The Olympics

The Olympics

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News, information and stories about the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Security Costs Break Budget

It should come as no surprise to learn that the London 2012 Olympics Budget (currently standing at £12BN, including running costs) is set to be broken, as the costs for security spiral.

Anti-terrorism measures will cost an estimated £1.5BN, they were originally "budgeted" at being £500M.

Among the extra measures being considered, to protect athletes and spectators from an attack, include drafting in the Army. Military helicopters will patrol overhead and jets will be on stand-by to protect a no-fly zone over the Olympic stadium in Stratford.

The security operation is expected to be the largest in peacetime Britain, the event is being classed as a major terrorist target.

A cynic might suggest that the police are using the event to push the Home Office into paying for security measures over and above the needs of the Games, such as demands for a new police command and control centre.

Surely not!

The irony is that there is in fact, as yet, no costed security plan. Seemingly one won't exist until the end of this year.

It would not be unreasonable to ask at this juncture how it is that the organisers can claim that the budget is £12BN, when there is in fact no budget for over 10% of the estimated current costs of the games.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Austerity Games

The ongoing turmoil in the financial markets and credit crunch has negatively impacted the ability of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to raise funding to build the 2012 Olympic Village.

The ODA says that has only raised half of £1BN needed for the athletes' village and media centre in Stratford, East London.

The shortfall may have to be taken out of the Olympics contingency fund.

As noted many time before the budget for the games, even before the credit crunch, was a work of fantasy; ballooning from £3.4BN to currently £12BN (including £2BN running costs).

The last time that the games were held in London, in 1948, the UK was experiencing an austerity economy as the country struggled to get back on its financial feet after the war.

It seems that the organisers of the 2012 Games may have to adjust their expectations accordingly, to an "austerity" mindset.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Polish Emigration Threat To Games

An exodus of skilled Polish workers, leaving recession hit Britain for their motherland, is threatening the Olympic building programme for the 2012 games.

There are currently not enough skilled British workers to replace them. The government, ever keen to maintain its "employment figures" has neglected the skills base of the UK; as employing people flipping burgers is not necessarily as "value adding" as a skilled trade.

In order to combat the expected skills shortage, a fast-track training scheme is being put in place to teach British workers basic construction skills, including how to use a digger.

The Olympic Delivery Authority, the London Development Agency (LDA) and other partner organisations will spend £20M (23% of their training budget) on this scheme.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Perils of Advertising

The Guardian warns that the rules governing the use of words in advertising associated with the Olympics are draconian.

Quote:

"Under the 2006 London Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Act, normally innocuous words such as 'Game', 'Medals', 'Gold', '2012' and 'Summer' cannot be combined in any form of advertising around the Olympics, with anyone flouting the law facing a fine of up to £20,000."

How did it come to pass that words such as "game" and "summer" are forbidden?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Credit Crunch

The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics had been banking on rising property prices to encourage the private sector to bankroll the ever increasing budget for the games (currently estimated at around £12BN, but more likely to hit £20BN by 2012).

However, as a result of the ongoing credit crunch, property prices are falling.

Paul Deighton, CEO of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, is of the belief (according to the Chicago Tribune) that the crunch is a temporary setback.

Optimism is all well and good, but anyone who believes that the current turmoil in the world's financial markets is only temporary is one sandwich short of a picnic.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Challenge Ahead

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics, spoke about the responsibility of hosting 2012 Games:

"It is a massive responsibility.

We don't find it daunting.

I think that I can only relate it to sitting in a stadium when I was a competitor watching an outstanding performance in my own event. I didn't feel cowed by it. I went out and wanted to emulate it or even do better.

Beijing has delivered a spectacular games and we will also deliver a spectacular games
."

Will they be on budget though?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Olympic Scam

The BBC have uncovered an alleged scam whereby hundreds of East European workers have been conned by a promise of non-existent jobs at the London 2012 Olympic site.

550 Slovakians paid cash deposits of £600 to convicted fraudster Nigel Lewis, who is based in East London. They were promised accommodation on a cruise ship in Docklands, and jobs on the site of the Olympic Village.

Mr Lewis has insisted that he made no profit from his UK Cruise Line venture.

The BBC will show the programme today, in which they claim that Mr Lewis advertised for catering staff and tradesmen to work in East London.

After deposits were transferred to Mr Lewis's firm UK Cruise Line Ltd in 2006, the BBC alleges he vanished.

BBC London tracked him down to a hotel in Dartford, on 1 September, and quote him:

"I've worked on this project almost 12 months solid and I've got nothing for it, just heartache."

He also said he had intended to buy three cruise ships and secure jobs at the Olympic site but that "it just went out of control".

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

London Stadium To Be Flattened?

Reports that the London Olympic stadium will be demolished after the 2012 Games, and replaced by a Premier League football ground, have been "denied" by the London Development Agency (LDA).

They would of course deny those reports, as demolition would blow an enormous hole in their claim that there will be a "legacy" of the games. It has already been mooted on this site in November that the stadium will be used by a football club.

Boris Johnson's office has stated that he was "not aware of any plans to demolish the stadium."

That of course does not mean that there are not plans to demolish the stadium.

The LDA's "denial" states that "no stone had been left unturned" in exploring all the options for the venue, and the drawing up of a range of possible scenarios was part and parcel of the legacy planning process.

The astute amongst you will realise that this is not a 100% denial, merely a sop to the press to try to convince us that they are trying not to demolish it.

At the end of the day, money talks louder than words; if the football clubs come up with enough money, the LDA will demolish the stadium.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
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Monday, September 8, 2008

British Government Incapable

Approximately 90% of Britons do not think that the government is capable of managing the 2012 Olympics. That at least is according to a survey taken by Opinion Research.

Only 12% of the 2,000 people surveyed believe that the Games will come in on budget, or within 10% of the budget. The budget currently stands at £12BN (including £2BN running costs), but it could in my opinion hit £20BN.

A government, unsurprisingly, does not quite agree with the opinions of its citizens.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said:

"We have in place the experience and expertise - both within government and The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and The Olympic Delivery Authority to deliver a fantastic Games and long term legacy that will benefit millions of people for decades to come."

Why has the budget ballooned from the original tender of £3BN then?

Olympic Medals Won at Beijing Olympics

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Face of Hoof

The Face of HoofKatie Price (aka Jordan) is to become the face of Hoof, a campaign run by the British Equestrian Federation in the run up to the London Olympics 2012 to encourage the young to become horse riders for the London Olympics.

Ms Price has begun to compete in dressage events, learnt to play polo, and has written equestrian books aimed at children called Katie Price's Perfect Ponies.

Mary King, who won silver in Athens in 2004 and bronze in Beijing for Team eventing, said:

"She is dedicated to her riding. I understand that she even had her breasts reduced to help her with her riding. That shows real dedication. And she's good with children."

Ms Price has also launched her new equestrian clothing range, wearing a luminous pink polo shirt and pink velour hot pants, while her white horse was wearing a matching pink blanket.

As I have said earlier, the only way the Britain can "top" the Beijing games is to do them in a thoroughly British way.

The appointment of Ms Price to the promotion team, coupled with Boris Johnson leading the pack, adds a very British touch to the games.

Olympic Medals Won

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Heathrow Lets The Country Down Again

The gateway to Britain should, in theory, provide those entering the country with a positive first impression of the country and its people.

Unfortunately many people use Heathrow as the gateway, and its performance has been far from "stellar".

The T5 debacle earlier this year brought home to many quite how decrepit and badly run Heathrow really is.

Having humiliated the nation once, one would have thought that those running Heathrow (BAA) would be pulling all the stops out to ensure that performance improves; and that by the time the London 2012 Olympics come round, Heathrow is running smoothly like a well oiled machine.

Unfortunately BAA don't seem to be capable of doing that.

BAA have let the cat out of the bag, and owned up to the fact that "at best" only part of Heathrow East (the replacement for Terminals 1 and 2) will be open on time for the 2012 games.

Seemingly several major building contractors will not start work until next year.

China managed to build and open a spectacular new airport terminal in Beijing (shaped like a dragon) on time for their games, yet BAA cannot.

I would not trust those running BAA to sit the right way on a lavatory, let alone run an airport terminal. Their monopoly, most especially Heathrow, must be taken away from them asap.

Olympic Medals Won

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cometh The Games, Cometh The Scams

Much like flies around shit, scammers and con artists are attracted to large cash rich events.

The forthcoming London 2012 Olympics will prove to be no exception to that rule.

Event though there are still four years to go until the London Games, police have been already been put on alert for widespread fraud. There are reports circulating of websites offering fake tickets and "boiler rooms" selling shares in companies with fake games contracts.

In response to the threat, City police and Scotland Yard have joined forces and published a document entitled "Policing the Olympic Economy".

Unsurprisingly the police are asking for money, £5M in fact, to help prevent frauds such as procurement corruption, currency counterfeiting and cheque and credit card crime.

The Olympic pot of gold attracts everyone!

Olympic Medals Won

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scrap The Games

Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula 1, has put the boot firmly into the testicles of the London 2012 Olympics by claiming in a BBC interview that in comparison to Beijing it will be a massive let down and would be better off scrapped.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, he called for an earthquake so that the Games would have to be cancelled.

He said:

"There is only one way down for anyone involved. If it goes well, you're not going to get any credit and if it goes bad you're going to get the blame."

When asked how London will cope following Beijing, he said:

"With great difficulty. I can't see how anyone can follow that.

We've got to do something completely different and not try and do a 'Las Vegas' if you like - or we are going to look idiots
."

Asked what London could do he said:

"I suppose pray there's going to be an earthquake or something so it doesn't happen."

I wonder if he would have had the same opinion if Formula 1 was an Olympic sport?

Olympic Medals Won

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"