High-Tech Security at Tokyo 2020…..Following the series of terrorist incidents around the world, including the most recent terror threats against malls in Toronto, several new technological advancements in security and anti-crime devices emerging from Japan could see their implementation throughout the 2020 Olympic Games’ venues. “Japan News” is describing entrance gate systems involving the matching of athlete’s photo IDs to their previously registered photos in a database to help ward off entrance into the athlete’s village through stolen ID cards, for example. Additionally, the use of security cameras with the ability to send recorded footage wirelessly to remote devices are anticipated to be used throughout the Olympic campuses. Technology is anticipated to reach even further in the prevention of terrorists from entering Japan as well, from the application of sophisticated bomb detectors that can analyze tiny particles within a small carry-on bag in seconds to the integration of advanced facial recognition software at immigration counters involving photo validation via microchip.
Potential Abu Dhabi/Dubai Summer Games Bid?……Agenda 2020, the wide-ranging plan put forth by International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, in December 2014, contains a new regulation allowing cities to now jointly bid to host future Olympic Games. One of the potential beneficiaries of this new flexible edict may lie in the Middle East, where a joint Abu Dhabi and Dubai bid may come to fruition. The ability to combine resources, including transportation and infrastructure, may strengthen the position of the two cities if they were to bid together. “Given the proximity and excellent transportation between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the joint bid could arguably be as geographically compact as a number of past Games held at venues across a single expansive urban area”, so writes “Gulf News”. Thus, the locale may provide the IOC with an opportunity to “stress-test” the new joint Summer Games bid under the new regulation.
Boston 2024 Cost Concerns……With Boston identified as the U.S. city officially under consideration by the IOC to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the process now moves forward with assembling political and communal support within the city and the state of Massachusetts. At the center of this support is the expectation that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will endorse Boston’s overall Olympic plan, both structurally and monetarily, which includes signing off on a pledge that the city’s taxpayers will step in and rectify budget issues should the plan for a privately funded Olympics stumble. A mayoral guarantee is nothing new in terms of being included in an overall host’s plans, but it does not make it any less of a controversial issue for opponents of the Boston 2024 movement, concerned that taxpayers will be burdened with unexpected costs should there be an economic downturn, sponsorphip bail-outs or other unforeseen issues. Walsh indicates that he is confident that organizers will present “a real solid business plan, with a credible strategy for the massive corporate fundraising needed to help pay for the Games.” Inherently in any project of this magnitude, there is associated risk; however, says Doug Arnot, U.S. Olympic Committee/Boston 2024 Adviser, “we will take every step we can to manage that risk, to mitigate it, and relieve the potential for exposure to the city.