Matthew Good talks about the “what ifs” if Vancouver had not won the games. I know whenever I talk about Olympic games some of you are shocked as you can’t figure out someone who loves sports as much as I do, dislikes the Olympic games so much. It isn’t that I dislike the Olympics that much, it is just that I can’t stand the cost of hosting them and the debt that comes with it. No one is heading to Nagano today because of their Olympic games, no one is headed to Salt Lake City any longer because of them hosting the Olympic games. Already China is trying to figure out what to do with the Bird’s Nest. So while Vancouver got an infrastructure upgrade and Whistler is sitting pretty (well, maybe not), there is a lot of debt for the same infrastructure that exists in Calgary. Great investment.
The other thing that bothers me is that for all of the money being put into Own the Podium, that is money that I really think should be spent on youth sports. Really, what does it say about Canada that we win the most medals in Vancouver? Seriously, what does it say about us? When I was a kid, most of my elementary school class played hockey. Only two kids last year in Mark’s entire school played competitive hockey.
I love sports but for the same reason I question the Saskatchewan government building a domed stadium in Regina, I don’t think professional sports infrastructure is that great of a use for government money. The good news is that after the Vancouver Olympics out the way, I can’t see Canada having to go through this for at least a couple of decades. That being said, I keep hearing news out of Toronto about them trying to get a summer games again so maybe we will never learn.