The Olympic Games budget moto - higher higher higher

3/17/2007 06:34:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich /

Why so much fuss over a teeny weeny under-estimation in the Olympic budget? An increase from £2billion to £9billion in a little under 18 months and probably something closer to £10billion when it’s all over is surely nothing to get the tax payers knickers in a twist over.

Granted, if the Government were a business they’d be subject to fraud charges by now and in all other walks of life a ‘miscalculation’ of this magnitude would be considered inexcusable and in many cases unlawful, but this is different isn’t it? I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m assuming it must be or someone would have been sacked or resigned by now wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t they??

We really should have expected this anyway. When you want some building work done at home it always costs more than your original budget doesn’t it? Granted, on those occasions you’re not asking the rest of the street to stump up the extra cash, but we still should never have expected this project to run to budget.

Some people might question whether £10billion to stage a summer Olympics represents value for money. Some have argued that if we had £10billion to spend on sports, then perhaps it could be invested more wisely in laying foundations for the future. To nurture talent and systematically prepare our young talent for future competition in the same way as the Australians and the Americans do and then once we have this infrastructure in place and have athletes capable of competing for medals, we can then bid for the games and have a chance of seeing their success on home soil, but...

The games are a unique event and the opportunity to host them doesn’t come around every day. We had to take this opportunity regardless of whether we have any chance of collecting any medals. Where else can you watch small Lithuanians lifting ridiculously heavy weights and wrestling each other? Where else can one drink in the spectacle of table tennis, gymnastics and fencing all beneath one roof?

Consider the blue riband event. The one hundred metres final is a magical experience. Watching a selection of Americans sprinting for 9 seconds, five years from now IN LONDON is worth the investment in itself surely. And it’ll be great seeing our chaps try their best and reach the quarterfinals too.

Now I accept there is somewhat of a contradiction in the enthusiasm some people show for the Olympics. Women for example are bored to tears with World Cup hype when that tournament comes around, despite football being the world game and the World Cup being the biggest prize in professional sport, but are quite happy to stay up until 3am to watch a fat lady from Burnley win an archery bronze medal, but again, we must look at the bigger picture.

If one ignores this disproportionate enthusiasm for minority sports, the drug scandals and the Prima-Donna attitude of athletes and if we put aside how completely useless Great Britain is at all events except the ones reserved for the over privileged, and consider instead what the Olympic games represents, it really does look to be a worthy investment.

What do the Olympic games represent? W-w-w-what do they represent you say? Well, they stand for…they stand for…they stand for a lot of things ok? Now just stop being so bally unpatriotic and get behind the troops, I mean the athletes and let’s have a little less of the lip. My grandparents didn’t fight in WWII so we could hand the Olympic games to Madrid you know.


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