Brittle Days

Staccato signals of constant information

On the 2012 Olympics.

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The kerfuffle over ticket allocation and shortage has given rise to a question: why are there so few Olympic track cycling events? Track cycling requires a dedicated venue, much like the aquatic events. So let’s compare the two.


5 track events (Sprint, Keirin, Team Sprint, Team Pursuit, Omnium) for both men and woman; 10 gold medals to be won.

Construction of the velodrome: £93M. (£63M over-budget but delivered) [Mail]

Cost of hosting each track cycling gold medal: £9.3M


33 swimming events; 2 synchronised swimming; 8 diving. 43 gold medals to be won.

One Olympic aquatics centre costs £262M (£190M over-budget and incomplete) [Telegraph]

Cost of hosting each gold medal: £6M

So even though the aquatics centre is 3 times over-budget, each cycling event costs a third more to host. Not only that, but the track cycling is running only for 7 days, whereas there are events in the aquatics centre for 15.

So there’s plenty of capacity for more cycling events that would not only increase the fixed asset turnover ratio of the velodrome, but also allow thousands more cycling fans to see the events live.

That all said, I’m fortunate. In the insane Olympic ticket lottery, I got all the tickets I asked for.


I was giving some serious thought toward pitching for some of the track cycling events, but came to the conclusion that I’d rather spend my time and money on actually riding my bike than to:

  • give any money or attention at all to the IoC, LOCOG, Seb Coe or any of the various corrupt, venal, evil entities that are involved in the modern Olympic games and the corruption of the sporting ideals espoused;
  • sit in a velodrome full of “Come on Tim!”s who are only there because there’s a sniff of a British gold medal and who wouldn’t know the business end of a track bike if it did a fixie-skid all over them;
  • leave my bike in the oh-so-secure Victoria Park, rather than ride it to the Olympic village, where it would represent a “security issue”.

Written by tomsulston

06/06/2011 at 14:52

Posted in cycling

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