My Thoughts on BBC World Service: Olympic Legacies for Sydney 2000 and London 2012

I was planning a quiet meal at home yesterday when I got a call from BBC World Service Radio. The producer of World Have Your Say had just read my article Olympics and World Cup Big Events Waste of Tax Payers Money and wanted me to contribute to the program..

BBC World Service logo

I rushed to ABC Ultimo radio master control (who connected me to the BBC) and an hour later I was a guest on BBC World Service Radio for a discussion about the legacy of Olympics past and present. Are the Games ultimately a waste of money – especially at a time of recession in the UK – or do they leave something worthwhile behind?.

I noted that while the people of the host nation feel very proud and happy during the Games, I think in the cold hard light of day the billions in public funds spent on big events like the FIFA World Cup and Olympic games rarely result in a net long term benefit for the host nation, while delaying or canceling spending on more pressing public health, education and transport projects.

The BBC World Service host was Robyn Bresnahan and the 5 guests on this World Have Your Say program included: American dual Olympic Gold medalist Ed Moses, British Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock, Kimberley a teenage journalist who lives in the Olympic region of East London, Myself and Marie a citizen of Athens.

You can listen to the show as an MP3 audio file. Either the 23minute show as broadcast or just the edited excerpt of the show with the host introduction and all the segments where I speak. Since the BBC delete their podcasts after 7 days I have hosted copies on my site.

Unless they invite me back sometime I doubt I’ll ever share my thoughts with a bigger audience again as the BBC World Service has an audience reach well over 150 million people!

PS For Doctor Who fans: ABC Ultimo radio master control is called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). These are photos of me from a previous visit to the TARDIS for a discussion on ABC Radio National.

ABC Ultimo TARDIS - radio interview recording studio (wearing Dr Who TARDIS tshirt)

ABC Ultimo TARDIS - radio interview recording studio

7 thoughts on “My Thoughts on BBC World Service: Olympic Legacies for Sydney 2000 and London 2012”

  1. It is expensive, but it’s also good that it’s coming to the UK. Saying that though, I managed to get one ticket, so at least I can say I went – I prefer the Winter Olympics actually, but I don’t think the UK will ever hold those!

  2. I agree with ed it is going to be expensive and lol uk will never ever hold the winter olympics..

  3. I concur. I mean you had China, a hotbed of human rights violation trying to show off last time. And now in the UK they were having riots over taxes, but now spending all this dough on this. Does it make sense?

  4. It’s a big call to state that the Homebush site is derelict. True, the site can seem quiet, but that is because the area is absolutely huge. Virtually everyweek there is a ‘major’ event held at the site, but it is concentrated to specific areas, which could make the rest of the site appear unused at that time. (Allphones) arena hosts concerts by artists what might otherwise not appear, the State Sports Centre hosts netball almost every week, gymnastics virtually everyday.

    Each year, the tennis centre hosts the international warm-up for the Aussie Open, and the stadium pretty much sees either Rugby and League played each weekend thru’ the season. Having worked on many sporting events prior to the Olympics, so many venues outside of Homebush Bay were just plain substandard… embarrassingly so…both for participants, spectators and broadcasters.

    Working at world class venues, such as at Homebush, is now a real pleasure. Of course, the Olympics is an excuse to build great venues, and as you say, those venues should be built nonetheless if required by the community anyway. But such facilities are easier to justify and budget for when the Olympics is added to the mix. The influx of visitors, the promotion worldwide, the positive effect on the economy makes the spend less painful and more justifiable.

    Often it is the only opportunity to do so. The Sydney Olympics experience was amazing even beyond the sporting focus. Perhaps the focus needs to really be placed on the capitalisation opportunity after such events. That is more likely the area that falls in a heap.

    Loved your appearance on the show BTW Neerav.

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