Volume 94, Issue 87

Wednesday, March 7, 2001


SPORTS

Heading to Halifax - Men begin championship run

Buzzer sounds on indoor hockey

Badminton team goes all the way - 9-2 victory over U of Ottawa seals the win

Dear Mr. Samaranch...

Dear Mr. Samaranch...

By John Dinner
Sports Columnist


The International Olympic Committee evaluation group arrives in Toronto today to make the TOBid committee jump through hoops and pass a number of silly tests to see if the city is worthy of hosting such a grand event as the 2008 Summer Olympics.

This is a letter to Juan Antonio Samaranch, who, as head honcho of the IOC, has a big say in the final decision.



Dear Mr. Samaranch,

For years you have extolled the virtues of the Olympic cause. How it is more about people and sport, than government and politics. For years you have stated that the Olympic cause is a worthy one, something that should be cherished and celebrated. And for the last few years, all this has come into serious questions; questions about your motives, and whether you actually believe everything you have said in the past about this cause.

So do the right thing. Don't give the Olympics to Beijing, give it to Toronto. Beijing's project is government-run and government supported – nobody knows what the people think or feel. Toronto's bid was developed in the private sector and took some serious arm twisting to get all levels of government on board. While many see this as a fault to the bid in Toronto, it is in fact a strength.

For the last number of years the Olympic games have lost some of their allure with all the scandals that arose out of Salt Lake City being awarded the 2002 Winter Games, and the continuous fight your organization has with drug cheats. Awarding the 2008 Olympics to Toronto won't erase all that has happened, but it would be a step in the right direction. The Olympics now seem to only be about making money and appeasing political agendas.

Awarding the Olympics to a country that is wary of hosting an event because of this, is a step in the right direction. Having people protest against hosting the games, is once again seen as a detriment to the Toronto bid. Again, it is a strength.

Advocacy groups, like Bread for Circuses, are groups that are going to make sure the minority is heard, and issues such as government spending will be closely monitored. Money will not be wasted. These groups are going to be the ones that ensure the Toronto Games, will be for the benefit of everyone, not just big business and politicians.

Here in Canada, the people will be allowed to voice their opinions. Here in Canada there will be so many eyes on those who are in charge of putting the games together, they will become the most all-encompassing and beneficial games in the history of the modern Olympiad.

If the Olympics are awarded to Toronto there will be a lasting Olympic legacy in the city and around the world. If the Olympics truly are about people, peace, and sport, then they need to be in Toronto in 2008.

Sincerely,

Cockeyed Optimist


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