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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Best Thing I've Read Today

I have commented often on the horrible deal cities fall for when they agree to host the Olympics. The recent summer games in Rio are no exception, leaving both the city and the country with leftover infrastructure that's empty and unneeded, as Anna Jean Kaiser writes:

Less than six months after the Summer Games ended, the host city’s Olympic legacy is decaying rapidly. 
Empty Olympic buildings abound, puncturing any uplifting buzz from the competitions last summer. At the Olympic Park, some stadium entrances are boarded up, and screws are scattered on the ground. The handball arena is barricaded with metal bars. The broadcast center remains half disassembled. The warm-up pool is decorated with piles of dirt and puddles.

Deodoro, a neighborhood in Rio’s poor periphery, has the second-largest cluster of Olympic sites. The canoe slalom course was to be converted into a giant public swimming pool. It closed to the public in December. Today, residents fill plastic pools a few hundred feet away.
 
“The government put sugar in our mouths and took it out before we could swallow,” Luciana Oliveira Pimentel, a social worker from Deodoro, said as her children played in a plastic pool. “Once the Olympics ended, they turned their backs on us.”
Unfortunately, even proof like this won't stop other cities around the world from bidding to become Olympics hosts. They will then inevitably join the long line of venues that will never recoup their investment -- money that would be much better spent on projects that benefit their own people, not the IOC and its corrupt corporate brethren.

Read Kaiser's full piece here.