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Web Editors' Choice 2012

By Bloomberg - 2012-12-24T16:25:34Z

Photograph by Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

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The Olympics' Squalid Venues

The Olympics, previously staged in the British capital in 1908 and 1948, returned to London for a third time in 2012. Unlike prior London Games, the XXX Olympiad was a huge global business venture that drew more than 10,000 participants from 200 countries. With them came the money, from the $44 million opening ceremony to the auctioning of Olympics memorabilia. Even sponsors had medal counts. In their story on London's Newham borough, where a housing shortage and welfare cuts collided with Olympic-sized aspirations and spending, Bloomberg's Simon Clark and Chris Spillane reported that Britain committed roughly $15 billion to building Olympic structures, a project made to look all the more spic-and-span by rooting out people living illegally in squalid conditions nearby. Using aerial thermal maps, organizers identified as many as 10,000 unlawful shelters -- outbuildings that formed the "sheds with beds" epidemic.