Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Olympics Stuff (6 Months After)

I doubt many people care that Michael Phelps smokes weed occasionally, but there are still a few of the "Phelps Image as Hero Hurt by Photos" stories. Some people feel they have to pretend to be upset, for the 'sake of the children'. But, it seems there is less trivial moralizing than there would have been a few years ago, because it's so obvious we have bigger problems.
Also read that the "Bird's Nest' in Beijing is in disuse:
"The only confirmed event at the 91,000-seat stadium this year is Puccini's opera "Turandot," set for Aug. 8 — the one-year anniversary of the Olympics' opening ceremony. The stadium has no permanent tenant after Beijing's top football club, Guo'an, backed out of a deal to play there."
The Olympics have become a big money pit, in which countries build things they don't have much use for, at the expense of their social safety net. In Athens, host of the 2004 Olympics:
"many of the venues are still vacant ... promised parks never materialized, and new transportation infrastructure has caused problems like flooding and increased traffic... Citizens question the event's $15 billion price tag – most of it paid for by the state."
The Beijing Olympics were celebrated as a cultural milestone and, for this reason, the $ 40 billion cost was generally accepted by the mainland population. But, the U.K. population will not be so accepting for the 2012 Games, given that they are going into a major recession, and have hosted the Olympics before. Which is fine. Hopefully the Olympics will become more centered on the athlete, and less on the production value - with its resulting expense.


Scott said...

If you take a look at the 2002 Winter Olympics held at Salt Lake City, UT; you will find that generally the facilities built or restructured for the Games are heavily used and have benefited the community immensely. The 2002 Games were not only one of the most cost-effective; they have resulted in the most long term benefit to the local community from the infrastructure investment.

Purple said...

The Salt Lake City games have a reputation for be well thought out in that way. I haven't done any research on it to develop an independent opinion.

I'm interested in the politics of money-spending for the London games, given their economic situation.