Could London Host The 2016 Olympics If Brazil Messes Up?

London 2012 logo

To save costs, they can just ask us to redesign the logo.

That’s the intriguing headline topping the Standard’s website right now.

What at first appears to be a late April Fool’s joke might (just) hold some water. With only two years to go, host nation Brazil is said to have completed only 10% of its preparations (London 2012 had done 60% of preparations by this stage). According to the Standard, concerned Olympics bosses have made an informal approach to London, to see if we could use our proven infrastructure, systems and know-how, if an emergency plan B were needed.

The Standard’s source for this rumour is unnamed. Nor do we know his or her affiliation or connections. It is therefore impossible to weigh up the seriousness of the claims. Indeed, the whole thing could simply be made up, especially as the paper later quotes an IOC spokesperson calling such a move a “non-starter and unfeasible”.

It is an intriguing thought experiment, though. Would London be capable of resetting the various venues and infrastructure given a two-year lead time?

Most of the London 2012 venues are intact, if modified, and temporary structures could easily be redeployed. There would be many huge challenges to overcome, however, such as finding a new Athlete’s Village, reversing contracts such as West Ham’s tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, and raising the capital to make it all happen. And would most Londoners even want the Games again? Sure — it’s now a rare person who thinks that London 2012 was bad for the city, but repeating the effort just four years later would seriously reduce that novelty ‘once in a lifetime’ factor that helped propel the magic and ticket sales of the last Olympics and Paralympics.

On the plus side, a London 2016 would no doubt trigger another welcome sequel TV series to Twenty Twelve and W1A.

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  • David W

    Yes please…”The return of Games Time”, bring it on..London 2012 was supurb..and this from a former nay sayer

  • unslugged

    It’ll never happen. I seem to remember they were considering moving the Athens Olympics to a former host for the same reason, but in the end they went ahead. Somehow, Brazil will be ready with minutes to spare, and all this will be forgotten.
    On the other hand… I had to work through the whole of London 2012 much to my annoyance. So I’d love to have another chance to go.

  • Viktor

    Hope not…one recently was enough…

  • Graham Ward

    It’s a lovely thought, but it’s not going to happen. If there’s any truth, it’s simply a ploy to scare Brazil into action. It would probably be a year or 18 months before any decision was made to cancel Rio, and by then it would be too late. Olympic Park would need to be remodelled (again), Hockey, Basketball and Beach Volleyball arenas rebuilt, wings put back onto swimming pool, work stopped on converting olympic stadium for football…. etc etc.

  • NHLover

    I live in Brazil myself (I’m not Brazilian though) and I’m almost 100 % sure that this would give a much better result than letting Rio de Janeiro host it.
    When you look at how they handle the world cup, then I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen when they start to prepare the olympics.
    Right now street kids are getting killed to get them away from the street, just to make the cities look better for the football tourists. There’re still stadiums there aren’t ready BECAUSE of bad construction that caused accidents which KILLED construction workers.
    And also if you look back at the giant riots which happened in June/July 2013 because Brazil spended more money on the world cup than ANY of the other countries EVER did, then I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen when they start to build the olympic city in Rio de Janeiro (because first they have to remove big areas of the slum villages because there aren’t any space close enough to the city to make it fit to all the tourist)
    I have no idea how Rio de Janeiro even was considered as the host city in the first place, not even for the world cup, because Brazil has so many other things those billions of dollars could be spend on.
    Around 10 % live in extreme poverty (which means under 2 $ per day) and with a country who has awfull public schools and coruption through the whole system (police and politicans) then I think those money could be spended on something more usefull than two sport events.

  • lola from sydney

    The same rumours were bandied about in the leadup to Athens (like unslugged said) – for months, all the papers in Sydney were speculating that we’d get to host round two in 2004. Nothing ever came of it; we were just recovering from the giddiness of the Five Ring Circus coming to town, and having had the head of the IOC announce to the world that ours was the ‘best Olympic Games ever’. You’d be surprised how quickly a seemingly hapless host city can get their act together in the final six to nine months before the Games. London’s still got a bit of post-Olympic euphoria, that’s all.

  • RosLucc

    A check up in the Psicologist would help. This is something called Eurocentrics.

  • aLuoGirl

    They’ll make it happen. Let’s not wish them the worst just to have the privilege again!