Olympics entrepreneurs

The Woolsack project (Do not meddle in the affairs of knitters) are still trying to reach all and each of the Olympic athletes to let them choose their hand-knitted cushion.

Team GB - Innsbruck - Woolsack Cushions - Winter Olympics

From the official site:

8,000 inspirational people will carry the Olympic Flame as it journeys across the UK. Nominated by someone they know, it will be their moment to shine, inspiring millions of people watching in their community, in the UK and worldwide.

We knew that the Olympic Torchbearers were another resource for LOCOG fundraising – all of the torches distributed will be sold, either to their bearer or by LOCOG.

From today’s Independent:

Overall, 7,200 torchbearer positions have been given to members of the public through various public-nomination schemes run by Locog and the three main Olympic sponsors, Samsung, Coca-Cola and Lloyds TSB. Although some of the 800 positions left over were given to stakeholders, such as the International Olympic Committee, the rest were left to be distributed internally among the three main sponsors and primary sponsors such as Adidas.

Among Coca-Cola’s torchbearers are Julia Zeen (the designer of Coca-Cola’s Olympic pin badges) and Ben Alun-Jones, who “developed concepts” for the interior of Coca-Cola’s Olympic Pavilion.

Coca-Cola pavillion at the Beijing Games

Adecco, Olympic Games sponsor and one of the government’s workfare partners, decoded that its CEO, Patrick De Maeseneire, was the most inspirational role-model to be Adecco’s torchbearer in Camden on 26th July. I’m sure the selection process at Adecco was absolutely fair.

LOCOG suggested to the sponsors that their internal candidates should be either “young people” or else have “stories inspiring to young people” – “personal bests”, people who had stories of “personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community”.

Another inspired choice: Lakshmi Mittal, born to a wealthy business family in India, became the 6th-wealthiest man in the world: net worth estimated at £13.4bn. He’ll be inspiring a generation in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on 26th July 2012. Although Lakshmi Mittal‘s autobiographical blurb on the Olympics website lists his hometown as “London”, he is in fact non-domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

Unlike the Woolsack knitters, Lakshmi Mittal’s gift (paid for his company, Olympics sponsor ArcelorMittal) will be available inside the Olympics Park:
The red Orbit tower - Olympics 2012

Can someone who lives in the UK but avoids paying taxes here really be said to have an inspiring story of contribution to the local community?

The estimated loss due to non-domiciling to the UK is around £4 billion per year.

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Filed under Olympics, Tax Avoidance

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