Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Olympics: Are they Worth the Cost and Attention?

I admit I am a fan of the Olympics, both Summer and Winter. Every two years, if gives us an opportunity to view competitions that few of us see all that often or even know much about. Unless you are Canadian, few people appreciate a good curling match, but might be able to tolerate it for a few minutes on the world's stage.

Chicago is is a dog fight with Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Madrid and Tokyo don't have much of a chance.

I am sure there is great data that describes the financial impact to a region. But I think more than anything, it is a very short-term gain, benefiting, primarily the key sitting politicians -- local, state or even federal. It puts a city/area on hold for years. Everything takes a back seat to showing the world what a great town you have. Chicagoans are evenly split on the bid, some anti's taking the protests to the streets.

Olympics benefit the well-to-do more so than the average bloke. When the Winter Olympics were here in Salt Lake City in 2002, ticket prices were astronomical. I felt obligated to attend at least one event (against my wife's better judgement) -- loser ice hockey teams at $100 per ticket. $500 for a a family of five plus the other associated expenses of attending, albeit a local event for me, was justified as a once in a life time thing. Most people I knew that came in from out of state bought ticket packages in the $2500-5000 range per person plus travel-related expenses (~$7000-10,000 total per person)

Global polls, are against Chicago getting the 2016 games. But never count out a group of people that have set the standard for corruption. If Chicago wants the Olympics, they will stop at nothing to win the bid. They are using everything including the loser President and his loser wife.

It is perfectly fine for them to lobby for the games with tax payer dollars, all in the name of ambassadorship.

Because Obama's name is associated with it, I find myself pulling for anyone other than Chicago. Certainly, Republicans are getting on the anti-Obama-to-Copenhagen-for-the-Olympic-announcement. But it seems un-American for a sitting president to do this. He and his cronies are so caught up in his so-called rock-star appeal. I only hope if backfires.

I have always disliked Obama for his politics, but this is expected and accepted. However, I have really come to despise the man due to his arrogance and out-of-control ego, politics aside. I hate the man more so than any one ever I have run across, including people that have stolen from me. Obama has become the biggest thief of all.

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