Olympic "Leaks" Expose Largess

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British taxpayers are likely to be up in arms following the release of details of the cost of the London 2012 Olympics in a story recently published by Spectator magazine. The already-notorious Olympics Committee has finagled the host country of the Games out of millions of pounds for what sound like extremely generous terms of contract. The terms include lodging for the entire “Olympics Family” (all the officials, staff and members of the Olympics Committee) - 40,000 rooms for the duration of the Games, 1800 of which are 4 or 5-star accommodations reserved for top IOC members.

The IOC doesn’t stop there, however. There are hundreds of details in the contracts and it seems the IOC has thought of everything, and damn the cost. There will be 500 limos available for IOC brass , including drivers in uniform and special traffic-free lanes designated for them and their occupants. There will be an Olympics housing complex built at the tune of 325 million pounds to house the athletes and stipulations for perks like “dance cafes” and flower shops in the Olympic Village.


Perhaps even more disturbing is the amount of control the IOC will exert over advertising and protection of the Olympic brand. For instance, people attending the Games will not be allowed to wear clothing that advertises anything other than the manufacteror’s name. In other words, presumably, a football jersey would be taboo at any of the events. Customs officials will be required to be on the look-out for non-approved merchandise - apparently, this will be more important than looking for drugs or arms smugglers during the Games. Businesses who use the Games in their ads - on billboards, in print or in electronic media - will be required to pay fees to the IOC.

The boost to London hotels and other businesses will likely be substantial, but aside from restaurants and hotels in London (and in nearby areas, presumably), is the cost really worth it to the average British taxpayer? To add insult to injury, many Brits may also feel the hackles rise when they find that all the “billboards and pageantry” the contracts stipulate that are to be erected around the city will be required to be printed in French as well as English...

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