Here we go again

Isn’t this always the case, though?

Preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics are the “worst” ever seen, according to International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates.

The news comes as Brazil faces a race to be ready in time for the Fifa World Cup, which starts in 44 days.

He said that, in his opinion, this was “a worse situation” than in 2004, when there were concerns about preparations for the Athens Games.

“It’s the worst that I’ve experienced,” he added. “We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways. We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach. You can’t walk away from this.”

Preparations for the 2004 Athens Games were marred by delayed in construction and service delivery, but the venues and infrastructure was ultimately delivered in time.

A city is awarded the Olympics, lump-sum contracts are awarded for the infrastructure development, delays both deliberate and unintended occur, and the situation becomes “critical”.  Then the wallets are opened, those lump-sum contracts become reimbursable, all those additional sticking points become lubricated with cash, and the construction bosses, unions, material suppliers, and politicians who have gone to considerable lengths to ensure a crisis occurs in the first place are rolling in gravy as the money cannons roar with no oversight.  The facilities get finished in the nick of time and everyone is happy, except the local taxpayers who are stiffed with a bill that will take generations to pay.  The only difference between places is the degree to which this occurs, which is usually a factor of the residual corruption levels and culture that existed before the award.  And this time its Brazil.

Is anyone surprised?

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8 thoughts on “Here we go again

  1. The more of a potential disaster it looks a couple of years out, the more willing governments will be to hand over all the power to the governing body and its hangers on, and the more blank they will be willing to make the cheque. At some point one of these events will backfire and will genuinely turn into an actual disaster, rather than just one for those people paying for it.

  2. People say to me are you still moaning about the London Olympics and I say give me £2000 untaxed then I will shut my mouth.

  3. How can these things actually turn into disasters though? What do you need? A track for people to run around, a field for them to throw things around on, and, er, that’s it!

    All you need to do is hold it somewhere like, oh I don’t know, Sotchi, then you don’t even need grandstands because no one will go because they can’t be arsed to go through a visa procedure unchanged since the soviet era.

  4. Sounds like O&G projects too.

    It does, doesn’t it? A certain pipeline construction spring to mind, does it?

  5. @ bloke in Germany,

    Exactly, the whole thing has turned into a racket whereby the taxpayers get fleeced for building infrastructure that is barely needed. There’s no denying it’s a successful racket, though: these cities are falling over themselves to host the Games, and there is no shortage of genuine public jubilation when they win.

  6. This always happens, too.

    The point of stories like this is to make the Brazilians panic and become even more likely to hand over the blank cheque.

    It would actually be quite tricky for London to host the 2016 games. The trouble is not the venues, but the housing for the athletes, as the Olympic village has been sold off as private housing. Building a new athletes village would take time, and would need to be done somewhere near the existing venues. That’s probably not easy. The IOC knows this. Brazilian politicians possibly don’t.

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