Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After Beijing and London, can Canada ever host the Summer Games?

The scope and scale of the Olympics has been getting bigger and bigger.

Beijing is said to have to spent over $40 billion on the 2008 summer games, I doubt we will ever know as China does not allow any scrutiny of finances. In any case the scope and scale of the games is bigger than ever. Over 11,000 athletes in 302 events. The Montreal games in 1976 had 6,000 athletes in 198 events.

London 2012 estimates are for 12,500 athletes and cost in the range of $15 to $20 billion to put on. The operational budget is to be about $4 billion with the hopes of a profit.

Montreal will never put on a games again. Vancouver has done well with the games but is at the limit of that it can handle, it could not take on a summer games. The only city in Canada that might be able to handle the Olympics, but would people in Canada be willing to fund the cost of the games?

The Winter Games are also getting bigger and more expensive. It was not that long ago that the winter games had less than half the events and athletes. In the early 80s winter games could be put on for less than $250,000,000. The operating costs of Vancouver will be 7 times the operating costs of Sarajevo in 1984.

My dream of an Olympic games in a town like Kamloops seems unrealistic. Most likely Canada will next be able to host the games in the winter again and this time in Quebec City.

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