Olympic News: The Weird, The Bad And The Ugly

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 108 months ago
Olympic News: The Weird, The Bad And The Ugly

0502_stadium.jpg
Image by suburbanslice
The Olympic motto? "Citius, Altius, Fortius", which, for anyone yet to sign up for one of Boris' Latin classes, means "Swifter, Higher, Stronger". What better symbol of such a sentiment than a four-metre high, 5,000 volt perimeter fence, such as the one currently being erected around the Stratford site. The terrorist-thwarting fence will replace the current blue hoarding that proved unpopular. It's unlikely the new one will be any more loved, neither by locals nor luckless wildlife who happen to stray nearby.

Yet as we saw on a recent walk near the site, things are progressing well for the main stadium. At a price, though — the government was today forced to admit that costs for the cupcake have risen by £50 million, joining many other high-profile venues in corkscrewing wildly out of the supposed budget set in those halcyon, carefree days of 2005. Good job the country's not on the brink of bankruptcy, eh?

Still, there's nothing like reminding ourselves of just how good we were in Beijing '08 to lift the clouds of gloom. Right on cue comes the news that we've honoured two of our stars from that happy event, Christine Ohuruogu and Pippa Wilson. Bronze statues? Streets named in their honour? Nothing so bland. No, a pair of tunnel boring machines on the Olympic site — which, glamorously, will be used to construct a 1.8km sewage system — has been named after the gold medallists. There's a picture of the happy couple right here, just to prove that, despite all the doom-laden news about 2012, we haven't (yet) lost our sense of humour.

Last Updated 05 February 2009

diamond geezer

"The annual report took a snapshot of the budget at September last year and calculated likely increases by 2012. These include the cost of the main stadium to rise by £43 million to £547 million."

By my calculations that's an 8.5% increase over four years (or roughly 2% a year).

That's not really "corkscrewing wildly", is it? Even my mum's pension will be increasing faster than that.

CRAiG

DG, unfortunately Londonist isn't immune to the cheap hubris bandwagon.

Always good to point out that the £9.3bn budget hasn't changed one bit from 2005. It included contingency, part of which has now been used up. The whole point of contingency is to deal with unforeseeable circumstances, such as - oh - the economic downturn.

I do try to stay out of some of the cheaper mud-slinging, but sometimes everyone has to simply work out if they want the Games. Experience suggests the sideline sceptics get involved and excited later. We can but hope.

DeanN

I do try to stay out of some of the cheaper mud-slinging, but sometimes everyone has to simply work out if they want the Games. Experience suggests the sideline sceptics get involved and excited later. We can but hope.

Not sure if this is directed at me or not, but I'm not a sceptic. I don't really have an opinion on the Olympics.

mralistair

problem is that although 2% per year doesn't seem much the prices should always have included inflation (they probably thought they did)

bigger problem is that the stadium isn't all that good. and the idea that it is half demountable is just nonsense, it's going to cost a fortune to take it down so we'll have paid extra for less building.