BRLSI’S Olympics Series begins with a financial view

11th February 2012: With the London Olympics being held in July and August, the Institution has arranged a series of talks in collaboration with the Fashion Museum of Bath, and with support from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Andrew Hibbert introduced his wife Jan Paterson, who is playing a major role as CEO of the British Olympic Foundation.  She is Canadian and an ice-skater at National level.  So we had two speakers.
We began with a showing of the film about London that led to the City being given the 2012 games.  There was emphasis on the multi-cultural society now, whilst stressing that London had four World Heritage sites.
An important aspect of the financing of the games was the strictness of guidelines laid down by the International Olympic Movement.  These had arisen from the over-spending at the Montreal Games in the 1970s and the resulting debts left with the City.

Above: Andrew Hibbert and Jan Paterson
The cost and subsequent usefulness of the different venues was central to the financial planning and the rule now for any City hosting the games was ‘no white elephants after the games’.  So there is much public discussion on this.
Both Andrew Hibbert and Jan Paterson stressed the importance in planning the games on the value of the intangible gains which would follow.  Already there was a renewed interest and activity in promoting sport in schools.
Rodney Tye
BRLSI Economics Convenor