Doug Saunders wrote a nice piece in Saturday’s Globe (I’d link to it, but it’s only accessible with subscription) about problems in Athens related to the Olympics. To wit: the venues were built in a rushed manner, using poor materials and methods and done over budget to make deadlines, and now they are virtually useless — abandoned and shut down, waiting for saviours who can afford to renovate them. Greece itself can’t afford to do it — it has more public debt than any other EU nation.
The prosperous legacy of constant tourism and helpful infrastructure hasn’t materialized because the venues were so grandiose and Greece was revealed as an expensive place to visit.
These are the kinds of problems that concerned me when I voted against bringing the Olympics to Vancouver in 2003. I hope this isn’t Vancouver’s post-2010 future, but I’m not holding my breath.