A Letter to the International Olympic Committee

“To boondoggle is human. To boondoggle the IOC is divine.” Your Sports Editors are tired of visiting the Harbus office and finding the A&E pigeonhole full of free stuff, and ours sadly empty. But did we call the waaambulance? No. We have decided to take matters into our own hands. Over the next few months, we will attempt several prominent sporting boondoggles. Our opening gambit (sent Wednesday March 31st) appears below…

March 31th, 2004

Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch
International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
CH-1007 Lausanne
Switzerland City

Dear Mr. Samaranch,

We hope this letter finds you well, after your recent trip to Greece, the home of the ancient Olympics.

We are writing to you as Sports Editors of the Harbus, the official newspaper of the Harvard Business School. The Harbus is distributed weekly to over 3000 students and faculty at Harvard Business School, and is also available online (at www.harbus.org) where it is read by our distinguished and eminent alumni.

This year, we have made a commitment to cover the biggest sporting events, both domestically and globally. We believe that a varied knowledge of sport will help the future leaders at our school overcome cultural barriers and also help them to make an even greater positive impact around the world.

We would like to cover part, or all, of the Olympics from Athens so that we can report back on both the sporting events as well as the business issues faced with organizing an event of this magnitude. As well as reporting on sports, we would also like to interview you and other key business managers in your organization. To enable this to happen, we were hoping that your office might be able to assist us with the following:

o Provide press passes that would enable us to have access to some or all of the major sporting venues and any operational areas that are not open to the public;

o Arrange interviews with senior Olympic committee members, sports stars and/or business managers;

o Help us find flights from Boston to Athens, although we are willing to travel via another airport if that is more convenient for you;

o Recommend accommodation in Athens during the Olympics, either in the designated press hotel or otherwise;

o Assist us with ground transportation in and around the Athens metropolitan area;

We are very excited about the prospect of covering the Athens games for our loyal readership, and we are eager to learn more about your role in planning this momentous gathering of the World’s best athletic talent.

Please feel free to contact us should you require any additional information. We can be reached at the address above, or you can e-mail us at jkhan@mba2005.hbs.edu or jtesvic@mba2005.hbs.edu.

Yours sincerely,
Jamil Khan
Harbus Sports Editor

Joseph Tesvic
Harbus Sports Editor