When London made its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, within its long list of promises was one to pay the airfares of all athletes, officials and assorted hangers on. At the time, the cost of this largess was estimated to be around £20M.
However, time moves on, as we all know we are now in a recession and the Olympics "budget" at the time of the bid was based on fantasy anyway.
The London Olympics organisers are now proposing to cap the airfares promise, and base payments on distance travelled (rather than actual cost incurred).
Needless to say national Olympic committees around the world, who had expected a freebie are now complaining loudly that they might have to stump up some of the cost for attending the games. For good measure, they are also complaining that they are having to pay for furniture and equipment for their temporary offices during the games.
Here are two thoughts on the matter:
1 Why the hell should we pay for others to fly here?
2 Attending the games, as far as I am aware, is not compulsory. Those countries that don't want to spend the money don't have to attend.
Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics