It was announced last week that just two weeks after being named to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s board of directors Larry Probst, former CEO of Electronic Arts, has been named its new chairman. Probst will oversee the committee’s bid to hold the 2016 Summer Games in Chicago.
Probst first act as the U.S. committee’s chairman was to begin hiring more middle management, stating that you can’t get anything done if you don’t have enough management. Layoffs of actual working staff members were also announced.
Probst refused to comment on the legal action he is bringing against the Special Olympics for unauthorized use of the “Olympic” brand name. But he did announce that the Olympic committee had bought out the Common Wealth Games. Probst say there is no plans for any changes to be made at the Common Wealth Games and that the Olympic committee believes that the Common Wealth Games will be a strong addition to the Olympic line up.
Asked about his other plans, Probst said that although they were bidding to hold the 2016 Summer Games in Chicago, citing a need to consolidate operations, Chicago will in fact be closed down. Some residents will be welcomed to relocate to other potential Olympic locations while others will be welcomed to just relocate.
Due to budget and time concerns, if the Olympics were to be held in Chicago in 2016 it would only be a basic set of competitions. Others events would be included in a “Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic SSX” expansion event that would be held in six months. Furthermore, the actual 2016 Chicago Olympics would become a yearly event with new stadiums and updated Olympians. Probst said that they would plan the first “2016 Chicago Summer Olympics II” to be held in November 2017 because the Christmas market is much better than the summer market.
Probst also talked about the committee’s research into technology to prevent ticket counterfeiting. Purchasers of Olympic tickets will be secretly injected with a radioactive isotope that will imbed itself in the person’s DNA. Probst claims this isotope is non-harmful and simply helps the Olympic committee match the identify the person to the ticket they purchased and validate that the ticket is genuine. Questions about the isotope remaining in the person’s DNA after people are done with the ticket or how the isotope is passed on to that person’s future children were not answered. Instead members of the press were asked to direct those questions to the 2016 Summer Olympic’s newest sponsor, the Department of Homeland Security. Questions about the fact that 2016 Chicago Summer Olympic tickets had in fact already been counterfeited and were already available, were ignored as if they hadn’t been asked. Instead estimated ticket counterfeiting numbers compiled after the 1996 Olympics were recycled even though nobody knows where those numbers originally came from. The press was told that since those numbers have been recycled so many times, we have to believe them to be factual.
If the Olympic committee wins its bid to hold the 2016 games in Chicago there are also a number of changes that would affect the athletes. First Athletes will only be allowed to win 3 medals, after which point they will have to call a special 800 number to explain to special outsourced Olympic officials what circumstances led them to win additional medals. Probst sites that most Olympic athletes don’t win any medals, let alone more than three, so this will only affect a very small number of Olympians.
Second, only U.S. Athletes would be able to compete at first. European and Asian athletes would compete within a few months. Probst said that the date for when Australian athletes could compete had not yet been set.
In other news Electronic Arts announced it has secured the exclusive video game rights to the Olympic Games in perpetuity. This include the rights to names and likeness of former Olympians going back to the days of ancient Greece, though after negations with the Olympic committee, they won’t have to pay those former Olympians anything for the rights to use their likeness and instead those athletes will have to pay Electronic Arts for the right to look like character’s in EA games.