4 Reasons To Avoid The London Olympics

I love London. Although I left the UK 30 years ago, the energy and cosmopolitan nature of this dynamic city draw me back regularly.

But I won’t be attending the 2012 Olympics for several reasons. Here are just four of them.

Shoddy Conditions

The living conditions for the 2012 Olympic workers have been described as “prison-like slums” since they are overcrowded and unhygienic. 75 Olympic cleaners are expected to share one shower. Every 25 staff members must share one toilet, and ten people are living in each room.

Many of the workers traveled from abroad in search of work. It was not until they arrived in London that they were informed there would be no work for the first two weeks, but they were expected to pay a total rent of over £550 a month to sleep in the miserable camps.

Of course, with an overall unemployment rate of 8.1% in the UK now, and a rate of around 20% for 18 – 24-year-olds, these job openings were supposed to go to unemployed Londoners, so what happened?

Cabbies Up In Arms Over Olympic Lanes

Many of London’s 25,000 cab drivers say they hate the Olympic Games Lanes, a network of roads reserved for the exclusive use of Olympic officials and sponsors. With cabbies forced to ply their trade mostly in the minor roads of London, they believe that their takings will be way down, and that people just won’t take taxis. So they are protesting.

From Reuters:

Hundreds of taxi drivers brought the streets around parliament and Big Ben to a standstill this week, hooting their horns and moving at a snail’s pace. They are threatening to hold more protests before the Games begin next Friday.

“I’m a bit sick of the Olympics now. The sooner it’s over, the better”, said taxi driver Shane Ludlow, 42, at a cab rank in the heart of the City of London financial district. “It’s pretty disgusting that we can’t use the Olympic lanes. It’s our city.”

Call Up The Army!

About 23,700 security guards had been due to protect venues as part of Britain’s biggest peacetime security operation, with 13,500 military personnel already earmarked to contribute.

But last week, Britain put an extra 3,500 soldiers on standby after the world’s biggest security firm G4S said it might not be able to supply the 10,400 security guards it had promised as part of a $441.93 million deal.

These additional 3,500 troops will take the overall tally at the Games to 17,000, more than the 9,500 currently deployed in Afghanistan. Yes, security is important, but how will the enormous military presence affect the atmosphere at the Games?

A $15 Billion Investment

It’s true that Brits, and Londoners in particular, love to complain, but what exactly is the city getting for its $15 billion investment in the Games?

According to Andrew Scott, who is the deputy dean of the London Business School and comes from the area where the Olympic Park is located, Brits should stop trying to kid themselves that they made a shrewd investment. That’s because the most wildly optimistic estimate suggests that the Olympics will boost Britainís GDP each year for a decade by no more than one-tenth of 1 percent.

I love the Olympics and will be excited to watch them – from a distance. I’ll visit London next year.

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Photo Credit: istock


Michael P.
Michael P5 years ago

From the very start I replied to consultations that I didn't want the Games in London where I live. I resent paying for them through an increase in my Council Tax when from my earliest days my school reports said I had no interest in sport. I don't expect others to subsidise my hobbies and I don't want to subsidise a lot of people chasing each other round a track with pained expressions on their faces. But you can't tell our stupid UK government anything they just go on wasting our public money and looking after themselves and the posh and rich.

Pedro Leal
Pedro Leal5 years ago

''they were expected to pay a total rent of over £550 a month to sleep in the miserable camps.’’
Yes,but working for free!That’s a big business,that’s all!An entity who can over-rule the government itself...

Susan Baker
Susan Baker5 years ago

And the Olympic torch was Hitler's idea for the 1936 Berlin games so now we honour the most evil man of the 20th century by traipsing it around this country and forgeting all the men who died for our freedom in the 2nd world war but money it much more important than our dead heroes!!!

federico bortoletto
federico b5 years ago


Nessie K.
VENESSA K5 years ago

I am not interested in the Olympics, I won't watch it.
No point, unless I want to be put asleep :)

susan thornton
susan Thornton5 years ago

I'm British and think the Olympics are a waste of time and money, anyway it's boring

kevaquarian E.
kevaquarian E5 years ago

@ Berny P: Although I appreciate your looking to "balance out" the discussion, and it's great that you had a good time, I do have some questions:

"reason to go to the Olympics...

....To support Britain...."

In what?

"....To support London...."

Same again - in what?

We probably have very different views on the topic of patriotism, I guess.

To support the Olympics in London is to support an elitist corporate money-fest at best. Research will reveal what it is at worst - and it's not pretty! This is no doubt one of the reasons WHY people are so outraged, and voicing it. If things were different, then more people would feel like supporting it.

....To Support your athletes.....
.....To Support all of the athletes who have worked so hard....
...To enjoy the best of sports in a few days....

No-one is down on the sports or the athletes. For me, the point is, that sadly, there just IS so much grimness around the Olympics that it does tend to overshadow what is ostensibly about - sport!

...To Piss people off on care 2 who only can see the negative in this!!!

If you want some Olympics fun with Care2 members, then try this:


A Grand MA...who went with all her family ...It was fantastic!

It's just as well that it was fantastic. Otherwise, the event in it's entirety would be an abomination.

Berny p.
berny p5 years ago

reason to go to the Olympics...

....To support Britain....
....To support London....
....To Support your athletes.....
.....To Support all of the athletes who have worked so hard....
...To enjoy the best of sports in a few days....
...To Piss people off on care 2 who only can see the negative in this!!!

A Grand MA...who went with all her family ...It was fantastic!

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago


kevaquarian E.
kevaquarian E5 years ago

Lots of people in Britain, who go beyond mainstream media to find out what's going on are understandably outraged by the amount of taxpayers money that has been used to put on the Games here. The British public will get precious little for their £, which they had no choice about spending. And this comes at a time where the Government are banging on daily about "necessary" austerity measures! What utter see-through kak. I'm sure the average citizen in the UK could suggest a whole bunch of things to better spend the money on, and just watch the games TV? Most people couldn't afford/get tickets anyway.