I don’t understand the Olympics. I know that it’s great for athletes and their supporters, and I am told it encourages children to participate in sports, and I know millions of people enjoy watching the events on TV, but aside from all that, can anyone really afford it?
I just read an article in the Edmonton Journal that describes the debate over Calgary’s bid for the winter 2026 Olympics, and the numbers are astounding.
“The city agrees to pay $370 million in cash (a total first revealed here on Saturday) plus $150 million in shared obligation with the province for Victoria Park and Stampede improvements. The city will also supply an insurance redemption of $200 million.
The province stuck to its $700 million pledge. And the feds will supply $1.423 billion in 2018 dollars, not $1.75 billion in 2016 dollars, as they said as recently as last Friday.
The total package lowers the overall public funding of the bid from $3 billion to $2.875 billion. And Ottawa can still say its dollar-for-dollar funding policy applies.”
It’s ALL public funding! Whether it’s the city, the province, or the federal purse, it’s still public money. And, these are huge numbers. When we have a growing homeless problem and reduced funding for schools and hospitals, I just don’t think we can afford it.
Oh, I know they are going to improve existing facilities and maybe provide some new infrastructure, but is this really the best way to do those things? Do we have to invite the Olympics in order to make those things happen, especially when we know it’s going to cost a whole lot more in the end than they are telling us now?
I feel as though we are throwing a big party for the kids when the adults have had to cut back their hours at work. It does not make sense. Do the Olympics have to be so big and all at once in one place? Why don’t they divide it up and spread it around among a number of cities, or even a number of countries? We don’t have to have the luge in the same place at the same time as we have downhill skiing.
I guess I have just joined the curmudgeons and become like Grampa on The Simpsons who writes to the newspaper when he gets upset. And this blog post is like one of his stories. It goes nowhere.