Sorry for punting tonight, but many moons ago I started to write up a piece about the Olympics as the ultimate modern White Elephant. You know, cities and countries fight tooth and nail to win the right to host these events and it almost inevitably leaves them deep in red ink. I find it very hard to believe, for example, that Russia turned a profit on the reported $51 billion they spent on Sochi.
Wherever the Olympics go, they leave behind massive debt and modern ruins. The elaborate "Bird's Nest" stadium from Beijing 2008 is now without a tenant; a handful of tourists per day pay a pittance to ride a Segway around inside it. The folks over at Sociological Images (which you should read regularly, by the way) have a good write up with links and photo galleries of what becomes of the often elaborate facilities cities build at great expense for the Olympics after the games end.
Not surprisingly, it usually involves crumbling concrete and graffiti. Remember when Fox News tried to make it sound like the U.S. was going to collapse because Obama didn't convince the IOC to host the 2016 Summer Games in Chicago? Sounds like the city dodged a bullet.