With the President of the United States (and enough congressmen to prevent a veto override) against putting up Federal money for the 2009 Winter Special Olympics in Idaho, the future looks anything but bright.
The event has been touted as a “profit center” for Idaho and that doesn’t sit well with the GUARDIAN. If memory serves us, promoters claim the cost of the games for people with special needs would cost about $28 million, but they forecast it would bring in $40 million to the local economy.
We seriously doubt those figures. Regardless of the numbers, the reason for anyone to host such an event should be because you have the ability to do it–in terms of finances, facilities, and dedication. We seriously doubt the Special Olympics dumps much cash into local economies. Hosting the games should be a humanitarian gesture–not a financial incentive to profit from handicapped athletes.
Places like Lake Placid, Salt Lake and other former Olympic Winter Games venues would make a lot more sense. They have existing facilities and experience dealing with events, crowds, and transportation.
The real proof will come if the games ultimately end up in another location. If local supporters continue their financial assistance–regardless of the venue– they will bring as much honor to our city and state as they would holding the games here.
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