Articles

2016 Olympics. Prague? Not Really

In Economy on September 7, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

The city of Prague has officially applied for the role of the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The estimated costs are enormous, from a regular Czech’s point of view. A PwC study shows the direct costs should be some 130 bln. (divide by 20 to get the sum in U.S. dollars).

I can’t say whether I am for or against. What I can say that it sounds terribly strange and even ridiculous that many events would HAVE TO take place so far from Prague and in so many places that calling the games “the Prague Olympics” would be inappropriate. One event (rowing, I believe) is set (planned) to take place at the Lipno Dam, which is a three-hour drive from Prague in zero traffic. It is almost in the middle of nowhere near the German border.

Another event should take place in the city of Ostrava. Five hours by train from Prague. Maybe a four-hour drive on the D1 freeway. If you live in the Czech Republic you can not avoid it because it is basically the only eastbound-westbound freeway in the country. You have one tiny rear-end bump collision and it stops.

No matter what PwC analysis says about the feasibility from the financial point of view, this country is not ready for the Olympics now and it probably will not be ready in nine years. Or, not ready, but rather mature.

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