Mendoza: Now, the Paris Olympics

Al S. Mendoza

Olympic headaches hound Tokyo—and now Paris as well.

The latest irritant is the insurance issue being leveled against the postponed Tokyo Olympics, forcing financiers of the 2024 Paris Olympics to also reconsider their position.

Already, officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have set aside $650 million to cover extra costs as a result of the 2020 Tokyo Games postponement to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Graham Dunbar of Associated Press (AP) wrote that Japan’s organizers might cough out billions of dollars. Sadly though, taxpayers will shoulder the brunt of the bills.

Pierre Ducrey, the IOC’s operations director, said that “Problem No. 1 was retaining the Olympic

Village in Tokyo” for another year.

That’s because the complex of more than 5,600 apartments in Tokyo Bay is “a fundamental piece of being able to deliver the Games.”

Some 25 percent of the housing units have been pre-sold to people who were assured to move in right after the 2020 Olympics.

Because of the Games’ postponement, those buyers are set to receive compensation for having to wait another year before taking possession of their apartments.

Cancellation policies cost the IOC $14.4 million for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

And while the IOC and Tokyo officials twirl under constantly increasing expenses in the run-up to the 2021 Olympics, a group calling itself the NON aux JO 2024 à Paris wants the 2024 Paris Olympiad canceled.

Wrote Dunbar: “The group, whose name translates as ‘No to the 2024 Olympics,’ said the current economic and social crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic deserve more funding than the Olympic Games.”

Also, the NOlympics, a US faction opposed to Los Angeles staging the 2028 Olympiad, is a signatory to the petition, saying: “We must reject the Paris Olympics. We must invest in health, education, housing and public services.”

It added: “The Games are an immense waste for the benefit of some corporate sponsors, real estate developers and the construction sector that we can no longer afford.”

Look what you’ve done, Covid-19.