Take my word for it. We live in London which in 2005 won the exceedingly dubious prize of hosting the Olympic Games this year. And we have been paying for it ever since. Transport, never one of London’s finer points, has become impossible. Unlike Paris, London does not have a system of grand, wide boulevards that can speed traffic along. No, the streets here are narrow and crooked and crowded at the best of times. Add the Olympic buses and large trucks and you have the makings of complete grid-lock.
that are not dug up are being closed so that oleaginous Olympic officials can
ooze their way quickly to their favourite watering holes while the rest of us
are being told of the joys of walking to work or perhaps not going to work at
all. One suspects that the real reason
for London’s Olympic bid was to find an excuse to upgrade infrastructure that
has not been touched since Queen Victoria was a young girl. All the
inconvenience to the hapless residents of London is being excused as ‘essential
for the Olympics.’ Roads, water mains, gas lines, electricity grid, and the
metro system have all been torn up for the last several years in a frantic
attempt to finish them before the excuse of ‘The Games’ passes its sell-by
|The Goal ....vs. .....|
|..... The Current Reality|
|In Theory This Will Finish In Time|
Despite all the hullabaloo and hype about the Olympics, which have come to resemble the trashy Eurovision contest, one really does have to ask if the whole thing is worth it. Have the Games gotten so big, so pompous, so political and so incredibly commercial that they have lost their original meaning? Isn’t it time to slim them down and perhaps leave events like Beach Volleyball to the beach at Ipanema where it will be followed by hordes of hormone-challenged young men?
But isn’t it really time to stop this foolish, degrading and very, very expensive competition among global cities to host the games? Why don’t the powers-that-be take the truly brave and radical step of selecting one permanent location for the Games? Think of all the money that would be saved. None of the venues or Olympic villages would be left to rot after the games. The opportunity for the type of corruption that dominates the world football organization would be removed forever. Committee members would have nothing to sell. Transparency, economy and plain common sense would win.
OK, you say. But where? Probably can not be in the United States, Russia or China. Neutral Switzerland, already over-loaded with international organizations, might be an idea. But the weather could be a problem. And do the Swiss really want hordes of foreigners (especially those without large bank accounts in Zurich) descending on their pristine mountains every four years? Probably not.
Bring The Games Home to Athens
Why not Athens? Yes, Athens. The Games started there. The infrastructure from the 2004 Games is in place. The weather is no problem. And the time zone is not too bad for television.
After being ridiculed and roughed up in the world press for the last several years, such a decision would give the Greeks something to cheer about – something that would actually add to their economic fortunes. And by the time all this comes to pass, the economy might even be sorted out.
It is definitely time to Save The Olympics. And bringing them permanently back home would be a good place to start.