Games Monitor

Skip to main content.

Articles by date

List of all articles in date order.

Sportswear: a sweatshop industry

"Postmodernity means if anything coercion" (Cooke, 1988). The counterpoint of the disciplinary subject, honing a body without limits at corporate behest, the 'celebration of excellence', is sweated labour on the fringes of Europe and in the Far East. Oxfam, fair trade and trade union campaigners have highlighted factory exploitation and health hazard in the internationalised manufacture of sports clothing, footwear and other goods in their Fair Olympics report Play Fair at the Olympics, Respect Workers' Rights in the Sportswear Industry, 2004. The report was drawn up for a campaign around the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.


New Delhi bids for the 2014 Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Evaluation Committee for the 2014 Asian Games on Saturday expressed "satisfaction" with Delhi's bid.

| |

Relocation double standards

Readers will be glad to know that Great Creasted Newts are being granted a six month consultation period and, presumably, a carefully supervised relocation. Residents at Clays Lane don't even have the protection of a relocation strategy.


Plundering other Lottery funded projects

Negotiations are taking place between the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to establish a new public-sector funding package for the games. The budget for building the venues and infrastructure is £2.375bn, plus £1.044bn for regeneration. The government has already admitted that the £220m security budget will rise and is considering whether to include up to £2bn worth of regeneration work in the Lower Lea Valley - in the area of the games - in the overall budget. The games may also face a £250m VAT bill on construction work.


'Opportunity Costs' of Olympics

Estimating the Cost and Benefit of Hosting Olympic Games: What Can Beijing Expect from Its 2008 Games?

From: The Industrial Geographer, Fall 2005, Jeffrey G Owen,


Cities who host the Olympic Games must commit to significant investments in sports venues and other infrastructure. It is commonly assumed that the scale of such an event and the scale of the preparation for it will create large and lasting economic benefits to the host city.


LOCOG want more from lucrative new IOC TV rights

The £1 billion VAT “black hole” in the planning for the London 2012 Olympics might yet be overcome by extra cash from a record-breaking $3.8 billion deal that the International Olympic Committee has signed with international television broadcasters.


Impartial planning ODA style

The ODA advertises its planning functions on the website below. It describes its role as follows:

The Olympic Delivery Authority Planning Decisions Team

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the planning authority for the Olympic Park area in east London. This section of the website sets out what this means, answers some key questions, and tells you how to find out more.


IOC policy on journalists freedoms in Beijing 2008

The Committee to Protect Journalists board member Jane Kramer, European correspondent for The New Yorker, and CPJ Senior Research Associate Kristin Jones, meeting today with IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli and Communications Director Giselle Davies at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, called attention to increasing restrictions on the press in China and urged the IOC to raise concerns during the run-up to the Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008.with the Chinese government.

| |

Regeneration costs rise

Public support for the 2012 Olympics is in danger of draining away because costs are likely to reach an astonishing £8 billion, according to a devastating report by members of the London Assembly.


Lemley's poisonous dispute

DELAYS in cleaning up the heavily contaminated land on which the London Olympic Park will be built led to the resignation of the 2012 Games construction chief, The Times has learnt.

Mr Lemley, 71, insisted that his health was not connected to his resignation but he was “very, very concerned” about the extent of toxic material and hazardous waste on the 757-acre site, much of which was industrial land. The clean-up operation could also unearth unexploded bombs dropped during the Blitz. The American engineer was increasingly frustrated that the process of cleaning the land — known as remediation — had not begun, although contractors had been appointed to carry out the task in June.


The 'success' of Barcelona

Barcelona Housing Demo October 2006Barcelona Housing Demo October 2006

From: The role of Mega events in urban competitiveness and its consequences on people, Carolina del Olmo, Universidad Complutense, Sept 2004

We are tired of hearing about the “Olympic legacy” and the official discourse is repeated again and again that when the mega-event concludes, the installations will remain in the city.

| | |

Sport rules OK

…the way of life for migratory birds gets tougher with each passing year. Now I hear, to my horror, that the football World Cup of 2010 is going to play havoc with our swallows. True, the World Cup will be held in South Africa, but that’s just commuting distance for a swallow.


£400m Olympic Village subsidy

LONDON’S Olympic planners face a new bill of up to £400m over the construction of the athletes’ village.

The Olympic village, the biggest construction contract for the Games, was originally to be built by a private company at a cost of £1 billion and then converted into 5,000 homes that would be sold after the event. The cost of the village is not included in the budget of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which is overseeing all construction work.

| |

Tessa Jowell defends rising costs

The cost of the 2012 Olympic Games rose again as Tessa Jowell admitted yesterday that the budget for the Olympic Park had jumped by 40 per cent.

The Culture Secretary also disclosed that the Government was paying £400 million to a consortium to manage the project and ensure that the Games came in on budget and on time. The new core budget for the construction of the Olympic Park in East London had risen £900 million from £2.375 billion to £3.3 billion, Ms Jowell told MPs.


Ken Livingstone contradicts Tessa Jowell

Ken Livingstone has denied the 2012 Olympics finances are in chaos - as he contradicted what Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told MPs on Tuesday. "Nothing is a mess, everything is going exactly according to plan," he said.


Destroying local biodiversity

The Thames estuary is one of the UK's most important wildlife habitats, with 200,000 birds visiting every year, four EU-designated special protected areas and 40 sites of special scientific interest.

| |

Rising Olympic Costs

The emerging debacle of the escalating costs of the Games are providing the most disingenuous twists of logic and language. Ken Livingstone now states that the rising costs are not associated with the Games but with the ‘Legacy’, as if it were a leech that had insinuated itself into the proceedings. ‘Legacy’, we were told when the bid was successful, was one of the reasons which helped win. ‘Legacy’ was all about regeneration of an area typified as a black hole, despite it housing over 250 businesses, housing low-wage families and individuals and having a significant urban wildlife associated with the waterways and derelict land.

| | | | |

Olympic Legacy or 'Emperors New Clothes' ?

David Mackay, architect for Barcelona's Olympic Village and Port and co-author of the pre-Olympic masterplan for the Lower Lea Valley doubts the lasting benefits of London's Olympic development.

South of the Hackney Marsh in the Lea Valley Regional Park, today are the local recreation grounds, Lea Valley Sports Centre and Cycle circuit, Sports grounds and other open spaces. Until now Regional Parks were protected by law from encroaching constructions.


ODA applies for planning permission from itself

Here is a recent example of the Olympic Development Authority going through the charade of applying for planning permission from themselves.

Below are extracts from the first two pages of their report which accompany their application.

| |

Stratford Station expansion plan approved

Plans to upgrade Stratford regional station for the 2012 London Olympics have been approved.

The work forms part of a package of three planning applications, the first to go before the Olympic Delivery Authority Planning Committee since it was handed powers in September this year.

| |

'London Councils' Chairman objects to costs rise

‘London Councils’ has been firmly behind the bid for the games and is working with the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Game's organising committee to ensure that they leave a positive legacy benefiting every Londoner.


The Five Ring Circus of greedy fools

After the grisly experience of the Millennium Dome, you might have thought that this government would have been once burnt, twice shy of the construction and mass entertainment business.

After the money-guzzling, credibility-munching monster that was the dome, Tony Blair half-apologised for that fiasco and sighed that there would be 'lessons to be learnt' about the running of large infrastructure projects. Well, if remedial classes in event management and construction ever happened, no one involved with the Olympics seems to have attended them. The disaster that was the dome is now being replicated on an even more gargantuan scale on the other side of the Thames.


Stadium costs underestimated

The true cost of the showpiece venue for the 2012 Olympics was seriously underestimated by organisers of London's bid when they were campaigning to win the right to host the event, The Observer can reveal.


Rich Pickings

The London Organising Committee (Locog) and the ODA — the two bodies handing out work for the Olympics — will, over the coming six years, find themselves at the centre of one of the biggest contract scrambles in British history. And the event will offer rich pickings for companies big and small.


Workers oppose East London Line privatisation

About 24 Tube workers have lobbied the London Labour Party Conference against plans to hand operations for the East London Line to a private company. The workers were from the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA). RMT and TSSA union leaders Bob Crow and Gerry Doherty urged delegates to oppose Transport for London's (TfL) plans.