Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Olympic winners and losers

The Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park Credit: ITV News

Olympic Winner and Losers: Tonight, ITV1, 7.30pm

With days to go before the Olympic stadium finally opens its gates and 17,000 athletes from 205 countries begin to compete in the 30th Olympiad, Fiona Foster meets winners and losers of the opportunities brought by hosting the Olympic Games.

One surprise winner of the £11bn Games is a community that seized the moment when the London was announced as the host of the 2012 Gamesback in 2005.

Since then they have invested tens of million pounds in sporting infrastructure and as a result have seen tourism go up and are hosting over 50 teams from all over the world, in the region.

Business is booming but there is a twist because we’re not talking about an enterprising council in the UK, but a forward thinking municipality in France!

But whilst tourism has gone up in Calais, back home British hotels and restaurants are struggling to reap the benefits promised by the Games.

Tourism might seem like an obvious economic winner of the Games but this particular Olympic boom has failed to materialise for some of the UK tourism industry.

Lots of Olympic athletes have chosen Calais as a training base Credit: ITV

But other businesses have done well out of the Games.

Family businesses, like Arnold Lever Timber in Sheffield, have been given a lifeline thanks to an Olympic contract, which has allowed them to stay afloat and keep local people employed.

But winning an Olympic contract is not easy and for the plucky entrepreneur making some cash out of the Olympics is virtually impossible without the say so of the International Olympic Committee.

Mask-arade, an innovative company making masks of famous people for parties and celebrations, have had to be creative to get round the strict Olympic copyright rules.

They have made masks of all the favourite sports stars but instead of calling them Olympic masks they have to called them athlete masks.

Ray Duffy, one of the company directors admits to feeling like LOCOG have a ‘stranglehold’ over British business.

Mask-arade is a company that has made masks of popular sports stars Credit: ITV

When London won the Olympic Games it was in part thanks to a promise that London 2012’s legacy would be one of increased participation in grassroots sports.

It would be an Olympics for the ordinary person, not just the elite athlete.

We visit a vibrant boxing club in Sharrow Green, Sheffield and meet the aspiring boxers of the next Olympic Games, as they train in a club funded by Olympic money.

However Sports England’s original target of a million extra people participating in sport won’t be reached in time for the Games.

So it remains to be seen if sports participation will be a winner of London 2012.

Finally we meet Brian Whelan whose block of flats was chosen to host a surface to air missile rocket launcher during the games.

When he spoke out about it he was served notice by his landlord for having filmed in his flat, an accusation she denies.

We catch up with Brian as he moves home and follow the progress of a legal challenge to the MOD’s right to use residential flats for missile defence systems.

Front cover of MoD leaflet sent to residents of a block of flats in east London Credit: MoD

But perhaps the biggest security losers of the Games could the taxpayer.

We investigate the money being paid to private security firm G4S for managing Olympic security.

The charge is that when the number of security guards increased from 10,000 to 24,000 the bill we pay for G4S’s management costs went up nine-fold.

G4S say that they were offered better terms when the deal was renegotiated in 2011.

Fiona Foster challenges Paul Deighton of LOCOG and asks if the increases are justified.

G4S security guards at the Olympic Park Credit: ITV

We also ask whether the taxpayer will get a refund if as expected G4S fail to supply all the security guards they promised and the military have to step in.