This is a damning report:
Athens’ Olympic venues lie empty and disused as the tenth anniversary of the Games approaches.
Greece spent over £7bn on the Games, yet the canoeing and aquatics centre are now completely dried up.
The pictures say it all:
That last picture is of a beach volleyball stadium. The one above is of a softball stadium. Why build such facilities for hosting a sport which nobody watches outside of an Olympic jamboree lasting only a few weeks?
The Games cost almost twice their projected budget, with organisers not opting to use any temporary, collapsible venues, as other host cities have done.
Why? Because permanent venues offered greater opportunities for kick-backs, make-work schemes for unionised employees, and photo shoots for politicians, that’s why. All paid for by the taxpayer. And how’s that worked out for Greece? How’s their economy looking these days?
And just in case we thought London was any better we get this report:
A major parliamentary report into the London 2012 Olympics warns that the prospect of an “effective and robust” legacy from the Games is in jeopardy unless there is a change in government approach.
The report finds “little evidence” of increased participation in sport, highlights the uneven distribution of economic benefits of the Games across the UK, and also criticises funding body UK Sport for its ‘no compromise’ policy on sports without short-term medal prospects.
So that’s one major justification for splurging £10bn which has turned out to be a load of bollocks, then. Fortunately, we have a world class Olympic venue as an enduring legacy.
Oh, hang on:
The Olympic Stadium is not being used as well as it should be, according to a group of Lords who also questioned the legacy of London 2012.
The House of Lords Committee on Games Legacy said the £429m stadium was a “national asset that should be used to the full”.
But it remained “unconvinced” that present arrangements would deliver an “effective and robust” legacy.
The major examination of London’s legacy efforts by a cross-party committee of peers claims political impetus has been lost and there is a “lack of ownership” from the government over building on the opportunities the Games provided.
Personally, I don’t really give a stuff, as I am not a UK taxpayer, let alone a London rates payer. But I remember when the games opened social media was full of Brits declaring themselves “proud”, and dismissing anyone who objected on grounds of cost or principle to be a grumpy stick-in-the-mud. I find it hard to believe so many people can be so fucking stupid. Maybe in 10 years Londoners will see the same legacy the Athenians have to face every day: derelict facilities and an enormous bill their grandkids will still be paying decades after they’re gone.
I only hope the Rio de Janeirians wake up before it’s too late.