Saturday, March 6, 2010

Now that the Olympics are over

Now that the Olympics are over, Vancouver is stuck with infrastructure it will not use, and the town will soon discover that not everything is paid for and a substantial debt will need to be serviced. It is like this after every Olympic Games. And inevitably, there are calls that the Olympic Games should find a permanent home.

I agree. The is considerable waste in providing oversized infrastructure for a few weeks and the be left with while elephants. The best example is the Olympic stadium in Montreal, or the ski-jumping and luge/bobsleigh installations in most Winter game locations. If games happen in a location that needs an infrastructure push, the money is better spent in installation that are needed in the long run.

And where should the permanent home of the Olympics be? For the Summer Games, Athens seems to be an obvious choice. This is where they originated, they where held there recently, and thus the infrastructure is already in place. Summers are really hot, though, so holding them in September is probably better. And Greece could use some revenue.

As to the Winter Games, they should be held in Switzerland, and more precisely in St. Moritz. Games were there already twice, again, there is infrastructure in place. Also, Switzerland has the advantage of being neutral and thus less subject to boycotts. And do not forget that the Swiss are very efficient, have an excellent transportation system and a top tourism industry. And the International Olympic Committee has its seat in the country.

My voice does not count for much in this decision, but add me to the chorus that is calling for an end to this waste of resources.


Anonymous said...

You begin with a factual error; the Olympics are not over for Vancouver. The Winter Paralympics begin March 12.

Yannick Bourquin said...

It seems that Olympic Games have a positive impact on exports :