#2. Whoever Pays the Most Money Gets to Host
The only thing harder than a city completing the Olympics bidding process is a city completing the "We now no longer have homeless people and everyone is beautiful here" process. The IOC scrutinizes everything from the city's sports venues, transportation infrastructure and housing capacities to the general attitude of the citizens themselves. Do you know why Paris didn't get to host the 2012 Olympics? Because there was a general strike the day the Olympic Committee visited and public transportation was brought to a standstill. Boom. The Olympics were canceled for you, France. Good luck next time. You can't fake being ready to host thousands of people for the event of a lifetime.
"No, no, they just look small because they're only like eight inches wide."
And a lot of dollars goes a long way in persuading IOC members to choose your town. Investigators of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics bid discovered that tens of thousands of dollars per IOC member were spent wooing them. While Salt Lake City was giving committee members cheap disposable cameras as souvenirs, the Japanese were handing out pricey video cameras like they were candy. In fact, at a time when the limit on IOC gifts was $200, the Japanese contingent spent an average of $5,700 on each committee member. When all was said and done, Nagano spent about $24 million on their bid, five times as much as Salt Lake City spent. Not that all of this information was immediately transparent, since Nagano destroyed their spending records before anyone could get a hold of them.
So was it any wonder that Salt Lake City went nuts the next time they had a shot at wooing the IOC? After four failed attempts at the games, the American committee slathered the IOC host city committee members with over "$1 million in cash, gifts, ski trips and scholarships." Once the scandal broke, it took none other than Willard "Mitt" Romney to clean the mess up.
The first and only year shuffleboard was an Olympic event.
#1. Poor People Get Shoved Out of the Way to Make Room
One way that cities raise the money to bid on hosting the Olympics is by promising their citizens that it's all going to be worth it. At the end of the day, they're going to have world class sports venues, new residential housing, countless job opportunities during the preparation for the games, tons of revenue and a legacy of funding for sports programs for the city's youth. What's not to love?
"Terrible traffic and draconian laws are a small price to pay for people I don't know to enjoy sports I'll never watch."
Well, all of those new venues and housing have to go somewhere, and usually that somewhere is where the poor people live. Thirty thousand Atlanta residents were displaced by the 1996 games, and in 1988, 720,000 were forced from their homes in Seoul. The ones who were unlucky enough to not have a roof over their heads were rounded up and housed out of sight during the games. But nothing compares to Beijing -- 1.5 million Chinese people were forced out of their houses in the lead-up to the 2008 games.
Even if residents aren't forcibly displaced, they can look forward to their rents going up so high that they can't afford to live in their homes. As for all those beautiful sports venues, in Greece 21 of the 22 stadiums are now bum colonies and bird shit collectors. But hey, it's all worth it so that we can establish once and for all which country is the best at synchronized swimming.
"It makes my heart so full of national pride, my left arm is numb!"
For more on the Olympics, check out 6 Insane Sports That Could Be in the Next Olympics and 5 Ridiculous Sports You Won't Believe Were Olympic Events.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Sad Twist Ending of the Most Heroic Video of the Week.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see how you can have copious amounts of boner time with Olympians.
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