The Contagion Video games


The seven-day average of new cases has more than doubled over the past two weeks, and with the Delta variant taking hold and just 22 percent of the population fully vaccinated, health experts are fearing an explosive increase in new infections over the coming weeks.

Considering the situation and the massive costs associated with hosting the games, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Japanese public isn’t too excited about the event. Nor is the rest of the world.

According to a recent Ipsos survey, an average of 57%  of respondents across the 28 countries in which the poll was conducted are opposed to holding the games this year, with Japanese opposition particularly strong at 78%.

According to an Asahi Shimbun poll, 68% of Japanese respondents doubt that the Games can be held “safe and secure”, a promise repeatedly made by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and the IOC.

Japan has been averaging 3,000 cases a day this week while only 22 percent of the public has been fully vaccinated.

Cost overruns have become the norm for host cities and financial  newspapers Nikkei and Asahi claim that the end cost of hosting the Olympics will actually amount to a whopping $28 billion.

Tokyo is just the latest of a number of host cities to learn a harsh economic lesson. Some have taken past mistakes onboard and Hamburg is a notable example which rejected its 2015 bid on cost grounds in a public referendum.

Other cities have learned that the financial consequences can be dire only after hosting the games.

Research conducted by The University of Oxford in 2016 and website Play The Game shows how costs ballooned in most cities down through the years.

Notable examples include Montreal in 1976 where the games were 720 percent overbudget and Barcelona in 1992 which experienced a cost overrun to the tune of 266 percent.

In recent years, the 2016 Olymics in Rio cost just under $14 billion which represented a 352 percent cost overrun while the 2012 London Olympics saw its final bill of just under $15 billion come in 76 percent overbudget.

Snowballing costs are also a feature of the Winter Oympics where there have been several financial catastrophes such as Sochi. The 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian City cost $21.89 billion, a 289 percent cost overrun largely as a result of overbudget venues.

Sadly, the enduring legacy of hosting the Olympics is now nothing more than a slew of abandoned and overgrown venues in multiple former host cities.

That remains the case to this day in past venues such as Sarajevo, Athens, Beijing and Rio, to name just a few, where crumbling stadia and forgotten Olympic villages serve not as proud monuments to athletic achievement, but rather as somber symbols of catastrophic financial mismanagement.


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