The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Livingstone Pans Budget

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has panned the Olympics 2012 budget.

Speaking on BBC Sport Mayor Livingstone said that it would be a "defeat" if the Olympics in 2012 ended up costing more than £7BN.

The current budget now stands at £12BN including operating copsts, therefore he may have his hands full trying to reign that in.

The Mayor stated that the budget was in fact £5.5BN, thus muddying the waters.


"I'll consider it a personal defeat if we do not knock several billion off.

We've now got a budget set for £5.5bn. Inevitably, things will crop up and it will almost end up at £6bn. I'd be quite proud if we kept it at that.

If it starts going over £7bn that will be a defeat.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has built in this huge contingency for just about everything that could go wrong.

Our job is to keep that to the minimum of things that could go wrong

Mayor Livingstone then went on to say that "exploded" when he saw the 2012 Olympics logo.

"I'm the mayor of a city and the only thing any mayor wants in the logo is the name of the city enormous and predominant.

I didn't get that so I was a bit grumpy about that.

It was hidden from me up until about the last two weeks and it was too late to do anything about it.

I exploded pretty much as dramatically as the rest of the country when they saw it.

But it's the only thing that I haven't got my way on in the last two years so I can't complain

Well said, the logo is crap as indeed is the budget.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doping Row Erupts

A row has broken out between Britain's doping authorities, over measures to improve controls before the 2012 London Olympics.

The British Olympic Association announced that it had established its own anti-doping commission. This sparked a furious reaction from UK Sport, the Government body which runs Britain's anti-doping programme.

John Steele, UK Sport's chief executive, said:

"We are in no way complacent.

Against that we must be wary of constant investigation and review, in particular where there is no formal mandate for it.

The last thing British sport needs, as we build up to Beijing 2008 and London 2012, is distraction, confusion about roles and duplication of effort. We all have significant roles to play - let's just get on with them

The BOA commission has a mandate to make recommendations to "improve and strengthen" British anti-doping controls and to publish a report before next year's Games in Beijing.

A BOA spokesman said:

"Clearly we are disappointed at the reaction, as we honestly believe the commission's work can play an important part in the fight against doping.

Neither is it meant to imply any criticism of UK Sport, who work hard to ensure sport in this country is drug free

It seems that the government doesn't like others to interfere in its plans for the Olympics.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Skills Shortage Threaten Olympics

LibDem MP Don Foster has come to the stunning conclusion, that very householder in Britain has known for many years, that there is a skills shortage of electricians, plumbers and builders.

Congratulations to Foster for getting his name in the papers for stating that "little known fact".

Why the significance?

Seemingly this shortage poses yet another threat to the 2012 London Olympics.


"Britain is facing a huge skills shortage that could undermine the success of the Olympics."

That, I suspect, is the least of the problems facing the 2012 Games.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said that "initiatives" were under way to provide local people with low skills levels with new work opportunities.

Well, she would say that wouldn't she?

The reality will be that the rates that these tradesmen charge will simply rise exponentially. as the date of the games draws ever nearer. Thus pushing the cost of the games above the current £12BN, and increasing the cost base of ordinary households as they pay through the nose for plumbers etc.

I guess that's what they mean when they talk about the "Olympics legacy"!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Darling's Doubts Over Olympics

It seems that the new Chancellor of The Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has some doubts over the London Olympics 2012.

Darling has been outed as a long-term doubter of the Olympics.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor, has revealed in his diaries that Darling was a "very clear no", when the Cabinet was discussing in 2003 the prospect of an Olympic bid.

Darling raised concerns about the cost of the Games at the time, when the bill was only expected to be £2.6BN. The current budget has now ballooned to a staggering £12BN, and is likely to continue to grow.

The Treasury claim that Darling now no longer has any doubts.

Quite how this change of mind, given the fact that the budget is now more than four times the amount that caused Darling to reject the bid, came about is beyond mere human understanding.

Doubtless Darling's conversion was a "road to Damascus" moment.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Significant Uncertainties

The National Audit Office (NAO) have warned of "significant uncertainties" over the costs London's 2012 Olympics.

No kidding!

The NAO said the £9.3BN (excluding the £2BN running costs of the infrastructure) was "sufficient to cover the estimated costs of the Games" as plans stood.

However, it then went on to say that this was true only "with the important proviso that the assumptions on which the budget is based hold good".

Which is Whitehall speak for saying that as soon as things change, as is the nature of life, so will the budget.

A pretty lame statement in my view.

The NAO warned that the Olympics involved "a high level of inherent risk".

Tessa Jowell, of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), said:

"We are determined to keep an iron grip on costs. That is why we have set in place rigorous cost oversight procedures within Government, including a cross-Government ministerial funders committee and task force to assess any requests for further contingency funding under strict criteria."

She would say that, wouldn't she?

The costs have rocketed from £3BN to £12BN, thanks to the inept and incompetent management by Jowell and the DCMS.

Never entrust a politician with the management of a large scale, long term project.

We can be assured that by the time the Olympics have been held, the current budget of £12BN will have long since been overrun.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No Plan

The ongoing farce more commonly known as the London 2012 Olympics has taken another twist, the much vaunted tourism plan has been delayed for a second time, this time until September.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has been charged with formulating the plan, has postponed the launch again citing the recent reshuffle.

Seemingly not everyone was happy with some of the wording in the proposed document, originally due to be published on 17th July.

A DCMS spokesman said:

"New ministers have come in following the reshuffle and they want to have their own take on it, so meetings have been set up with various bodies from the tourism industry to assess the plan and take it forward."

Hotel chain Travelodge are far from impressed, chief operating officer Guy Parsons said:

"From today up to the 2012 Olympics, is the most crucial time for tourism in decades.

We can't afford any further delays

The lesson here is never entrust politicians with long term major projects, they are simply not up to the task.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Threat To Tube System

The collapse of Metronet, the contractor for much of London's tube system, will severely hamper urgent work required to bring it up to an acceptable standard in time for the London Olympics 2012.

The curse of the London Olympics strikes again!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Becks For 2012

In a rush of blood to the head, Princes William and Harry have persuaded David Beckham to work on the 2012 Olympics in London.

A source was quoted in the Express as saying:

"There was an informal meeting between the princes and Beckham before the (Diana memorial) concert. They had a bit of a laugh and a joke and chatted about his move to Los Angeles.

But William said he hoped David would be back to play a key part in 2012. David smiled and said he'd love to

Let us trust that it is just the male half of the Beckham brand that is involved in the Olympics.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Jowell's Mailbox Hacked

It seems that Tessa Jowell (who is nominally in charge of the 2012 London Olympics) has had her mailbox hacked.

The implications for the Olympics are quite serious, as we can expect all manner of documents concerning the Games to be leaked over the coming months.

Finally we may learn what is really going on with the budget etc.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Table Tennis Fire

Fire fighters extinguished a fire on Monday, that broke out at gymnasium under construction in Beijing University. This will be the venue for the table tennis tournaments during next year's Beijing Olympic Games.

The fire damaged around 1,000 square metres. However, no one was injured in the accident according to the Beijing Fire Brigade.

The fire brigade is investigating the cause of the blaze, it is thought to have been triggered by improper practices in the construction process.

Construction of the domed 26,900-square-meter gymnasium began in September 2005. Upon completion in August this year, the gym will be able to accommodate and audience of 8,000 people.

Monday, July 2, 2007

London Logo Farce - The Farce Continues IV

The farce over the "Lisa Simpson Gives Head" London 2012 Olympics logo continues.

The organisers of the London Olympics have now revamped the logo to contain images of competing athletes.

One image, featuring a child taking part in martial arts, has been spotted on the side of an Olympics bus touring Britain to promote the Games.

Needless to say those behind the logo deny that this change is in any way connected to the howls of protests over the logo. The official line is that this is an attempt to "populate" an evolving brand.

Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), was reportedly shocked at the extent of the backlash that followed the launch of the logo last month.

The the logo will be shown in 3-D in films and on the internet. Seemingly it looks, so the designers say, very good when presented in that format.

However, the organisers who should have been more thorough wrt the planning have failed to take into account the fact that most people will see it only as a flat image in newspapers and magazines.

This hardly gives one confidence in their ability to organise and manage the Games themselves, does it?