Photo: Paul Gilham / Getty
This Friday the Summer Olympics will officially start — can London escape the “Olympic Curse”?We’ve had months to consider the question, and we’ve come to a pretty conclusive answer.
In fact, unless there is some miracle during the games, the London Olympics may be remembered as one of the most disastrous of recent years.
We’ve come up with 43 reasons that we think the Olympics will be remembered as a disaster, and trust us, the list could have been longer — we probably could have come up with dozens of reasons related to the IOC “brand police” or the G4S fiasco alone.
Barcelona is the one city in the last 30 years has had an unambiguously positive legacy from the games.
In some cases, the Olympics have been directly tied to economic disaster. The Greek budget ballooned to $11 billion, almost double initial estimates.
Regardless, the British Government set out to woo the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.). One top consultant was even paid $34,000 a month for his work on the bid.
(Source: Private Eye)
When the I.O.C. visited London, the U.K. government monitored their progress on the streets of London through CCTV—and turned off red lights to give them a smoother journey.
Costs inevitably spiraled. The Aquatics Centre, budgeted at $118 million, eventually ended up costing $434 million.
The initial costs for reclaiming contaminated land for the Olympic Park—$1.6 billion — are said to be off by a factor of five.
It's thought the U.K. government has spent $65 million on tickets to entertain dignitaries and business leaders.
Some now think that the games will cost around $19 billion. Even low estimates put it at 107% over budget.
The city must also must set aside (and pay for) 40,000 hotel rooms, including 1,800 four and five star rooms for the I.O.C.
Just a day after the country won the bid, 52 people were killed in a terrorist attack now known as the 7/7 bombings.
12,000 police officers will patrol the capital every day of the Olympics, some with semi-automatic weapons.
Disastrously, the already controversial G4S private security company has announced it will fall short of numbers promised by 3,500.
That means that 17,000 troops will be on the streets of London — more than are currently in Afghanistan.
And right now its not entirely clear how much of the $355 million G4S contract the UK will get back.
Unemployed people bussed in to work as unpaid stewards before the games were reportedly told to sleep under London Bridge.
UK Border Agency Staff have voted to strike a day before the Olympic opening ceremony, which probably means a travel chaos.
Commuters are being warned of queues of up to an hour to get onto the Underground during busier hours.
The boost to tourism might not be worth it. Hotels are reportedly slashing their prices to get rid of all of their empty rooms.
People aren't exactly sure what the legacy of the games will be. For example, the 376 feet high ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture hasn't attracted many fans.
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