I was put firmly in my place this week by, of all people, the BBC – an organisation my regular reader will remember that I hold in high esteem…
The comment in question was on Breakfast whilst they were discussing the summer of sport and what a wonderful experience the Olympics had been for all. “No-one in their right mind will now be saying we should never have done it, and all those people who were saying it was a waste of money will be eating their words. You won’t find anybody now admitting that they were knocking it!”
Well, that’s me told then! Except of course, to answer their comments: I am in my right mind, I did say that, I’m not eating my words and I’m admitting it. So there…
Try doing a Google search on the cost of the games. I did. Nobody will tell you. I don’t believe it’s because they don’t know but is more likely that they don’t want you to know. The best guess I came up with was £24,500,000,000 – which is a lot of money for a few bits of fake gold, silver and bronze. And it’s hardly surprising when you find things like the Richard Harris sculpture ‘Jurassic Stones’ that greeted visitors to the sailing venue at Weymouth cost £335,000 on its own. Locals described as ‘a row of stones on sticks’. Hmmm.
But of course I cannot deny that it’s been a great result for the athletes themselves, always remembering that they take part for the joy of competing and that it has nothing to do with winning a medal.
I would agree with that last bit, because it seems to me to be about the money. I read the other day that Jessica Ennis stands to make around £5,000,000 in sponsorship and advertising deals with people like British Airways, Chris Hoye has signed deals with Gillette and Kelloggs, paralympian David Weir is jumping on the bandwagon – figuratively speaking – with Sainsburys, and Ellie Simmons is signing deals with Adidas and BMW.
I can just imagine it now ‘I’m not tall enough to drive, but if I was then I’d drive a BMW’. Or maybe ‘Today I’m heading up the launch of the new BMW mobility scooter – the ultimate pedestrian killer coming to your pavements soon’.
And the source of all this hypocritical shite? Well, I got it off the BBC. Yes, that’s the same BBC that told me I would never have the nerve to say all this stuff in the light of the Olympic feelgood factor. Well I have nothing against these people cashing in – especially as I never watch live commercial TV so it won’t get to my eyeballs – but FFS let’s be honest about it. You worked bloody hard to achieve what you did and I’m not knocking that, but let’s stop telling me that you did for the joy of competing. You did it for the money!
And yes, I am still saying it was a waste of money, the ‘legacy’ is a joke, we’re inspiring bugger all never mind a generation, we shouldn’t have done it, and we can’t pay for it.
Although the taxes from all those lucrative sponsorship deals should help a bit…