THE NEIL WILSON COLUMN / An unique, authoritative collection
from Sports activities Options Communications

(SFC) The
legacy that the Video games of 1984 in Los Angeles provided the Olympic Motion was
priceless. Not in bricks and mortar as a result of there was little of that however in its
proof that the Video games might be hosted on a budget.

That isn’t to be pejorative. LA84 offered every part
that was required. It simply didn’t have to construct a lot to do it as a result of it
existed already.

LA84’s legacy was the proof it offered that the Video games
doesn’t have to saddle its residents with money owed for a era. Or within the
case of the 1976 Video games in Montreal, for a number of generations.

That legacy attracted hosts of cities to bid to host
which may beforehand have been frightened away by Montreal’s instance. Now, it
is hoped by the Worldwide Olympic Committee that LA can repeat its trick in
2028 and show that a Video games needn’t be exorbitantly costly.

To be blunt, to show that a Video games needn’t be like
Beijing in 2008 – estimated value $forty million – or Sochi in 2014 – estimated value
$fifty one billion.

However let’s not be blinded right into a perception that LA’s method
is the one means. Legacy might be tangible. It may be left in bricks and mortar,
or, extra probably, in concrete.

This week the Monetary Occasions, a medium accustomed to
goal evaluation of information and figures, declared the London Olympics of 2012 a
success. Not the sixteen-day pageant of sport which everyone loved however what it
left behind on the bottom.

The FT reported eleven towers beneath development on the
560 acre Olympic website that may home four million sq. ft of workplace area, a
quarter of it leased already. It discovered 6,000 residents the place the athletes lived
through the Video games, half of them in social housing, with two extra residential
blocks for 600 underneath development.

And in one other article the FT extolled the great thing about
the most important park created in Europe within the earlier one hundred years which is the
centre of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

All that at a price of $14 billion. Not low cost however not a
lot for the regeneration of a derelict a part of a metropolis in all probability 20 years
earlier than it will have been carried out with out an Olympic Video games.

And London isn’t alone. Everyone within the Olympic
Household factors with satisfaction on the regeneration of Barcelona by the Video games of 1992
however what about Athens in 2004.

Remembered for a final minute wrestle to be completed,
it’s extensively derided for venues just like the crusing marina, rusted and chained up
because the Video games.

However Athens is a much better metropolis due to its Video games.
Its airport, its tram and suburban rail, its ring street, airport entry freeway
to downtown, its north-south freeway, its revamped power and telecoms
infrastructure…I might go on.

Opposite to the jibes of its critics, even lots of its
Olympic sports activities amenities proceed to serve helpful existences. Its refurbished
Olympic Stadium has been used virtually each Sunday since 2004. Its badminton
corridor is now an acclaimed live performance corridor.

So LA provides one path to an Olympic legacy however not
the one route. Barcelona, Athens, London, in all probability Paris in 2024 supply one other
equally priceless. And if the worth is true, one to be celebrated.

** NEIL WILSON reported his first Olympic Video games in
Munich in 1972. He has since coated one other 9 summer time and 9 winter
Olympics for numerous newspapers, together with The Unbiased and the Every day Mail
with whom he has labored for the final 19 years as Athletics and Olympic
correspondent. He was Britain’s Sports activities Journalist of the Yr in 1984 and is
the writer of seven books.

****The views expressed
are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially symbolize the views of Sports activities
Options Communications.

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