Own your own podium: leave taxpayers out of it

Own the Podium, which will soon no doubt seek more taxpayer dollars than the multi-millions it has already received.

Here we go again.

Own the Podium, which will soon no doubt seek more taxpayer dollars than the multi-millions it has already received from various governments, has named a new CEO.

Anne Merklinger, once an energetic volunteer in many sports areas, apparently no longer wants any taint of altruism attached to her efforts.

OWP, of course, is the offshoot of the Canadian Olympic committee formed for the express purpose of creating another trough from which do-nothing COC personnel and affiliates can feed.

The money, which could be used to enhance recreational opportunities for all Canadians (a good thing) will instead be used to promote a very few athletes and sports, many of which most Canadians neither participate in nor care about (to me, at least, not such a good thing).

A large percentage of the money will be used for administration – including travel and posh accommodations for COC and OWP officials at meetings and previews as well as the Olympics themselves – and almost none of it will be accounted for in the end. Medals or no medals this summer in Great Britain, OWP will have expended our money. A fortunate few Canadian athletes may get richer through their participation in the 2012 games, the rest of us will just pay to give them the opportunity.

The primary function of a CEO, of course, is to maximize profit for investors – in this case those who have invested time into benefiting from the vast sums of taxpayer money thrown at the games. The people of the COC and hundreds of other various organizations will reap all those rewards.

The IOC DOES NOT CARE about athletes, or host cities or, least of all, taxpayers. A big part of the current economic difficulty in which Greece finds itself is directly attributable to the economic catastrophe that was/is Athens hosting the IOC and its minions a decade ago. The budget for London 2012 is already almost five times the bid amount, and Great Britain, too, has serious financial problems.

Even though every host government lies about it, there has never been a games, with the possible exception of Los Angeles 30 years ago, that provided a net benefit to the host area.  That means, in CEO and normal speak, that all games lose loads of money, taxpayer money. VanWhistler ($6 billion) hasn’t been over for two years, yet I don’t hear a chorus of voices crowing about the benefits accruing to anywhere but upscale Whistler.

The IOC, as corrupt as it is, isn’t stupid. It demands that elected representatives guarantee the costs of the games be covered from the public purse.

The IOC is so evil it prevents organizations like Right to Play and Kidsport from even soliciting support from its private sector benefactors (sponsors), lest the graft its members have access to be reduced. This, even though many of the most high profile people involved in those worthwhile organizations are members of the “Olympic family.”  Good character and support for the Olympics don’t go together.

Providing people with the opportunity to live healthier, happier lives through the opportunity to participate in sports is not, it seems, any part of the mandate of the Olympic Movement (I like the double entendre there).

A politician would have to be completely evil on every other issue not to get my support by promising to vote against taxpayer funding of the COC, IOC, OWP and any future bid cities.

Meantime, the sleaze goes on, and on, and on.