For some countries who had hosted Olympic Games in the past, it was mainly a great sporting event.
For other countries, like China in 2008 and Russia, which will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, it is also a source of great national pride.
But when it comes to Russia, there is one more aspect: Olypmics is a good excuse to spend public money, most of which disappears in the pockets of corrupt officials.
Few days ago an updated report of Olympic budget was published in Russian media.
The announced figure is astronomical: more than 1.5 trillion rubles, or more than 50 billion dollars. But it looks even more fantastic when put in perspective.
This is exactly what one Russian blogger did: he made a comparison between the budget of Sochi 2014 Olympics and the costs of various sports facilities, recently built in Russia.
By doing so, he answered an interesting question – “What else could be done with the money spent for Sochi Olympics?”
Instead of Sochi Olympics
[ Translated from Блог Егора Бычкова ]
The total costs of Sochi Olympics has grown to 1.526 trillion rubles, or 51.1 billion USD. This is five times more than the original estimate made in 2007.
Sochi Olympics has long been dubbed the most expensive Winter Olympics in history. But there is no limit for spending: it will become the most expensive event in the history of Olympics, beating even the record of Beijing 2008.
Let’s try to imagine what could be done for the promotion of sports in Russia with these one-and-a-half trillion rubles.
Here we go…
According to the 2010 Census, 1100 communities in Russia have the status of town. Approximately 97,524,023 people live in these towns.
It would be possible to build a new SWIMMING POOL in each of these cities. For example, as the one opened on December 12, 2012 in Pskov.
The “Universant” pool is 25 meters long, 16 meters wide, maximum depth is 180 centimeters; the pool has six tracks.
The total amount of investments is 132 million rubles. After multiplying it by 1100 towns, we get 145.2 billion rubles.
Besides the pool, every town in the country could build an ICE RINK. Such as the one opened on 28 December, 2012 in Vologda.
The cost of construction is 201,762,412 rubles.
Multiply by 1,100 towns - 221,938,653,200.
Additionally, in every town they could build a new STADIUM. Like the one in Buryatia.
The Central Stadium of Buryatia is the main sports arena of Ulan-Ude and Republic of Buryatia, located in the city center on the bank of Selenga River. It is the largest sports facility in Buryatia. The stadium is equipped with modern facilities and has the capacity of 10,000 spectators. The football field is laid with Duraspine Ultra 60, artificial turf of the last generation.
Cost of construction – 713.13 million rubles. Multiply by 1100 towns – 784,443 millions.
In every city we can build a new fitness center. For example, a good fitness center was opened in Severoonezhsk (Arkhangelsk Oblast) on December 1, 2012.
In has a universal playing ground (36 × 18 meters), two gyms, locker rooms with comfortable modern furniture, administrative and maintenance facilities.
Cost: 68,7 million rubles. For the whole country – 75,570 millions.
To summarize: building a stadium, a swimming pool, a fitness center and an ice rink in every town of the country would cost us 1,227,151,653,200 rubles. And there would be still money left.
According to the population census (2010), in Russia live 18,711,251 males in the range of 5 to 25 years old.
Let’s give a soccer ball to each of them. And not a simple one, but the brand “ADIDAS Tango’12 EURO 2012 OMB” – the official ball of the European Football Championship 2012.
Also, to each of them let’s give a basketball “Spalding TF-500″, made in USA.
The retail price is 1,599 rubles. Overall, we will spend 29,919,290,349 rubles.
To every male between the ages of 5 to 25 years we will give hockey skates “ATEMI ULTI Black JR” – 1,590 rubles for pair.
Overall – 29,750,889,090 rubles.
To every female between 5 to 25 years old (and there are 18,039,965 of them in Russia) let’s give figure skates “Atemi VISTA” – 1,280 for a pair.
Also, to each of them – a volleyball “Atemi AVC4S OCEAN” for 290 rubles.
For that we will pay 5,231,589,850 rubles.
To ALL (males and females) from 5 to 25 years old let’s buy rollers from the sports collection “OMEGA” for 1,832 rubles per pair.
We get that rollers for 36,751,216 boys and girls will cost us 67,328,227,712 rubles.
And also, to every Russian citizen (143,200,000 people) we will make a gift – a jump rope with electronic counter “Salory Jump (Bradex)” for 349 rubles.
And that will cost us 49,976,800,000 rubles.
Let me summarize.
For the same amount of money spent on Sochi Olympics, we could build in each Russian town a new swimming pool, stadium, ice rink and fitness center.
Every male in the age group 5-25 y.o. would get a soccer ball, basketball, hockey skates and rollers.
Every female in the age group 5-25 y.o. would get a volleyball, figure skates and rollers.
Plus each and every citizen of the country would get a jump rope with an electronic counter.
And there would be still about 20 billion rubles left!
Thus, we would have given a push for the explosive growth of sports in the country and in the future tear in pieces our opponents in all competitions. Not to mention the promotion of sports and healthy lifestyle.
But instead, we are going to witness expensive fireworks, which have nothing to do with the development of sports in the country.
Comments of Russian netizens
[Note: With its humid subtropical climate, Sochi will be the warmest city to have ever hosted Winter Olympic Games]
Виза Ри: I don’t want and neither of my friends want this fucking Olympics. I live in Kuban, by the way.Я не хочу и никто из моих друзей не хочет этой проклятой ебаной олимпиады. Живу, если что, на Кубани.
[Note: the commenter mentioned Kuban, because it is not far from Sochi and she probably has more chances to attend Olympic events and not just watch them on TV]
m_arch: Come on, who needs those jump ropes. While this is about the country’s prestige!!! All other countries will envy us.да ладно, кому нужны эти скакалки а тут – престиж страны!!! все остальные страны завидуют
_steppenwolf: Maybe better hospitals for children, than stadiums for miserable fans and aggressive sportsmen? It’s time to ban soccer and other similar sports as propaganda of violence. Может всё же лучше больницы для детей, чем стадионы для убогих болельщиков и агрессивных спортсменов? Футбол и подобные виды спорта пора запрещать за пропаганду насилия.
Vladimir Padun: The real comedy will be, if Americans and others will boycott this Games, like the Moscow Olympics. Вот ещё будет цирк, если американцы и прочие бойкотируют эти игры, как московскую олимпиаду.