim Un Yong, was untainted by the Salt Lake scandal. In addition, Kim's candidacy may have been sunk by last-minute talk that he would push for $50,000 stipends to IOC members to cover expenses. Said Swiss member Marc Hodler of Rogge's 59-23 final margin of victory, "It sends a wonderful message that not more than 23 votes can be bought."
NBC. The 12-hour time difference between the U.S. East Coast and Beijing won't help the network. Still, that's less than Sydney's 15 hours, and NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol says that will make it easier to have live events, including some finals, in U.S. prime time.
The French. Devastated by their poor showing in the balloting for 2008 -- Paris received only 33 votes of the 207 cast in the two rounds of voting -- French officials say they may not even resubmit their bid for 2012. "We were fewer than Istanbul in the first round," says French IOC member Jean-Claude Killy. "Such little respect for Paris is a kick in the backside."
Minor sports and wannabe Olympic events. Rogge has decried the Games' gigantism and believes sports should be cut, not added. Although he has not mentioned events by name, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming and modern pentathlon might be in trouble. Kim, on the other hand, argued that events could be added by trimming the overall number of competitors. He had specifically mentioned golf as a potential future Olympic sport. Sorry, Tiger.
Issue date: July 23, 2001
For more Scorecard see this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday, July 18. Click here to subscribe to SI.