Are the Olympics Worth It?

I don’t count myself as having any kind of sporting bone in my body, though I have to say I enjoy watching the olympics. But is the cost too high for the host nation, especially in case of the London 2012 games, the majority of the cost will be squarley on the shoulders of the tax payer.

We don’t have to look far back to see what the olympics cost, and what happens to the sites when things aren’t thought through properly. Athens 2004 cost ~$15 billion, yet the majority of the remaining venues are derelict 4 years on, and most importantly the Greek People will be paying for them for years to come. The only real positives to come out of the games were the new Metro and Airport.

China spent a massive $41 Billion, on there games and by all accounts it worked. They are number one, and they produced the best Olympic spectacle so far. There was much talk by the BBC commentators during the Opening Ceremony that London is going to have to top China, the obvious thing is its going to cost the UK tax payer over $40 billion to do it, its an insane amount of money for 16 days of sport. The total cost of the London 2012 games is going to be in excess of $17 billion, inflation could add up to $10 billion, the majority of which we are paying for, to put the figure into perspective the total Sponsorship Funding only adds up to GBP £650 million and so far only £400 million of that is secured. [Source: Telegraph] On top of that long time sponsor Kodak aren’t even bothering to renew there Olympic Commitment, along with Lenovo and Canadas’ Manulife, whether or not this is any indicator is up for debate.

Tokyo is one of the nations that could take the 2016 olympics but there isn’t that much support for it:

The Games cost too much money, and they destroy the environment – Assemblywoman Yoshiko Fukushi

We will be the only nation to host the Modern Olympiad 3 times, it is important to look at when we last hosted the olympics 1908 and 1948. Some would argue these were both times, when the olympics were actually about sport and not one upping the last host nation. If the London 2012 can one up China then I would be very surprised, but one thing we have in abundance is ingenuity and a willingness to make it work. London 2012 will be a success if we get back to basics, and bring it back to the fantastic athletes that compete and not the fireworks and showmanship even though that is rather clever.

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