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Thread: Rio 2016 Olympics

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    Default Rio 2016 Olympics

    Rio Olympic chiefs admit empty seats are a 'problem' but defend ticketing policy despite touting issues

    By Matt Slater, Press Association
    Published: 13:27 EST, 8 August 2016 | Updated: 13:27 EST, 8 August 2016

    Rio 2016 bosses have defended their ticketing policies despite swathes of empty seats at many of the Olympic venues being visible to audiences around the world.

    According to Donovan Ferreti, Rio 2016's ticketing director, 78 per cent of the 7.5 million tickets available for the Games have now gone, with nearly half a million tickets sold for Monday's busy day of action.

    Ferreti said South Americans are notoriously late buyers - with lots of tickets being bought at the last minute in Argentina, Brazil and Chile - and said many of the sessions were double-headers, with fans choosing to watch only one half.

    But Rio 2016's chief spokesman Mario Andrada admitted TV pictures of barely half-full venues were a 'problem' and the organising committee was trying to fix it.

    'Some of the events have massive crowds and massive atmosphere but we have to fix other problems and we're not happy until we have,' said Andrada.

    'We don't think it's a growing trend (but) it's a problem and we have to fix it.'

    Part of the solution became apparent over the weekend when adverts starring Usain Bolt appeared urging Brazilians to buy tickets for the athletics.

    Andrada said Rio 2016 was also trying to get sponsors and other VIPs to hand over unused tickets so local children from disadvantaged areas could get to see the action, but he admitted this was not easy given the often short notice and the fact these children are at school.

    Vacant seats, however, are not Rio 2016's only ticketing problem, as local police have started to crack down on touts.

    Ten Brazilians from Sao Paulo were arrested over the weekend for trying to sell tickets for the opening ceremony bought with cloned credit cards, while Andrada said 40 touts were arrested outside the Olympic Park on Monday.

    There are also local reports that two employees of a British-based ticketing agency were detained in Rio on Monday, with 1,000 tickets confiscated.

    Rio 2016 staff were unable to confirm any further details of that case, and attempts to contact the company in question have been unsuccessful so far.

    Ferreti said the organisers have worked hard with local police since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to tackle organised gangs of touts, and stressed that all authorised resellers of tickets and hospitality packages are on the official website and fans should only purchase tickets from them.

    And if stories about seats being empty or sold via unofficial channels were not enough for the organisers to deal with, there are also suggestions that the temporary seating at the athletics venue has not been properly 'stress-tested'.

    Andrada acknowledged the seats had not been physically tested but said the firm used for the job had made even bigger temporary seating areas at the World Cup without any problems, and it had 'more sophisticated' methods of testing their safety than asking thousands of people to sit in them.

    While the seat-related issues are genuine potential headaches, Rio 2016's organising committee seems more relaxed about complaints from some competitors that Rio crowds do not quite know when to cheer and when to watch quietly.

    'One of the legacies for these Games will be Brazilians learning how to watch some of these sports that are new to us,' said Andrada.

    'The Brazilian crowd is very passionate, very Latin, so it's a learning curve and we'll get better - but we do want to keep the passion.'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/oth...ng-issues.html


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    Default Re: Rio 2016 Olympics

    Millions wasted: A plague of empty seats – Rio 2016’s next crisis

    By: Ken Hanscom, Chief Product Officer, InviteManager | August 8, 2016

    With the Opening Ceremony just behind us, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are already facing their next major challenge: Huge swaths of empty seats. At nearly every major event the best seats are sitting empty for the whole world to see, and it’s as bad or worse on the ground than it seems on TV.

    The empty seats plague has gotten so bad that this past Thursday, Rio 2016 announced they would be giving away 280,000 tickets away to underprivileged children in an effort to help fill seats at less popular sports including Golf, Rugby, and Field Hockey. While this makes sense as a “pro-active” measure to avoid the horrific visuals of athletes competing to half-empty venues – it will not cure what we are seeing every day at the prime-time and most sought after events….the best seats, totally empty.

    Corporate sponsors and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have the best seats in the house, and for the third straight Olympic Games we are seeing rows of empty seats in the best locations for the competitions. What we saw at the first swimming finals on Saturday, empty seats right in heart of the stands, will replay itself for the duration of the games. If these are the best tickets in the house and everybody wants them, including the athletes who get a paltry two tickets for the events they compete in, how can they sit empty?

    The problem starts with the lack of organization and transparency for the large number of tickets given to corporate sponsors and the organizing committees. Corporate sponsors have tickets included as part of their overall sponsorship packages while the IOC & the Olympic organizing committee hold back large numbers of tickets for staff, dignitaries, VIPs in their business circles, and for other marketing and philanthropic purposes. For every Olympics, the tickets provided to sponsors and the organizing committees are always the best seats in the house.

    But in both cases, these groups fail to systematically understand what will happen with these tickets, both those going to countries/stakeholders and those going to sponsors. There is no formal process in place so they lack visibility and action into whether or not these tickets have been assigned to someone, or if the persons they are assigned to is even making the trip. As a result, millions of dollars are wasted as the best seats in the house sit empty and families of Olympians struggle to get tickets to these sold out events. And, committed and passionate global fans watch as their country’s Olympians compete to half-empty venues.

    The issue compounds with tickets allocated to the individual National Organizing Committees (NOCs) that are intended to go to the fans in a specific country or region. Often times, a large block of tickets are siphoned off to the secondary market where they can command bigger dollars for the organizing committees. Where there is demand without transparency, there is always fraud.

    In Beijing 2008, the co-founders of my current company found themselves right in the middle of one of these transactions which sounds more like a mobster movie than a celebration of global athletics: Picture yourself in a hotel room. In barges two armed guards followed by a man with two stainless steel suitcases. He swings it up onto the bed and opens it open. It is filled with thousands of Olympic tickets. A man walks over, inspects them and gives a nod. Two more armed guards burst in with a suitcase of their own that is slung next to the tickets on the bed. Once opened, it is filled with $1000 bills. The two men exchange pleasantries and go on their way, while our co-founders sit horrified at how simple and commonplace the transaction seemed to those involved.

    These tickets were from a NOC (National Organizing Committee) (we’ll spare the name though they clearly identified themselves) and intended for the fans of their country which, instead, made their way into the hands of brokers who sold them for many times their value. This is not uncommon as this scene plays out Olympics after Olympics with the “extra tickets” making their way to secondary markets while consumers and Olympian families are left out in the cold. They don’t stand a chance to get great tickets at face value.

    The market, however, does go both ways and neither the games, the sponsors, nor the NOC’s were prepared for the sagging demand for Rio’s lesser events. In times of booming demand, brokers and NOC’s mark-up tickets exponentially and know the lesser events will sell to the public. For Rio 2016, however, the inefficiencies of the system have created a different problem: additional non-public inventory that has yet to be moved. Just days before the games, multiple ticketing insiders here in Rio personally told me that several of the NOCs were doing everything they could to liquidate their excess inventory before the games started. Some were so desperate that they were offering discounts of 50-percent off the face value to move them.

    Empty seats are totally preventable. They are caused by greed, a lack of planning, and corruption. Until transparency and technology (there are many solutions on the market and have been for over a decade) are embraced, people like Sead Dizdarevic, the re-seller of Olympic tickets with a long and publicly documented history of corruption, and ticket brokers will make out like bandits while the families of the athletes are left home .

    Buckle your seatbelts as we are in for a wild ride. With the Opening Ceremony done and the highly anticipated swimming and gymnastics started, Rio 2016 is facing another crisis that is not only easily preventable, but one that they promised the world in 2012 would not occur here – rows and rows of empty seats. Add this latest one to the list of broken promises in Rio.

    http://thefieldsofgreen.com/2016/08/...s-next-crisis/



    The Rio Olympics are having a big problem getting people to watch

    Jason Guerrasio
    15h

    The Summer Olympics in Rio got off to a rough start, as it had the lowest-rated opening ceremony in a quarter century.

    According to Nielsen's live-plus-same-day data, as reported by Ad Age, NBC's tape-delayed broadcast received a 13.9 household rating. That's the lowest viewership since the Barcelona Games in 1992 had a 13.8 rating.

    The Rio opening was down 36% from the London Games in 2012 and didn't even top the biggest summer sports draw in the US of this year — a title still held by Game 7 of the NBA Finals, which had 31 million viewers. The Rio opening had 26.5 million.

    The slow start for the games continued on Saturday, when the 20.7 million viewership was down 28% from the first Saturday of the London Games.

    But, hopefully, when numbers come in for Sunday, there will be an improvement. That was the first night US swimmer Michael Phelps hit the pool and won the 19th gold medal of his career while participating in the 4x100-meter relay.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/summe...ay-down-2016-8

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    Default Re: Rio 2016 Olympics

    CNN Host Called on U.S. Flag Bearer Michael Phelps at Olympics to Step Aside for Female Muslim American Fencer

    By Rick Moran August 7, 2016
    chat 31 comments

    CNN Host Called on US Flag Bearer at Olympics to Step Aside for Muslim Fencer

    Michael Phelps carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    The host of the CNN show "United Shades of America" called on Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps to forgo the honor of carrying the American flag at the head of the American delegation and allow a Muslim female fencer to carry it instead.

    Kamau Bell penned a column on the CNN website saying that Phelps should withdraw in the name of "diversity."
    “What I’m trying to say is that as far as America is concerned, you are a golden boy … literally. You getting the opportunity to carry the flag is like Michael Jordan getting a free pair of Nike sneakers.You are both the living embodiment of the “honor” you are getting.

    To put it another way, in the Make-Your-Own-Ice-Cream-Sundae-Bar of life, your sundae is lousy with hot fudge, butterscotch, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles, extra scoops of ice cream, and so many Maraschino cherries that 5-year-old kids with mouthfuls of Maraschino cherries yell as you pass by, “THAT’S TOO MANY CHERRIES!”

    And that’s why I would be proud of you for giving up your position to Ibtihaj Muhammad. Muhammad carrying the flag would be much bigger than your one moment.

    It would be a symbol for our country in this moment when we are mostly known for one of the most contentious, controversial, scandal-ridden, hateful, xenophobic, jingoistic, and just generally unlikeable presidential elections in recent memory. This is at a time when we could use some more symbols of unity and togetherness.
    Muhammad carrying the flag would be nearly a one-stop inclusion shop. Muhammad is an African-American, hijab-wearing Muslim woman who is also a world class fencer. Those are all groups that could always use some more love, acceptance, and respect from this country. (And yes, I'm including fencers in this group.)

    If (when) Muhammad carries the flag, that moment (and Muhammad herself) would grow into legend. We're talking bigger than just the Olympics.

    It will be cemented in history the same way Australian runner Peter Norman is cemented in Olympic history as the white guy standing stock still next to Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. As Smith and Carlos stood with their fists in the air, Norman (very actively) didn't get in the way. And he even encouraged the moment by suggesting that Tommie Smith wear John Carlos' left glove when Carlos discovered that he had forgotten his gloves at the Olympic village. Thank you, Michael, for being the Peter Norman of this year's Olympics.

    Sponsored

    Trying to unravel the skein of idiocy that runs through the entire article is a task for which I'm not suited.
    But how much fun would that be?


    Companion Threads:






    Muslim-American Olympian Criticizes her Country


    How Ibtihaj Muhammad describes life in America for Muslims.


    August 9, 2016
    Joseph Klein



    A Muslim-American woman competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Ibtihaj Muhammad, made history as the first American Olympic participant to wear a hijab while competing. The fencer won her first round, then lost in a second round. She is due to take part in a team competition later on during the Olympics. However, with all the media attention she has received to date for wearing the hijab and speaking out as a Muslim advocate against her country’s treatment of Muslims as well as against Donald Trump, you would think she had already won the gold.

    Rather than focus on the fact that she was representing America as part of Team USA, Ms. Muhammad chose to distance herself from her fellow Americans. Before the competition even began, she complained about not feeling safe in America because she was a Muslim. She has been whining about how she feels threatened because of her faith, and has politicized the Olympic Games with derogatory comments regarding Donald Trump’s candidacy for president.

    Considering that “anti-Semitic crimes accounted for roughly 60 percent of religious hate crimes last year,” according to a 2015 Washington Post report, and “anti-Muslim crimes now make up about 13 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes,” the Jewish-American Olympic competitors would have had more reason to speak out about not feeling safe in America. However, they are in Rio to compete for the gold on behalf of their country, not to trash it.

    "I wish that, not just my life, but the lives of Muslims all over the world were a little bit easier, particularly in the United States,” Ms. Muhammad was quoted by the Associated Press as saying after arriving in Rio for the competition. (Emphasis added.) “I'm hoping that with my first-time appearance as a member of Team USA here at the Olympics, I'm hoping that the rhetoric around the Muslim community will change."

    This is a woman who had the opportunity to meet with President Obama and even offer the First Lady a fencing lesson. Indeed, Ibtihaj Muhammad has lived the American dream. She graduated from a top school, Duke University, where she attended on a scholarship. To fund her ambitions to become a world class fencer, she worked as a substitute teacher and fencing coach. She also founded her own clothing line Louella.

    And she has gotten some big name corporate endorsements. She missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, but continued working hard to make the 2016 team, which, to her credit, she succeeded in doing.

    Explaining her primary motivation for going after a spot on the 2016 team, Ibtihaj Muhammad focused on her attachment to the Muslim community, not simply on the honor to represent America. She said, "When I heard that there had never been a Muslim woman on the U.S. team to wear the hijab, that is when I made this conscious decision to go for 2016.” She added: “I am excited to represent not just myself, my family and my country - but also the greater Muslim community."

    If Ms. Muhammad were truly interested in representing “the greater Muslim community,” she should use her celebrity status to speak out against the atrocious living conditions of women in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Muslim majority countries.

    Did Ms. Muhammad by chance have the opportunity to speak with any of the very few female competitors from Saudi Arabia, for example? That devout Muslim country discriminates against its own female population, all under the banner of Islam’s sharia law. It is allowing just four women athletes to compete in the Olympics this year, after having received an ultimatum from Olympic authorities in 2012. At home in Saudi Arabia, women are not even allowed to attend national team competitions as spectators, let alone participate in any tournaments or state organized sports leagues of their own. "Our society can be very conservative," said Prince Fahad bin Jalawi al-Saud, a consultant to the Saudi Olympic Committee. "It has a hard time accepting that women can compete in sports."

    More generally, there is strict gender segregation in Saudi Arabia. And merely wearing a hijab head cover would not be enough to keep a woman out of trouble for dressing too immodestly.

    In commenting on the recent spate of Islamic terrorism, Ms. Muhammad blamed it on an “unhealthy situation” caused by “(M)isunderstanding of religion, of what different societies need in order to thrive.” It would appear that Ms. Muhammad has a basic misunderstanding of the doctrines in her own religion that have fueled violent jihad around the world.

    As an example of political correctness run amok, there was mounting pressure on Michael Phelps, who was elected by his teammates to serve as flag bearer in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, to decline the honor in favor of Ibtihaj Muhammad, who came in second in the voting. Various media outlets called for Phelps to yield. Perhaps the most ridiculous article was a CNN op-ed piece addressed to Phelps by W. Kamau Bell, in which the author says that “America has enough tall, successful, rich white guys hogging the spotlight” and that “Muhammad carrying the flag would be nearly a one-stop inclusion shop.”

    The Olympics should be all about sports competition for the top prize based on merit. It should not be about religious faiths or domestic politics. Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, earned the honor to carry the flag on behalf of the United States.

    Muhammad has not earned that honor, unless being Muslim, wearing a hijab while competing and trashing her country constitute the new standard of “excellence.”


    Ibtihaj Muhammad@IbtihajMuhammad Aug 7 Love these ladies!! #BlackGirlsRock #TeamUSA


    Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys





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    Default Re: Rio 2016 Olympics

    Hillary Gushes Over First American Woman To Compete Wearing A Hijab At The Olympics… Less Than An Hour Later She’s Eliminated…





    Ibtihaj Muhammad, First U.S. Olympian to Wear Hijab, Eliminated From Fencing Competition


    by Joe DePaolo | 12:28 pm, August 8th, 2016



    Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad — the first U.S. Olympian ever to wear a Hijab during the Games — has just been eliminated from individual competition at the Olympics.

    Muhammad began the fencing competition by defeating Olena Kravatska of Ukraine 15-13 early Monday. But she lost her round of 16 match to France’s Cecelia Berder 15-12.



    The 30-year-old from New York still has a chance to win a medal in Rio. Muhammad and her U.S. fencing teammates will take on Poland in a quarterfinal match in the team competition on Saturday.

    [image via screengrab]

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    Default Re: Rio 2016 Olympics

    Why would a feminist like Hillary be celebrating the wearing of subjugating clothing forced upon women by men in the name of a patriarchal religion?


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    Default Re: Rio 2016 Olympics

    To truly be anti-Christian I suppose they feel they must be as pro-Muslim as possible. Stupid kind of logic I grant you.
    Brian Baldwin

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