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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,John Gray / Australia BS: Are the Olympics worth it? (50) RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it? 05 Dec 01

The Olympic Games - which soapbox do I get on ?
Before Sydney got the nod last time I was praying that any one else would win them but not us. Manchester or Bournemouth, Beijing or Taipeh, Albuquerque or Ypsilanti - I didn't care. I knew that, with the calibre of the politicians and organisers (?) we have here, big lumps of taxpayers money would disappear. Just about every big event they run here runs at a loss. Part of the deal to get the O.G's involves both State & Federal gov't's indemnifying the O.G. committee from any financial loss, which there always is.
Now, I couldn't afford to go the Games and it really sticks in my craw that my tax money went to subsidise the more well-off who could afford to go. Oh well, you might say, it only comes around infrequently. But that's not right, annually we face a massive pay out of taxpayers dollars.
I think it was the Montreal Games where our lazy bloody athletes failed to win a gold medal. The consequences were that our gov't panicked and lashed out with squillions of, yes, taxpayers money to construct the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Then they stocked it with expert coaches, dieticians, bio-mechanic specialists, sport psychologists, slo-mo replay technicians, motivators and aero-dynamic bicycle designers etc, etc. Then they throw in all these budding champions (?) and pay them a salary, yes taxpayers money, to pump iron and swim all day while eating a blend of muesli that only a scientist could dream up.
You can imagine how much it costs this body temple. Every year it gets a budget allocation from the Federal gov't. that would be enough to keep about half a dozen third world countries out of the red.
I worked it out. For the Sydney Games I did a rough costing, added in the 4 year cost of running the A.I.S., and divided it by the number of gold medals we collected. Each medal cost the Australian taxpayer about $37 million. And we have indigenous communities here without sewerage facilities or a clean water supply. ( If only one of those bloody athletes had of come home with a gold medal. Just look how much moolah we would have saved that could have been better utilised )
One of the spiels the gov't. puts out, to encourage us to support these major events, is that the exposure we get will encourage overseas investment and business to come to Australia. What a lot of shit! I can just see the C.E.O. of Boeing addressing his Board on a Monday morning after watching the Games on the TV on the weekend. "Hey fellers, did ya see that Sydney joint on the tele? Did ya notice anything special about it? Wadda bout you Ralph? No, wadda bout you Chuck? What's the matter with you meatheads, am I the only one with a vision? This Sydney joint will be a great place to build planes. I've decided to build a factory down there to build our next generation 5000 passenger Gumbo Jumbos. Ya see, ya can't drive the Chevy to and from Australia, ya need a damn plane man". Yeah, right.
Last, and probably the saddest. When I was 9 I stood by the side of the road in Melbourne and watched the 1956 O.G. marathon runners going by. Along with everyone else there I cheered and clapped unreservedly. I was still able to do this into the 70's. But now the drug cheats have taken this joy and enthusiasm away from me. When I now see, what appears to be a great sporting feat, I still, half rise from my seat, and the makings of a cheer start to bubble in the back of my throat, but then the brain clicks in with a stifling effect - sit down you fool and wait for the results of tomorrows drug tests when you could end up feeling an idiot. And if there's no positive test - well, it's to late to cheer anyway.
( Oh dear, what my children have missed )


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