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The death of Marc Hodler - whistleblower of Winter Olympics corruption - ignored?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Marc Hodler, the IOC member who blew the whistle on corruption before the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, has died at the age of 87.

As President of the International Ski Federation for 37 years (1951 to 1998) Hodler was the most influential figure in world skiing, especially in negotiation with the IOC concerning its status at the Winter Olympics.

In 1998 Hodler exposed bribery and corruption of fellow IOC officials in the selection of Salt Lake City as Olympic host for the 2002 Games. This did not affect the IOC's decision, but there was a wave of resignations and repercussions. Ten IOC members were sacked or resigned. Several top officials in Salt Lake City also resigned.

Hodler's death was notified to the press on Wednesday 18 October. Reports:

Ski Racing (Patrick Lang):
http://www.skiracing.com/index.php?o...97&Ite mid=38

Anyone have any comments on Hodler's life? Did you meet him?
post #2 of 10
Interesting story by Patrick Lang. I had not realised that the founding of the World Cup was such a close thing.
I never met Marc, but I remember racing in the 1990s with his grandson (great-grandson?) Philip Hodler, who was part of an Anglo-Swiss family and actually raced for GBR.

I also just remembered that the "IOC backlash" from Hodler's revelations was blamed as a factor for Sion (Switzerland) losing the bid for 2006 to Torino in 1999.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Marc Hodler was a pretty active (and surely virile) man so I guess it's possible you were skiing with his son, Martin!

Working backwards ... Marc Hodler died at the age of 87 so he must have been born within a year of 1919 (sorry, the exact date must be easily researchable). In the 1990s he was therefore in his 70s, so I think it's most likely that you were racing with his grandson.

I made an error in the posting above - Hodler was obviously head of the FIS for 47 years. Some staying power! Quite astonishing, really.

As a Brit I guess I should be proud of the fact that Hodler and his colleagues chose a British woman to be secretary-general of the FIS six years ago. Former ski racer Sarah Lewis is a London girl, and the first woman to hold this level of authority in international skiing. Just thought I'd mention that, since most people think British skiers go nowhere! Martin Bell, above, for those who don't know him, was our leading World Cup and Olympic downhill racer for some years.

Here's a short article about Sarah Lewis, as she recently won the 'International Lady of the Year' award from the Sport Accord convention:
post #4 of 10
Congratulations to Sarah. I certainly remember her as being one of the most intelligent and articulate of my team-mates, along with another contemporary, Nic Fellows, who has also gone on to have a very successful career, in TV sports broadcasting.

Interestingly, both Sarah and Nic had as their mentor the English coach John Shedden - who was himself well-known for being able to talk a bit!
post #5 of 10

corruption in an international organization?

was any one surprised? look at the UN
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is Salt Lake City an international organisation?

An international organisation is the sum of its parts. I'd sooner have a UN than world war III. That's one reason it was founded. I'd sooner have UN weapons inspectors wanting to look for weapons than our governments invading to tell us they exist, when they don't.

The question, as regards Olympic sport and Marc Hodler's intervention, is whether it is now clean of corruption onhost city selection? Hopefully IOC officials now act impartially instead of accepting inducements.
post #7 of 10
hasn't every Olympic games(modern ones) been corrupt in one form or another?
post #8 of 10

sum of its parts

the un is the sum of its parts------90+ percent corrupt. it will not prevent anything that the us doesnt prevent because europe spends nothing on defense. ask the kurds about no wmd in iraq. and watch the video of dan pearl----a member of your clan. and the ioc still takes bribes
post #9 of 10
Leaving aside the UN and WMD, here is the description of the IOC from its own website:
"The IOC members, natural persons, are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, and not their country's delegate within the IOC. As stated in the Olympic Charter: "Members of the IOC represent and promote the interests of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement in their countries and in the organisations of the Olympic Movement in which they serve" (Olympic Charter 2004, page 28). "

I'm not sure what "natural persons" means!

That quote, and a full list of members, are here:

I think that IOC members are less readily accountable to the public of their "home" countries, because they are not "delegates" in the usual sense. It's more that the IOC is like a separate "country", and the IOC members are its ambassadors to their "own" National Olympic Committees. Unless expelled by the IOC (which several were after the 2002 scandal), they are members for life.

I remember discussing the IOC with my brother, and some other former international athletes a couple of years ago, and the phrase "self-perpetuating oligarchy" came up.

In the end, the IOC's only accountability is to the Olympic sponsors that make the Games feasible. If enough people feel the same way as tahoetr, the sponsors will get wind of that and stay away. That should be motivation enough for the IOC to clean their own house.

But what is also required is constant vigilance from the journalists who cover the IOC. It was, in a way, a brave act from the SLC journalists who originally uncovered the "scholarship fund" scandal. I doubt they'll be getting any more free front-row tickets to any Olympic events....
post #10 of 10
Things may be improving. Beckie Scott was recently elected an athlete representative to the IOC as well as placed on the committee to select the next site. Beckie is known for her successfull two year court battle to win her '02 gold medal in xc skiing from the Russian drug users, and has become a bit of an icon for fair play.
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