Another “specialist” hits the wrong notes in the NYT on 2008 Olympics

In this article, the usual crap estimates on the 2008 Beijing Olympics:
12 August 2013 – The Olympics’ Leadership Mess – NYT
Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, edited “China’s Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights.”
Published in IHT Hong Kong 14 August 2013 as “What the Olympics can be”
Says the article:
“The 12-year term of the current president, Jacques Rogge of Belgium, will be remembered in large part for the glaring contradiction between the I.O.C.’s explicit vision of its lofty role in the world (as outlined in the rules and guidelines of its charter) and the fact that Mr. Rogge has been responsible for two Olympics with extensive human rights violations: the 2008 summer games in Beijing and the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia, which start in less than six months.

The 2008 Beijing games, which cost an estimated $40 billion, led to a host of rights violations, including abuses of domestic migrant workers who were building Olympic infrastructure and a harsh clampdown on civil society and media, with punishment (including imprisonment) for those trying to protest.”
Minky Worden, as many others. has not done his research. Beijing never spent US$40 billion for the 2008 Olympics. I was instrumental in raising funds for the construction of the major venues and helped launch the tenders, as member of the Beijing Municipal team, I was also well placed to have insight into the cost and the challenges of preparing for the Olympics. My own estimate of the total real cost in under $10 billion. Many other misgivings exist, like allegations that over 1 million people were displaced because of the Olympics: utter nonsense, as I still often explain in my seminars looking back at 2008. Was it all perfect? Surely not. But much better than what I see coming in Russia. I insisted that Beijing would not close its biggest gay bar. It remained open during the Games.
Gilbert Van Kerckhove
(Former Delegate Investment Promotion, Development Planning Commission, Beijing Municipal Government, Office for the Beijing Olympics 2008 projects)

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