The Olympics Can No Longer Lose Money Than A Man Can Have A Baby

1740 Words Apr 15th, 2015 7 Pages
“The Montreal Olympics can no longer lose money than a man can have a baby”1 Jean Drapeau, Mayor of Montreal from1960 to 1986 famously said. It was to be the first Canadian-hosted Olympics in our 76-year participation in the Games. However, the Games were marred by accidents, construction failures, and massive costs to the population of Montreal. The crown jewel of the first Canadian Games, the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was to be the shining new Olympics Stadium, estimated at an initial $134 million. But due to a variety of reasons, from rapid inflation (see page 8 appendix 1) to unexpected physical failures, “the Big O”, or as it became known, “the Big Owe” ballooned to an astronomical cost of over 1.5 billion dollars ($1.61 billion). A host of problems plagued the host city, and citizens of Montreal paid the costs for three decades after the Olympics. The Montreal Olympics were doomed to fail from their conception. This is because there were better choices available, the required infrastructure was not in place and Montreal did not have the resources to implement it, and Canada as a country was not politically prepared to host such an international gathering in a time of tension.

The International Olympic Committee, or IOC, awarded the Games to Montreal in 1970. The short-list for hosting (that is, the final three cities) were Montreal, Las Vegas, and Moscow. The Montreal Olympics Stadium went under construction in 1974, and parts of it were not complete when the…

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