Wednesday 7 December 2016

The Olympics are a great way to waste public money

Big sporting events are vastly expensive vanity projects for politicians and leave little legacy

Published 07/08/2016 | 02:30

The two main worldwide sporting festivals, the World Cup and the Olympic Games, have become Championships of Waste on an epic scale. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
The two main worldwide sporting festivals, the World Cup and the Olympic Games, have become Championships of Waste on an epic scale. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The demonstrations in Brazil against the Olympic Games are hardly a surprise. Just two years ago, the World Cup provoked outrage in the same country at the colossal waste on white elephant stadiums in cities where there are no top-flight football teams. There has been no subsequent use for several of these venues, which were constructed with public funds and much corruption.

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Half-a-billion dollars was spent on a 72,000-capacity stadium in the capital, Brasilia, which is now used as a depot by the municipal bus company. Brazil is a country in recession, with severe economic and social problems, and Rio has seen more billions spent on facilities for once-off athletics events in a city famous for its slum housing and struggling to find resources to combat the Zika virus.

The two main worldwide sporting festivals, the World Cup and the Olympic Games, have become Championships of Waste on an epic scale.

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