Great Britain does win a fair old few Olympic Golds, but it's not exactly a bucketload.
However, if mucking up the costs and budget was an Olympic sport, you could surely fly the British flag as the gold medal winner …
July 2005, and London is announced as the host for the 2012 Games.
It was a surprise result, with Paris being favorite.
All the doctors here went into overdrive about how good it would be for the country, and how vital the redevelopment work would be for the East of London, that our sporting and cultural heritage would have a superb new chapter – etc, etc.
Sound good so far?
A little too much like a political speech?
Well, move forward to 2006, and the estimated costs have trebled.
No, you did not misunderstand that – * trebled * !!
The government cites 'unforseen circumstances.'
Well exactly how unforseen were they to treble the cost?
Surely that can not be right, how can the proposal have even been sound in the first place with that kind of miscalculation?
It does not bode well for the remaining years to the Games does it.
Now, in 2007, the government is diverting more from our lottery funds to help pay the bill.
Hang on – the lottery funds that were supposedly to go on culture and sport?
The culture in Britain was a big factor in winning the Olympic bid, and yet now vital funding for ground floor cultural projects at root level has disappeared.
Ironically, a big loser is also grass roots sport.
A local team for underpriviled kids that would have got a new roof on their dressing room, will now see that money helping build a beach volleyball court for 2 weeks in 2012 – try telling * them * that the Olympics are good for Britain!
The Olympic Games got a huge boost after the fantastic job that Sydney did in 2000.
In 2004, despite the fact that they would not be ready in time, Greece did an equally good job.
Time will tell what happens in China in 2008, but I can already feel an ever-growing sense of Montreal looming over the 2012 London Games.
Give another gold to Great Britain, eh ..?