The Finish Line and the Bottom Line

Olympic bids are iffy bets, at best. Cities vying to host the 2014 Winter Games risk paying a steep price for the international spotlight

When it comes to hosting the Olympics, cities and countries think in billions. The price tag for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens: more than $14 billion. London's budget for the 2012 Summer Games is $18 billion—and climbing.

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