Any talk of hosting Olympics should be axed immediately
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
Help
Follow

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

Any talk of hosting Olympics should be axed immediately

Vancouver’s potential bid to recapture the “glory” of the 2010 Winter Olympics by hosting the 2030 Games was discussed again this week by city council.

It’s a goal that needs to be put down immediately. That it ever arose as a concept was bad enough given the money-losing corruption that is the hallmark of the Olympics.

Vancouver wasted billions of taxpayers’ dollars – municipal, provincial and federal – the last time around. It would be no better in 2030.

The squandering of public money has never been even remotely defensible. Today, given huge government debts, a housing crisis, troubled healthcare systems, climate change and a host of other ills, even considering burning money on the Olympics should raise alarm bells.

Moreover, in an increasingly fractured society with myriad distractions, the Olympics just ain’t what they used to be.

That’s not a bad thing, particularly if it puts an end to the Games … or at least the worst aspect of what they’ve become.

The Olympics are in essence founded on corruption, each event designed to separate taxpayers from their money to enrich a few and providing no real benefit in return.

In an ideal world, the Games would be about fostering international cooperation, but only the most naïve among us would maintain the Olympics are not a purely political event. From Black power in Mexico in ’68 to the Mid-East power struggle on view in Munich, and the tit-for-tat boycotts in Moscow and Los Angeles, 1980 and 1984 respectively, the Olympics have long been associated with politicking.

We’ve all seen enough examples of Olympic costs to know the numbers trotted out in advance are no more than fairytales. Promised tourism dollars, even if they materialize, are a one-time deal, while the debt payments go on for years.

Since the 1960s, 19 Olympic Games have gone over budget. An Oxford University study found  the Olympics have the highest average cost overrun of any mega-event at 156 per cent. The average cost overrun for a Summer Games is 213 per cent, with the 1976 Games in Montreal having the highest overrun at 720 per cent. The average for Winter Games is 142 per cent.

Even those Games purported to have made money employ creative accounting, forgetting to add in much of the infrastructure and operational costs, such as security, for example, that are covered by governments as a matter of course.

In the interest of removing the corrupt system of bribes, kickbacks and expense-account padding associated with choosing a site, if the Olympics are to continue they should do so from permanent locations, one each for the summer and winter flavours; no more junkets to determine which city will have the chance to raid the public purse and make a mess of its infrastructure in exchange for a few weeks of ego-boosting satisfaction for a handful of politicians and other hangers-on.

Worst still, as some countries turn their backs on hosting the Games for those very reasons, the International Olympic Committee has shamefully turned to autocratic nations such as China (2008 and 2022) and Russia (2014) that should have been precluded from consideration. In the end, it’s all about the money – a good reason to boycott the 2024 Games in order to counter the greed.

With so much money on the line, not to mention the status of those involved with the IOC and the various national committees, don’t look for changes any time soon. Instead, expect to hear nonstop platitudes about athletic competition and international glory.

As Calgary residents did in a plebiscite when the city was considering a bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics, Vancouverites should demand a say, then say ‘no.’

Absent that, the B.C. and federal governments need to put the brakes on spending another dime on a costly and largely useless spectacle.

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

Total
0
Shares



Related Posts
Total
0
Share