There have been stories recently about the London Olympic Games being forecast to be over budget. Duh! Why is anyone surprised?
The London bid—like all Olympic bids—was a work of fiction, full of lies, hopes, and guesses. All numbers were designed to impress the IOC and to deceive voters.
One aspect of the Games has once again been proven: this even costs a country a lot of money for questionable prestige. Politicians promise voters intangibles, so they will foot the bill (not that they have choice). What happens is that a few will profit and IOC egos will be massaged at great expense to those left to watch the Games on television.
China—a growing empire—needed to impress the world, and they had the money and manpower. Britain—a faded empire (even if they haven’t noticed) want to keep the delusion alive. They are willing raid the public piggy bank to prove something few will believe and about which the IOC does not care. Money and ego are the key ingredients of any Olympic festival.
The Olympic Games are made for television (and to make money), and they always work on the screen. Organizing committees throw money at anything needed to ensure this fact and to placate the IOC. Even the disastrous Atlanta games worked on television. IOC members mumble only in private at how disastrous everything—outside the actual sport competitions—was.
The circus will come to town. Budgets will be exploded. Excuses will be made. Awards will be given. Politicians will move on to new lies. Meanwhile, cities will line up to waste money on something that enriches the few.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.