US says no to 2020 Olympics Bid: No free ticket for U.S Team Handball until 2028?

2012 London Olympic Tickets: 2028 might be the soonest we'll see Summer Olympic tickets with a U.S. City .



The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) recently announced that the U.S. will not put in a bid to host the 2020 Olympics.  Still stinging from two back to back losses (New York’s 2012 and Chicago’s 2016 bid) the determination was made that the USOC needed to first renegotiate the revenue sharing agreement between the USOC and IOC.  The USOC currently receives 20% of the IOC’s Global sponsorship deals and 12.75% of the U.S. TV rights.  Several members of the IOC Executive Committee aren’t too happy with this arrangement as their nations don’t get any of this money. And as these are the same guys that vote for host city the calculated decision was made to not compete until that issue is resolved.

This decision to forgo 2020 could very well mean that the U.S. might not host a Summer Olympics until 2028 at the earliest.  This is because there is already some strong talk of Denver, Reno and other cities putting together a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.  There’s no guarantee that a U.S. bid would win, but assuming that the funding differences are worked out, I’m guessing the U.S. would be the odds on favorite.  A successful 2022 bid then would make a 2024 bid in the same country a very unlikely prospect.  Which means that 2028 could be the next realistic opportunity for a U.S. based Summer Olympics and the automatic qualification it provides for team sports.

So, if you’re a U.S Team Handball athlete with Olympic dreams it should be pretty clear now that the only way you’re likely to fulfill that dream is to earn it via qualification.   17 years is a long time to wait unless, you’re around 12 years old now, an extremely durable athlete or a goalie.

For the U.S. Federation this reality means that  in addition to no qualification, there will be no host city looking to give the sport a boost like Atlanta did in the 1990’s.  At least not until around 2021 when the U.S. might be gearing up for a 2028 bid.  It also means no easy sponsorship deals (relatively easier, anyway) as an ancillary benefit to hosting either.  And it goes without saying, that there will be plus up from the USOC. (In past Olympics, the USOC has provided more funding as while they know medaling is unlikely, they still want to put forward a respectable performance on home soil.  Not to mention the fact, that they’ve got more sponsorship funding to throw around anyway.)

But while this is a blow, it at least makes long range planning simpler.  For instance, there’s certainly no need to factor in Olympic host city prospects into your resident program location decision.  And it makes it very clear that the only way to move way forward is with a better team and overall program.  This may seem like an obvious reality no matter where the Olympics is located, but I saw firsthand how guaranteed qualification for Atlanta 1996 resulted in at least some level of complacency in the 1990’s.   It’s human nature to ease up a bit and even great teams get a little concerned that not having to worry about qualification might make them a little soft in terms of preparation.  On the other hand, if you know that you’ve got to win to qualify, that all but guarantees greater effort.  And for the foreseeable future Olympic qualification will either mean PANAM Games Gold or knocking off two European teams in a qualification tournament.  Anything less will mean staying home.

Associated Press (22 Aug 2011): US pulls out of bid for 2020 Summer Olympics: