What’s The Point?

I have little interest in the Olympic Games. I don’t know why they were restarted circa 1900, after a 2000 year pause. The original games were held near Mount Olympus in Greece. But the new ones are held somewhere different every 4 years, and require an entire Olympic village to be built, along with all the other facilities.

I always supposed that, at the end of the day, there would be world class facilities for the host country/city to enjoy thereafter. But according to this report, a lot of them just end up in ruins, like the bobsled track in Sarajevo below.


So what’s the point of spending millions on something that only gets used for a few weeks?

Roger Scruton talking about Brexit.



About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to What’s The Point?

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Really the games should be held in Athens like normal if at all

  2. cherie79 says:

    When the games were held in Greece they should have stayed there, all the facilities existed and not only would that have helped Greece financially but saved other countries a huge amount of money and maybe returned the games to the original intention and perhaps even reduced the corruption the bidding entails,

    • nisakiman says:

      It was staging the Olympics in 2004 that did for Greece. They spent billions they didn’t have on this vanity project, and most of the very expensive infrastructure which was built to stage the games now looks much like Frank’s picture of the bobsled track above, albeit not yet at quite the same level of decrepitude.

      They never recovered financially, and it was more or less from that point that the economy started going down the plughole. Perhaps, as you say Cherie, had they continued to stage the Olympics from that point on, something might have been recovered from the ashes of that insanity. As it is, Greece now has billions of Euros worth of unused and unusable sports facilities crumbling into dust.

      Stupidity writ large.

      • sackersonwp says:

        I wonder whether Olympic venues are chosen with a political subtext in mind, e.g. signalling the acceptance into the world community of Communist China. Similarly I wonder about some Nobel awards, esp. in literature.

    • Frank Davis says:

      maybe returned the games to the original intention

      …which was the worship of Zeus, I believe.

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    It’s short-termism, yet again – all those companies wrestling with each other for lucrative sponsorship deals (for which Governments will make them pay dearly), plus all those tourists coming in specifically to watch the games. That and pride, of course. Politicians love strutting about taking credit for something big which, in all honesty, they probably had very, very little to do with. I’ve no doubt that there are some big grants which come their way courtesy of the IOC, too, which they can’t wait to get their greedy hands on. I note that on the site with these pictures, there’s no mention of the Atlanta games, but a friend of mine visited there some years ago (which was some years after the games) and she said that the place had been ruined by them. All the local businesses had gone bust or been “relocated” to make way for the games and had never come back, and as a result unemployment and crime was running rife all over the city, people were dispirited and miserable and no-one, it seemed, from the Government gave a damn. Probably too embarrassed to admit that their “big event” had been such a long-term dismal failure, I expect. She goes to the States a lot and has been to loads of their big cities and she says she’s never been in such a depressing one as Atlanta. She said it was really, really saddening to walk around and see so many people just hanging around on the streets with nothing to do, looking unhappy – nothing like the chatty, enthusiastic, friendly people she normally meets over there.

    That said, I just LOVE the Olympics and the Paralympics (which are often even better). I’m not normally a big sports-watcher but during the Olympics I’ll happily watch all sorts of obscure sports that I’d never dream of watching normally (probably because so few of them ever get any airtime) and if there’s a GB team member participating I’ll be like the most fanatical football fan there ever was, cheering and ranting and sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails. Hence the reason why I’m writing this comment at such an unearthly hour. ‘Limpiks? I love ‘em!

  4. sackersonwp says:

    Great talk by Scruton – thanks!

  5. sackersonwp says:

    Looks as though the modern Olympic movement was rooted in (to me, laudable) mid-19th century Christian engagement with the working class.


    And insofar as it promotes peace among nations, also good, in which context the punishing of Russia by complete exclusion from the Paralympics is a retrograde step (perhaps the next Russian city could be name Retrograd).

    And, of course, the fatcat chisellers of the IOC pervert it all to their own benefit.

  6. prog says:

    Some drip on the BBC was extolling the environmentally green games in Rio. Apparently the cauldron thingy with the flame is smaller to reduce emissions. You couldn’t make up this kind of shit – the carbon footprint of the games will be colossal.

    Speaking of shit, the Brazilians made scant efforts to clean up the bay in advance for the boating events. Competitors were advised to acclimatise themselves by eating shit FFS.


    Then there’s the doping debacle, unfinished venues and protests by the locals.

    Never mind, at least some of the swimming pools are green…


  7. jameshigham says:

    On the topic – well yes, in principle. But then there is the Brazilian women’s volleyball team and one sees it is not just for the sport one looks. Well, maybe it is sport in a way.

  8. Rose says:

    Not being particularly interested in sport, the new Tour de Yorkshire cycling race seems to be very well supported and the only thing that happens is that they re-tarmac the roads. That and bunting, miles and miles of bunting, and yellow bicycles decorated with flowers which the locals seem very reluctant to take down.
    We watch it avidly, not for the cycling so much, but seeing the places we know from the air.

  9. Roobeedoo2 says:

    A weird thing happened to me after the 2012 London Games – I lost all interest in watching sporting events altogether. Premiership football was the first to go.

  10. garyk30 says:

    Pro or semipro sports are not for me.
    I much prefer to watch the local teen school teams.

  11. beobrigitte says:

    I have little interest in the Olympic Games.
    I have none at all. It’s far too competitive for me. No fun. Just a deadly serious competition with loads of disappointed participants.

    But I have entered a fun bet which I will see through – and I am rather busy with all sorts, so it’s not something I need to add right now. It was the fun aspect that made me accept.
    Firstly, I pull up in my car outside the gym. I throw my cigarette out the window before I get out the car, leaving dead ends. Then I start.
    Today was my 4th session. I am beginning to beat women 30 years my junior and some men my age with things that include weight. *Awesome*
    The end of this will be a tough mudder which I stand no chance of winning due to my disadvantage of running. Having torn about every ligament in my right foot when I was 12 (somersaulted off a tree branch next to the hey, landing awkwardly) I have a bit of a mess there.
    The objective is to see it through good style. No reduction in smoking or drinking.
    DeASH will be heart broken; in my 3rd session I peddled 5 km uphill in 9 minutes (boring stuff but good warm up) before doing the weights stuff.

    It looks like it’s not too hard to regain muscles and stamina when you’ve had it before age destroys them – smoking does not matter at all!
    Tomorrow it’s the 55kg weights everywhere. The 45kg today did not cause any muscle pain whatsoever!

    Oh, before I forget, BHF eat your heart out! My heart beat rate shown on these (weird) instruments gives me much scope to start pushing myself! I may not run fast and hobble a lot with my sh*tty foot but I’ll gain time in throwing that lorry tire over and scale the 6 foot walls!


    • beobrigitte says:

      Sorry, I forgot to mention the objective of the bet. All of a sudden we baby boomers with our much loved habits are “the-worst-thing-on-earth” – we smoke, drink and like a laugh.

      And we can do.

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