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Saturday, February 17, 2007

RH: How ASEAN can host an Olympics

From: Robert Ho (ho3@pacific.net.sg)
Subject: RH: How ASEAN can host an Olympics
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Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore, soc.culture.indonesia, soc.culture.asean
Date: 2003-05-15 06:12:12 PST


1. I propose that Asean bid for the next available Summer Olympics.

2. It should be a combined bid by all the Asean countries and every
Asean country will host one or more games. For example, say, cycling
in Vietnam because the Vietnamese countryside is lovely and brings
back fond memories for many Americans when they had their arses kicked
out of Vietnam by the Vietcong. So, many Americans will remember the
quaint Vietnamese names for various parts of the country, names which
they otherwise will not know or remember.

Then, say, boxing in Thailand, because Thai boxing is world famous and
a genre in itself.

Singapore can host swimming meets.

Etc, etc.

Malaysia can host many of the events, in fact, maybe most of the
events, because they had recently hosted the Commonwealth Games, which
is the second biggest sporting event in the world, and very
successfully, too, having built many world-class sporting facilities,
with the management committees to match.

3. Now, I know many will argue that this is unfeasible because it is
costly, difficult to stage, etc.

4. My argument that it is not impossible to stage is proven by the
very successful Commonwealth Games staged a few years back by
Malaysia. Also, every Asean country, big or small, has been staging
various games and sporting events regularly, although these are small.
So, the management skills are there. Also, the Olympics Committee will
help to organise and quality-control the hosting of the Olympics.

5. As for costs, well, I am Robert Ho, the cheapskate Ideator, who
usually has a cheap idea to solve a problem.

How? Well, for a start, Malaysia has practically all the sporting
facilities to host practically all the events. So, Malaysia can be the
Main Host. However, since it is not politically acceptable, especially
for Singapore, which is forever and pathologically trying to upstage
Malaysia, it is of course, necessary to split as many of the events to
the other Hosts as possible, to make it a truly Asean Olympics.

This would also be good for Asean politically, and economically, and
also for getting the concept of Asean across to the rest of the world,
which still does not know much about Asean.

Now, as for costs, I propose that new sporting facilites to be built

In other words, I believe that coming Olympics will be media events
more than sporting events. In other words, the media is the medium
where the events are played out rather than the sports hall or sports

So every effort and facility must be made to make new sporting
facilities media-friendly, nay, media-centered, rather than strictly
sporting facilties.

For example, to build the typical sports stadium for football and
other track & field events, it is only necessary to build the usual
world-class football field and the usual world-class track & field

In other words, the architects should design the stadium in such a way
that the TV cameras and the Internet webcasting facilities are
perfectly hosted, given the best angles and views, etc. The human,
live audience is of secondary importance. A distant second. Since
Internet webcasting is making giant strides year by year, by the time
this Asean Olympics is ready, the Internet will be a major media in
itself, with many, many possibilities we cannot even imagine now.

This means that you only need world-class fields and tracks, etc, but
only a few thousand seating capacity for humans. These live audience
will be mostly officials and VIPs and sports delegations. There need
not be any attempt to build 60,000 seat monster stadiums, etc. Only a
thousand or two would actually be needed. This saves a great deal of
costs. Many existing stadiums and sporting facilities can, with a
cheap and simple renovation, meet this requirement (that is, for TV
and Internet, rather than a live audience).

6. To continue this line of argument, think about other media events.
Think about, for example, the Oscar Academy Awards. This is watched by
millions worldwide but takes place in only a small hall attended by
only a thousand or so humans. It is an example of a media event that
is more virtual than human.

Another example? How about the Miss Universe Pageant? This is again,
more of a media event than a live audience one. You only need video
clips of the participants preparing, etc, and a small hall of live
audience. In other words, it is another media event more than a live
audience one. The latter is unimportant.

7. Of course, there are some logistics considerations. But nothing
impossible. It is now already possible to fly from Kuala Lumpur to
Singapore in an hour. To Bangkok is only slightly longer. So, too, to
Ho Chi Minh city. Since every country and city in Asean is already
wired up for TV and Internet, and even more so by the time of this
Asean Olympics, the telecommunications requirements are easily
accomplished or already on hand.

So, why not? Start meeting and planning for a bid now.

Robert Ho
15 May 03
UK 1411 Singapore 2111