I didn’t know this and I totally love it:

The story goes like this: In 1924, at the closing ceremonies of the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, Baron Pierre de Coubertin—father of the modern Olympics and first IOC chairman—awarded the members of the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition, including George Mallory, gold medals for “absolute heroism on behalf of all of the nations of the world.” (When he conceived of the modern Olympics in 1894, De Coubertin envisioned medals being given for both aeronautics and alpinism. The last medals in alpinism, a pair of silvers, were given to Reinhold Messner and Jerzy Kukuczka at the Calgary Games in 1988 for each man’s completion of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, though Messner refused the medal.)

But IOC President Thomas Bach says in a statement to The Associated Press that Saudi Arabia would be ineligible to bid unless it complies with rules on non-discrimination against women in sports.

Bach says ”a commitment to ‘non-discrimination’ will be mandatory for all countries hoping to bid for the Olympics in the future.”

Are we seeing the first glimpses of a new IOC?

Wish I was there. No really. Haters, you may hate. I would love to be there. Take it all in. Snowboard a bit and figure out how thin the air on the top really is.

On another note, I am pretty impressed with the World Economic Forum’s embrace of social media year round and their understanding of modern technology and communication tools. You can signup for Yo updates from them if you care to.

San Francisco announces their bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024.

While on one side this will kill any chances for Seattle making a big in the near future, this is in itself is an exciting announcement.

They have my full support. Love when the Games come close to home. I will totally go!

PS: There’s a larger and much deeper conversation to be had around the future of Olympic Host Cities and how this can be structured and maintained for future generations. And this needs to happen, don’t get me wrong. But that juggernaut must turn slowly and carefully. And I pray the IOC will find a solution on how the Olympic Games should represent themselves for future generations.

PPS: Their website needs serious help. Super slow, buggy scrolling and blurry images. For crying out loud, they are in the Bay Area. You’d think they find a few designers and developers who could help them get a site up that represents the City.

One hundred! locations. This is so great. Congratulations to the team!

Once/If/When I move to Tacoma I totally will start a chapter there.

There is no question that South Africa has football facilities and infrastructure that can compare with the best in the world and there is no shortage of money in its professional league. There is also an abundance of natural talent in the country but that needs to be harnessed through a well-planned development programme which will develop that talent into realising its full potential.

That’s always the challenging part in the aftermath of hosting a big tournament like this.

Cool interactive page sharing a ton of great insight, and announcing prices and availability for tickets to the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio. The event will employ 8,000 staff, 35,000 contractors and 45,000 volunteers… incredible operation.


Philip Porter, an economist at the University of South Florida who has studied the impact of sporting events, told me that the evidence was unequivocal. “The bottom line is, every time we’ve looked — dozens of scholars, dozens of times — we find no real change in economic activity,” he said. Still, even for established cities like Boston or San Francisco, there is one clear reason to chase the Olympics or the World Cup: People like hosting major sporting events. Economists tend to pay more attention to money than to happiness, because money is easier to count. But it’s no small matter that surveys routinely find high levels of public support in the host nation before, during and after the Olympics and the World Cup. “It’s like a wedding,” Matheson told me. “It won’t make you rich, but it may make you happy.” The trick is deciding how much that’s worth.

Bill Simmons for Grantland:

Every World Cup does one thing better than any other event that human beings organize. It focuses the attention of the world on one place at one moment. Around a billion people watched at least part of the final in 2010; that’s several Super Bowls. When a game becomes so ubiquitous, it almost ceases to be entertainment and becomes something else, an atmospheric phenomenon, an object of astronomy. Will more people watch Germany-France on Friday or see the moon over France and Germany? Only the Olympics brings people together like this, and hey, due respect to the Olympics. But oh man is it ever not the same thing.

And this, even more than neuron-blowing games or unbelievable outcomes, is the magic of the World Cup. Over the next 10 days, a substantial portion of the living population of the Earth will have its feelings altered simultaneously by the actions of 22 men chasing a ball around a field in Brazil. Whether you watch alone or in a group or at a stadium, you will know that what you are seeing is being seen by hundreds of millions of people on every corner of the globe, and that your joy, despair, or disbelief is being echoed in incomprehensibly many consciousnesses. Is there anything more ridiculous than this? There is nothing more ridiculous than this, but it’s an extraordinary feeling, too. When something incredible happens — Messi curls a ball around three defenders; Zidane head-butts Materazzi — it’s not just an exciting moment. It’s a bright line connecting you with the human race.

No other sporting event can really compare to the World Cup in this regard, and when the tournament is as wild as this one has been, the feeling is even stronger. It’s why you despair that FIFA is a cabal of oleaginous quasi murderers, why their inability to control, say, match fixing is so depressing. They don’t deserve to control this. In an important sense, it has nothing to do with them. No World Cup, certainly not one in Brazil, can stand outside history. The World Cup is history. And now it’s history waiting to happen.

And I’ll be in Germany – dang.

Schmid is rooting for the US:

“No. I’m rooting for the U.S. I’m never torn on that. I’ve grown up here, I’m a U.S. citizen, and this is where I’ve earned my living as a soccer coach. … When Germany plays anybody else, I’m very German and I’m definitely behind them all the way. But I sometimes lose patience for people who have lived here a long time and are still rooting for their home country first. I understand that, and I was born in Germany and have all my relatives there. They’re going to be rooting for Germany first and they’re going to give me a hard time. But I just think this is the country that my family committed to and that I’ve committed to, so I’m going to support this country.”

This one is still hard for me. The German National Team has always been my favorite team to watch. I want them to win another trophy and continue their legacy. They need to win it this time.

But when the US is not playing Germany I am 100% rooting for them. They’ve shown great soccer on the pitch this year. The Sounders players help bring the team closer to me and I love watching them succeed.

Just not on Thursday. I will be rooting for Germany again.

PS: On second thought, if we end in second place in Group G we could avoid Brazil until the Finals. Hmmmm.

Tobias Kemper:

In case you were wondering what the World Cup means to everyone else.

Moved all that noisy soccer talk to a dedicated Tumblr blog. For the next 4 weeks at least.

Oh, there is so much to talk about, so many amazing games, beautiful goals and so many cool statistical possibilities.

Come and join me, and talk soccer with me.

Just click the link above to subscribe.

Let the madness begin!

Here in the US, by Brian Foley on Medium:

I know I will be here watching on the TV every single game of the World Cup in High Definition and getting expert analysis on ESPN as this is the time that Soccer breaks through in this country with perfect gametimes for USA fans with 6pm and noon kickoffs.

From the Archive:

This is what soccer fans look like in Germany. We’re getting close US, we’re getting closer!

Fantastic feature on SB Nation.

There will be a lot, a lot, a lot of talk about soccer here over the next few weeks. Bear with me. The most exciting days are ahead. I love the World Cup. Love the German National Team. Love the Cup. Every 4 years the madness disrupts my life and it’s the most beautiful agony and ecstasy all rolled into one.

Deutschland, Deutschland, Wir sind die Mannschaft!!

June, 21 2014:

The World’s toughest Mountain Bike Marathon in the heart of the amazing Dolomites.

Awesome bike race, awesome location. Great website.

People have been asking me what I think about US National Team coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s (check the correct spelling!) decision to drop one of the most beloved US players off his roster over a week before the deadline. Here is what I think: