Oslo pulled out of the bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, much to the dismay of the International Olympic Committee, leaving Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan as the only potential host cities still in the running.
At an estimated cost of $US5.4 billion, public support for hosting the Olympics in Norway and a slew of other European cities was low. Every potential host city with democratically elected government has pulled its bid for the 2022 games.
The Norwegian site VG dug through thousands of pages of IOC technical manuals and unearthed some of the requirements, expectations, and recommendations the IOC asked of its potential host cities.
In addition to complete autonomy and control over everything from the order of the Opening Ceremony to the style of the signage to advertising in public spaces, the IOC asks for some perks for its members that verge on parody.
Some of the perks are obvious: access to tickets, hospitality tent requirements, etc. But others (“hot breakfast”?) make the IOC look particularly aristocratic. Given the fact that the democratic nations are turning their backs hosting the Olympics because of its inherent wastefulness, this silly list of demands looks bad for the IOC.
We looked through those technical manuals. Here’s a sampling of what the IOC expected from Oslo (peruse the IOC manuals for yourself here):
1. The IOC hotel must be rated at either four or five stars (a higher rating than any other client group at the Olympics).
2. The IOC hotel must offer: “A full international hot breakfast buffet for up to two occupants for each room (included in the room rate), catering services for IOC events, and 24-hour room service.
3. The hotel must have a members lounge to be used exclusively by IOC members. If there is no members lounge, the hotel has to install one at their own cost.
4. Doves must be released after the parade of athletes but before the head of the Olympic organising committee speaks at the Opening Ceremony.
5. Signs around the city telling people where to go should be in san serif font and “be conceived at part of the Look.”
6. “100% security screening of passengers and their baggage is required prior to entry into the IOC Hotel.” This is not a requirement at other hotels.
7. The venues must be designed such that IOC members and guests are “segregated from press and broadcast” personnel.
8. Every IOC member gets a plus-one at the Opening Ceremony.
9. IOC members must be greeted by “smiling, positive, and welcoming staff” at the airport.
10. Starting two weeks before the Olympics, there are no street vendors allowed.
11. IOC meeting rooms must be air conditioned to 20 degrees Celsius.
12. “The IOC Hotel must make available at no extra cost, existing sport facilities such as fitness facilities, swimming pool and sauna facilities to all IOC Hotel guests and IOC staff members.”
13. Private cars must be provided to select IOC members at the expense of the Olympic organising committee.
14. Volunteer drivers for IOC members must speak fluent English or French and be available to work up to 10 hours a day for six days a week.
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