Olympics, past and future

Staging the Olympic Games has over the years turned into a costly extravaganza, with host cities undertaking a huge financial risk that can have negative consequences in the long run.

Notwithstanding their glamor and organizational success, the 2004 Games in Athens took a hefty toll on Greece?s national economy. It now seems that even a city like London cannot always avoid organizational glitches and ensure that the event is an economic success.

Sure, it would sound utopian to once more raise the issue of the Games?s increasing commercialization and the relentless hunger to turn the event into a money-spinner for the athletes, the organizers and the corporate sponsors. That said, at some point officials will have to discuss the possibility of finding a permanent home for this high-profile event.

Should that happen, they will have to put on the table a proposal by late statesman Constantine Karamanlis who suggested holding the Games every four years near their ancient birthplace in Olympia.