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Tokyo Aquatics Centre symbol of poor planning, gluttonous spending and unfortunate timing

10 Comments
By PAUL NEWBERRY

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As a Canadian, I'm disgusted at the puerile comments from John Atkinson, the high performance director of Canada's swimming team. That new swimming venue was totally unnecessary. And for him to say that venue elevates the Canadian swim team to do their best is pathetic. They'd do their best anywhere.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The compactness and availability of so many facilities was one of the reasons Tokyo was chosen, and like the article states, it wasn't necessary to build these giant new arenas and stadiums.

The cost overruns (about 200%) being dumped on us tax payers unnecessarily is more reason to get rid of these clowns in government.

What a disaster these Games are for everybody.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I've never been a fan of these Olympics and the "gluttonous spending" that is attached to it.

That said, what people do quickly fail to realize or just simply ignore is that all this money (or a very huge percentage at least) is spent in Japan on Japanese companies with Japanese workers.

Is it the best utilization of public money is indeed very debatable. But the same could be said of any government spending program in any country, from the Go To Travel campaign, to the multi-thousand dollar checks the US Government gave out to its residents (even non-citizens got them).

Should there be audits on the Olympic spending, yes. Should the ones giving out the money be thrifty and careful, yes. Should there be set cost limits with realistic budgets, yes. Should those who inflate costs for personal gain be taken to account, yes.

But again, this money, as with any other Olympic Games, is being be dispersed to the nation, proving income to a large segment of society from construction workers, to printing companies, to all sorts of material fabricators. It is not simply burned up and thrown away. It goes into pockets, and is then spent further down the line with these people buying Sony TVs, Toyotas, and Going To Travel.

I will agree with anyone that such huge sums may be better spent on day-care facilities, job training, and/or infrastructure that benefits a wider portion of the public, but at least its not being dolled out to foreign companies or given away to foreign nations.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Can't wait for Los Angeles '28. The '84 LA Olympics were the last to turn a profit. We've got the infrastructure - absolutely nothing has to be built. Just turn on the lights and we're ready to go.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Laguna..........

The '84 LA Olympics were the last to turn a profit.

Well, that may not be completely accurate. If you only count the money "officially" spent on the Olympics LA 84 almost broke even. But if you count the huge amount of expenditure on infrastructure for the Olympics... LA, like every other games before or since has been a HUGE sink hole for public funds.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

And the profligacy affects us directly. Case in point, a local swimming pool at Komazawa Park, used by the local community, was damaged in the 2011 earthquake after which it was drained and sits now 10 TEN years later with budding weeds. They couldn't be bothered to improve or maintain facilities for locals but have all the money in the world for Mssr. Bach.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anything built in 1964 still standing in Tokyo today must be something of a rarity. Public facilities built that long ago are unlikely to be well equipped for a modern event without considerable, recent refurbishment.

Holding the games should leave a country with better sporting facilities, for both international competition and public use. Sometimes existing facilities are refurbished, and some locations are temporary. It depends upon what is available. The investment is an opportunity to regenerate areas that need it. The contracts support jobs across a huge range of industries, both for the initial construction and for later downsizing and adaptation. London had a large area available that was ripe for regeneration, hence the location of the 2012 games.

There is usually a legacy plan. London produced one in 2007, five years before the games. It never works out quite as planned, but in general, the legacy is usually beneficial.

Nobody could have foreseen Covid, and pandemics are not permanent. If the legacy was well planned, it should still deliver.

There is an element of 'a kid in a sweet shop' when an Olympics in obtained. Most sports lack funding and training facilities, and it is an opportunity for them to claim a one-off investment that they won't otherwise get.

Local politicians also like the chance to snare something new and shiny. There is always going to be a fair bit of that. Not because of the Games, but because of embedded networks of corruption.

As the 1964 Olympics were held in Tokyo, I was surprised that the 2020 games were not based in another city or shared around a bit more. I guess Tokyo interests are powerful.

Knocking the Olympics seems to be a popular activity. You might want to look back at how positively the Japanese people responded to winning the Olympic bid. The games should not be used as a lazy proxy for criticising the government. If you don't like the government, criticise them directly or vote against them.

As for Covid, mortality in Japan went down in 2020 and lockdown restrictions have been much lighter than in most countries. You got off lightly, so get some perspective.

Olympic athletes have suffered like the rest of us. Some of them have been training for years, sometimes much of their lives, for a rare, perhaps unique chance to do their thing on the biggest stage of all. They lose that chance is they get Covid. The sensible ones got vaccinated and are doing their best to stay safe. The IOC are as corrupt as any similar body (FIFA springs to mind). You can't blame the athletes for that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The games should not be used as a lazy proxy for criticising the government. If you don't like the government, criticise them directly or vote against them.

No, I’ll criticize the Olympics as well thank you very much. The fact that there is some anger at government mixed in there as well doesn’t mean the Olympics themselves are without blame.

The IOC isn’t some innocent bystander that has nothing to do with the fallout of its own games, that is idiotic. Its own process is what drives governments to make these stupid decisions in the first place. The fact that governments are also to blame for going along with what this ethically corrupt organization with a cancerous business model demands does not mean we cannot also criticize it for being an ethically corrupt organization with a cancerous business model.

Holding the games should leave a country with better sporting facilities, for both international competition and public use.

Why? If a country needs better sporting facilities it can build them in response to that need. If they are just building them in response to the demands of a one-off event then they are left with new facilities that nobody needs.

The investment is an opportunity to regenerate areas that need it. 

Oh really? What area if Tokyo has been refurbished in a way that provides actual benefits to the locals?

The contracts support jobs across a huge range of industries, both for the initial construction and for later downsizing and adaptation. 

Yeah, drug dealers and the mafia also technically support jobs but its a pretty weak argument in their favor.

Local politicians also like the chance to snare something new and shiny. There is always going to be a fair bit of that. Not because of the Games, but because of embedded networks of corruption.

This is just illogical. If these networks always exist and they are only given the chance to waste people’s money on a grand scale when the Olympics comes to town, then the Olympics are clearly implicated in that. Society would be much better off without them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“The main feeling I had was excitement,” New Zealand swimmer Zac Reid said. “Just walking into the complex made me feel fast.”

But no crowds are no comparison to the real thing.

“I think when you stand next to your competitors, you’re going to get the adrenaline anyway, but 100% it’s more exciting when you go up on the blocks with the crowd,” Swedish star Sarah Sjöström conceded. “You can’t compare anything with that. It’s amazing.”

I'm sure many athletes were expecting that, only to be disappointed. I agree. There is no comparison. Hopefully France will learn from this and think about the spectators, athletes, and the people first before money and self-interest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Laguna..........

The '84 LA Olympics were the last to turn a profit.

Well, that may not be completely accurate. If you only count the money "officially" spent on the Olympics LA 84 almost broke even. But if you count the huge amount of expenditure on infrastructure for the Olympics... LA, like every other games before or since has been a HUGE sink hole for public funds.

@ Mr. Kipling

https://archive.curbed.com/2018/5/17/17359086/olympics-2028-los-angeles-1984

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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