Tulsa Olympic Dreams

Tulsa 2024 bid leader: ‘We’re going to stay in the race’

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The New York Times profiled the surprise 2024 Olympic bid from Tulsa, Okla., where bid leader Neil Mavis delivered this money quote:

“We don’t have an answer yet for water polo,” he said. “But one thing we do have is plenty of land out here in Oklahoma.”

The Times reported at least eight of the 35 cities the United States Olympic Committee reached out to in February have expressed a desire to submit a bid for 2024. They include major metros such as Los Angeles and Boston. And then there’s Tulsa, somewhere around the 50th most populous city in the U.S. with about 400,000 residents.

The U.S. hasn’t hosted an Olympics since 2002 (since 1996 for Summer Games) and is in the middle of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics since 1932 to 1960. A revenue-sharing agreement between the USOC and IOC last year will help U.S. bid prospects, but it will not host its next Olympics until at least 2024.

The USOC will decide by the end of 2014 if it will make a bid for 2024, and, if so, which city it will choose. The International Olympic Committee will choose the host of the 2024 Games in 2017.

Some details from the story:

• The Olympic torch would be carried through the Trail of Tears route.

• Mavis, an electrical engineer, bought copies of Atlanta’s 1996 bid on eBay for research.

• The main media center would sit at the feet of Tulsa’s famous “Golden Driller,” with medals hanging from the statue’s neck.

• Tulsa would aim to host the Games before July, earlier than any Olympics since 1924.

“Some people think I’m the village idiot,” Mavis told The Times. “We’re going to stay in the race. There’s no reason to give up.”

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North Korean member of IOC expects team at PyeongChang Olympics

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12:  Song Chol Ri of North Korea carries the national flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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The North Korean member of the International Olympic Committee believes a North Korean delegation will be at the PyeongChang Olympics, according to Kyodo News.

“There is no reason why we won’t come and no reason why we can’t,” IOC member Chang Ung said last week at the Asian Winter Games in Japan, according to the news agency. “We will proceed according to the Olympic Charter.”

An IOC spokesman previously said that the first step toward possible North Korean participation in the PyeongChang Olympics would be the North Korean Olympic Committee’s response to its invitation to the Winter Games sent out two weeks ago.

The IOC sends invitations to National Olympic Committees around the world coinciding with one year out to an Olympics.

However, it’s not a certainty that North Korea will qualify any athletes for the Winter Games. Despite winning at least four medals at every Summer Games since boycotting Seoul 1988, it didn’t have any athletes at the Sochi Olympics and just two at Vancouver 2010.

North Korea has zero top performing international winter sports athletes and few who even appear at major competitions.

North Korean short track speed skater Choe Un Song ranks No. 123 in the world after appearing in one World Cup this season in Beijing. A pairs figure skating team is ranked No. 54. A different North Korean pairs team missed a Sochi berth by 1.5 points at the last qualifying competition.

Nations without qualified athletes are still able to enter one man and one woman in the Summer Olympics in swimming and track and field. But no such exception applies in the Winter Games.

The IOC has given no indication that an exception could be made to invite a non-qualified North Korean athlete to PyeongChang.

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights

Chad le Clos still has nightmares of losing to Michael Phelps in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09:  Michael Phelps (L) of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
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Chad le Clos reportedly said he still has nightmares about losing to Michael Phelps in their much-anticipated rematch in the Rio Olympic 200m butterfly.

“I wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat over that race,” le Clos said, according to Independent Online in South Africa.

In Rio, le Clos finished fourth in the 200m butterfly final (video here), seven tenths of a second behind Phelps after famously turning his head to look at Phelps in the final 50 meters of the race.

In 2012, le Clos beat Phelps for Olympic gold by .05.

When Phelps unretired in 2014, he said he would never race the 200m butterfly again. But he picked it up a year later, in part because times around the world were not that fast and in part because of his desire to exact revenge on le Clos in Rio.

Now, it’s le Clos who wants a rematch.

“I want it that bad,” le Clos said, according to the report. “I just want Phelps to come back.”

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights