London Is No Longer Sure It Wants The Olympics

You’ve heard the saying since you were a child: “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”  As a kid I thought this was the dumbest thing ever.  If I wish for a Sega Genesis and I get it, how in the hell could that be a bad thing?  Is the Sega going to come to life at night and kill me in my sleep?  Of course, as I grew older I came to understand the meaning behind it.

For instance, as a Chicagoan, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the city’s Olympic bid for 2016.   While it would it be a cool experience to have the Olympics taking place only a few miles away from me, I’m not really sure it’s the best thing for the city.  With the economy in the shape it’s in, I’m just not convinced that sinking the ridiculous amount of money it costs to get an Olympics and then prepare the city for it is worth spending right now.   Just look at the people in London who are already starting to regret hosting the 2012 games.


The Telegraph reported that Tessa Jowell told leisure industry bosses: “Had we known what we know now, would we have bid for the Olympics? Almost certainly not.”

Initial estimates, combined with the pressures of recession squeezing both private contractors and Government finances.

Though as soon as she found out that her statement had gone public, Jowell quickly did a one-eighty.

“I have often observed that we bid for 2012 in one economic climate and are now in another.

“Had the scale of the downturn been anticipated, I am sure there would have been a view from some that this would not be the time to commit significant public expenditure to a project like the Olympics.

“But as I made clear in my speech, the reality is very different. This is precisely the time for this investment to be made. It has the potential to be economic gold at a time of economic need.

“It will regenerate one of the most deprived parts of east London and is already creating billions of pounds worth of work for British companies and jobs for thousands.”

I know, I’m just as shocked as you are that a woman could change her mind about something so quickly.  Still, whether the people in London still think hosting the games is a good idea or not, it’s too late for them to do anything about it.  They wished for something, they got it, and now they’re paying the price for it.   Which is exactly why I wonder if Chicago would be better off saying thanks but no thanks.

Well, that and I don’t feel like sitting in traffic on the expressways any more than I already have to.