• Short Summary

    Innsbruck, in Austria, stands poised, ready to receive the influx for the 1976 Winter Olympics, to be held there from 2 February to 15 February next year.

  • Description

    Innsbruck, in Austria, stands poised, ready to receive the influx for the 1976 Winter Olympics, to be held there from 2 February to 15 February next year.

    Normally the staging of an Olympic Games means a colossal expenditure by the host country ... but this year will be different. The nickname for the 1976 Winter Olympics is "the simple Games".

    Innsbruck was chose to hold the Games at a time when Austria's economy was going full speed and when no-one thought there would be any rapid change in this situation. AT that time, there were some fears that the Games would constitute an additional inflationary danger.

    Meanwhile, the position changed and the boom was followed by a slump. therefore the Olympics have provided employment, particularly in the building industry.

    Innsbruck was determined to stage the Games at the lowest possible cost. Consequently the city's development was accelerated and when talking about the cost of the Olympics a figure cannot be given. Instead almost everything which has been built would have been built for the town eventually.

    For example, the Olympic headquarters building will be used as a school when the Games are over, the communications centre will become a new tram terminal, and the thirty five apartment blocks to accommodate the competitors and officials will be used for housing.

    The Olympic Village will become the centre of a district which will, in the future, house some 15,000 people.

    Innsbruck had already staged one Winter Olympics, in 1964. When it was decided to stage the 1976 Games in the city, it was decided that all events would take place on the same sites.

    Therefore some new building and repair work were necessary and this work constituted the only cost which can be attributed directly to the Games.

    A new ice-skating speed circuit was built, but the most expensive construction is the combined bobsleigh and toboggan ice run. Various ski runs were also renovated.

    It is difficult to assess the non-recoverable organisational costs, but it is thought that the actual cost of the Games was about thirteen million pounds sterling. Some of this will be recovered.

    Austria has now set a precedent which will, no doubt, be followed when other countries host the Games. They will now be able to use the Games to accelerate the growth of the chosen venue ... without the risk of the elaborate and expensive buildings becoming "white elephants".

    More than two thousand competitors and officials from about forty countries are expected to take part in the Innsbruck Games.

    SYNOPSIS: The Austrian Alps ... and nestled in among them is the town of Innsbruck which is to host the 1976 Winter Olympics. it's the second time the town has been asked to stage the Games; the first time was in 1964.

    Innsbruck is determined that these Games will be remembered as the "simple Games". It has also made use of the facilities ;used at the last Games.

    A new Olympic Village has been built .. but it will eventually be the centre of a district planned to house some fifteen thousand people. The Games have, in effect, meant only an acceleration of the growth of Innsbruck. Extensive precautions have been taken to prevent terrorist attacks like those at Munich.

    Innsbruck was chosen as the site when Austria's economy was buoyant. But a slump followed and the development has provided a valuable source of income ... particularly for the building trade. The actual expense which can be attributed directly to the Games, in items like organisation costs, will amount to about five hundred and twenty million Austrian Schillings or about thirteen million pounds sterling.

    Innsbruck itself has contributed about six hundred and seventy million Schillings, or about seventeen million pounds. But this would all have been spent eventually in developing the town.

    Innsbruck is renowned internationally for its interest in winter sport and everyone has worked hard to ensure these Games are successful. They've set an example which may be followed by other Olympic host countries in that they've done away with the idea that expensive and often useless buildings are necessary.

    Because of extensive forward planning, Innsbruck will now have several functional buildings after the Games. One of these will be a new tram terminal. This is to be used as a communications centre throughout the Olympics.

    The Innsbruck "sample Games" have awakened great interest and those who will be responsible for the coming Olympic Games are visiting the town to study the organisation on the site. More than two thousand athletes and officials from about forty countries are expected to attend the Games from the second to the fourteenth of February.

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