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Letter to the Editor: Poprad-Tatry came out a winner after all

Dear Editor,

I read your article in the issue of June 28 to July 4 [Vol. 5, NO. 25], on Poprad-Tatry's "loss" of the 2006 Olympics with great interest. I especially noted Mr. Dubovsky's remark that "It is not possible to lose money staging an Olympics".

I am a taxpayer of a city, Montreal, in the province of Quebec, Canada. When we "won" the 1976 summer games, in the memorable words of our former Mayor Drapeau, "The Olympic Games can no more lose money than a man can have a baby".

I have no statistics on male pregnancies in Quebec, but I do know the games lost a billion dollars! We are reminded of it when we pay the special Olympic municipal property tax, or the special provincial tax levied on every pack of cigarettes. These taxes service the principal and interest on loans incurred to cover those losses.

As to recent "profits," it was sponsors in the USA, paying for television advertising that permitted NBC to pay the huge sums it did for TV rights, which in turn enabled host cities to make a profit on the last few games. Some sponsors have already said that the corruption in the IOC is too much for them to continue. Others may follow.

Beware if you continue Poprad-Tatry, be glad if you "lost." The IOC itself may already have killed the "golden goose" and it may be a luckless Sydney, or Turin, that finds that out.

Gillian Hammonds
Montreal, Canada

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