Are the Olympics Bad for Britain?

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 501

Words: 1286

Pages: 6

Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 09/13/2011 02:29 PM

Report This Essay

For decades, the Olympic flame has lit up generations of athletic heroes and iconic moments: from Jesse Owens irritating Hitler by beating his Aryan competitors to the first Jamaican bobsled team in 1988, the creation of legends associated with the Olympics makes hosting the games seem like a shrewd move, even for a country struggling to repay a massive deficit.

Despite the enormous cost, and the fundamental changes in our economy since the bid was won in 2005, politicians hail bringing the 2012 Olympic flame to London as a fantastic way of increasing tourism, promoting good health and bequeathing a legacy of the most important regeneration project of the decade. Yet this has been refuted by researchers, journalists and many ordinary people who claim to have evidence to the contrary, prompting the question: are the Olympic Games actually bad for Britain?

The horrendous cost of the Olympics is one of the main reasons for individuals speaking out against them. The original budget of just over £2 billion has already more than quadrupled and is still rising. Despite this, many politicians confidently predict that the games will make a profit and provide UK citizens with something to feel patriotic about, a distraction from the problems caused by the ‘credit crunch’. Yet previous Games often far exceeded their original estimate - the Beijing Olympics, originally forecast to cost $16 billion, are now thought to have cost over $40 billion. Precedents show that Olympics cost many times their original budget.

As for distracting us from the credit crunch, the simple truth is that the Olympics are not something that a country struggling to cut costs and pay off debt should be investing in. The strain of the recent cuts on services such as the NHS and the police is increased at a time when billions of pounds, which could have gone towards helping us preserve vital services, is being spent on sport instead. This is the political equivalent of buying a...