From Olympia to London

by Fallon Godwin-Butler

How would you feel if the Olympics were hosted by your home country? Although it is expected that there may be much anticipation and excitement, the hosts of the 2012 Olympics in London have mixed opinions. The frenzy of the Olympic Games has hit London full force.  These games have been iconic to Western Civilization since 776 B.C.E., when they were held in Olympia to honor Zeus, and since the modern Olympic resurgence beginning in 1896.  Now, the world is not honoring Zeus. It is honoring star athletes.

The question becomes: is it wise to venerate these athletes when the economy of the Eurozone is unstable?  As a general comment, many United Kingdom citizens feel that the Olympic Games are a party for the rich and will only benefit those who are already doing well financially. Many believe that the hosting the Olympics is unnecessary and even destructive given the country’s weak financial state.

There are hospitals, schools, and a transportation system that is already at full capacity, and the Olympics will only create more hysteria. Annie Welton, a citizen of England, claims, “It is such a waste of the taxpayers’ money. We should be given the option of opting out!” An example of this is the logo. The 2012 Olympic Logo cost 400,000 pounds which comes to 626,865 American dollars. In the words of Emma Burrows, “Some primary [elementary] school kids could have come up with better ideas for free.”

Aside from the amount of money being spent on one single event, citizens feel a certain amount of detachment due to the games being centralized in London. Not only are citizens of London targeted, but also are London businesses.

Jane Sanders stated, “I am sure it has kept a few companies in business and provided jobs, as long as most of the construction workers were British but they probably weren’t.” She continued on to say, “It does seem a little hypocritical too as in past Olympics the British teams have had to fund a lot of their own training.”

However, the feelings of animosity towards this event are not unanimous. One man in particular, Joe Poole, commented on areas of London that are being refurbished in order to house specific events. He called the event “once in a lifetime.” Another woman claims that without the revenue from the Olympics there would not be a new Olympic sized pool in Corby, England.

As with most aspects of life, the London Olympics has its ups and downs.  It would seem that the 2012 Olympics are providing far more downs for the populace of England. British citizens are not receiving their tickets, and the country is spending more money on one summer event than is necessary. With that said, there is always one glowing aspect to the Olympics said Mr. Poole: “The Olympics represents something far more transcendental than a spending project; as far as worldwide harmony goes, this is as close as the human race has ever managed–all nations of the world together for a positive reason.”