The Olympics in Israel
An interview with the man spearheading an ambitious bid for the 2016 Summer Games.
Under a request made through the Israeli Freedom of Information Act, Jewlarious recently learned that the Israeli Olympic Committee is in the middle of launching a once top-secret bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. With the story now "broken," Jewlarious gained an exclusive interview with the Chairman of the bid committee, Shlomo Sachkan:
Jewlarious: Shlomo, mazal tov on your bid.
Shlomo: Thank you. We are quite excited.
Jewalrious: I hate to rain on your parade, but, do you think that Israel, with all of its sworn enemies, really stands a chance of securing the 2016 summer games?
Shlomo: Yes. In fact, we feel that this will be a tremendous advantage. We know that 214 nations have already stated that they will boycott the Olympics if we ever get them and, because of this, it brings financial certainty to our games.
Jewlarious: Financial certainty?
Shlomo: Of course, what is the budget for the 2012 games in London? $9.3 billion? The city's practically going bankrupt trying to raise money to build all those unnecessary new facilities.
Jewlarious: ... you wouldn't build any new facilities?
Shlomo: Of course not. Why? There are only three countries that would come to our games - Israel, the US and Micronesia. Most Israeli Olympians can stay at home. Micronesia only sent five athletes to the 2004 games, so even if they send double that by 2016, they can stay at my cousin Itzik's. He spends the summers in the Poconos. And, the Americans can stay at a Holiday Inn Express or something.
Jewlarious: But what about the sporting facilities?
Shlomo: What do you mean? We already have the facilities. Look at the amphitheatre in Caesarea. It's been around for 2000 years! Why build a new one now? Then, we have the Mediterranean for swimming, sailing and rowing events. We have no shortage of facilities for shooting events and Itzik promised to leave his ping pong table open and his volleyball net up for us, so that covers that.
Jewlarious: So, Uncle Itzik's will be an Olympic Venue.
Sholomo: He's my cousin, not my uncle. And thanks God -- Itzik has done well. He's in the diamond business. He has three bathrooms!
Thanks God -- Itzik has done well. He's in the diamond business. He has three bathrooms!
Jewlarious: So, do you have a budget for the games?
Shlomo: One hundred and thirty seven thousand shekels and eighty-six agurot - agurot are like cents.
Jewlarious: I know.
Shlomo: We are predicting that we will have a surplus of six thousand seven-hundred and nine shekels and thirty one agurot as long as the athletes don't use up all of their Egged passes and phone cards.
Shlomo: Egged or Dan, whichever busline they want. They are our corporate sponsors. We traded sponsorships for the bus passes.
Jewlarious: You are accepting sponsorship payments in kind?
Shlomo: Yeah, I have a van full of hummus out back - literally a van full. They just poured it all into the back of the truck.
Jewlarious: Ok, well, with only three teams competing...
Shlomo: I know where you are going with this one. Yes, with only three competitors, there will still be gold, silver and bronze. Micronesia is ecstatic that they're already guaranteed five medals. We can snag enough silver to fill every cavity in Israel. Meanwhile, the US is poised to sweep with hundreds of golds. Except for basketball. We should have that locked up.
Jewlarious: But isn't that a bit of a hollow victory?
Shlomo: Not for Micronesia. They are pumped. And hey, they deserve it. After all of those years of their support at the UN, it's nice to give something back.
Jewlarious: Why is 2016 the right time to host the games?
Shlomo: We just thought it was a good idea to bid for the summer and winter Olympics close together. We would have so much in place for one - why not host the other?
Jewlarious: The winter Olympics?
Shlomo: Sure. Itzik has a chalet in the Hermon. There will be lots of room.