Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Olympics = White Elephant

Back in Siam and other places in South Asia, when a ruler wished to punish an underling (or if the underling was gaining too much wealth), he would 'reward' him with a White Elephant.  The care and feeding of such a valuable creature doomed the recipient to bankruptcy or at the very least kept them too occupied to make any trouble.

I think the Olympics are like that.  Yes, countries and cities vie for them, but really the tangible results from hosting either the Winter or Summer Games is negligible at best.  With stories coming out in the MSM about hotels not completed, infrastructure not in place, and locals completely disgruntled and displaced, then I think that being the 'lucky' recipient of the Games is not so much the honor it's perceived to be. 

When the International Olympic Committee grandly bestows the Games on underdeveloped countries or cities that don't already have a basic infrastructure in place, they are not being as benevolent as they might seem.   We're already hearing about problems in Brazil and with the articles coming out about Sochi, I don't think that the benefits and money coming in will ever cover the preparation costs.  Then after the Games are done and everyone has gone home, the locals are left with a bunch of mouldering buildings and venues that will never be used again.


Monkeywrangler said...

Too true...the Olympics ceased to be interesting once the paid professionals got involved.

B said...

Check out da big guy's comments on that

Old NFO said...

Yep, it's getting ugly, and has NEVER been profitable!

Midwest Chick said...

Monkey: There are still quite a few events that are fun to watch. But they are fewer.

B: Read his comments. I'm not talking about a bunch of whiny baby reporters. Just the general idea. The leftover venues are like bridesmaids dresses--everyone says you can use them for a bunch of other parties, but they generally end up in the back of the closet.

NFO: Exactly. And they keep putting them in places who have to build an entire infrastructure just to make it fly. The money going in definitely does not equal the money going out.