Letter: Heroic rebuttal

By Louis Poirier

Editor, the Gauntlet,

While I’ll fully agree that the Olympics can be a costly venture [“The life blood of the Olympics,” Daniel Pagan, Jan. 22], the summer and winter games simply cannot be compared. In size, scale and cost, the summer games are a behemoth to beware. That said, how can you write about the financial feasibility of the Olympics in a paper at the University of Calgary and not mention the ’88 games, the icon of success. As a Winter athlete, I have had the pleasure of benefiting from these facilities and other Olympic venues all around the world and 20 years later these are still arguably the best. They are maintained by profits from ’88 and those investments are building new facilities like the Ice House in 2001, and the new training facilities and ice rinks currently under construction at Canada Olympic Park.

Now let’s get to the real PR problem at the moment: a financier has run out of funds and left the city of Vancouver with the bill for some condos downtown. Does anyone really believe that the city will not recoup it’s investment here? I’ll admit given the current financial climate they may not make the profit they were hoping for, but this is a profitable investment. We simply have a new mayor whom doesn’t agree with the games and their vision. I believe one of his campaign promises was affordable housing, if he has any problems selling the condos he could simply use them for affordable housing, but I somehow doubt that will happen. That would mean that he would actually seize this opportunity to follow though on principle. He seems more content blaming the leader from the past than building for the future.

The 2010 games will be a success, financial and otherwise, though I doubt they can live up to Calgary’s high standard. At least we should win some gold in 2010.

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