The Olympic Game

November 2009. The City, London. UK. An executive receives an early call coming from Japan. It is good news. Business will be big for corporations in China, Middle East, the UK and Brazil. The Olympic Games have been awarded to Brazil. Two blocks down the road an international police team listens to the conversation. After eighteen months of hard work, it is time: let the Games begin.

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1. Prologue - The Phone Call

 

THE OLYMPIC GAME

 

Monday, 27th November, 2009 07:36AM - London The call came a little earlier than expected and although he had been expecting it with anticipation, still felt a buzz in his stomach. It was 15:36 in Tokyo and the decision had already been made. The public announcement would come in a couple of hours but there was no way back, despite all the formal voting and procedures, the decision had been made.

His contact spoke briefly but clearly: ‘It’s done, you can order those caipirinhas” and he hung up. It was done, after all this time, it was done. John couldn’t help a slight smile on his face as he looked through his window in the City, overseeing the building works in Stratford. The Games would take place there in just over two years and then, off to Sao Paulo, to the samba and carnivals, to beautiful women, and to money, lots of money.

John had barely slept last night, autumn was quickly fading away and a cold winter was looming, according to the BBC News report on the TV. The last minute efforts to convince his construction company in China, his energy and media giants in the US and his rich Middle East oil investors, that an extra $400m were needed for the Games to go to Brazil had been successful; after all it was only an extra $100m a head, and after all the investment they had already made into the project, the return certainly was worth it. And they all were certain the repercussions in the stock exchange would be bullish.

It was still Sunday, 26th November in Vegas when the call came in at 11:40pm local time. The four business partners were assembled in the private room of one the US$25,000-a-night suites from the hotel overseeing the city of sinning and gambling. A plethora of young women, all either B-list models or Hollywood stars wannabes were waiting in the suite’s living room ready to party. As he was put on speaker-phone John delivered the words he had been rehearsing for so long: “Gentlemen, Caipirinhas have been confirmed, the best rum from Sao Paulo; delivery in a couple of hours, get your party started”. The three men, whose combined company revenues the year before totalled $159billion, smiled at each other and toasted to a 1947 Grand Reserve Bordeaux; the fun was about to begin.

A the other end of the line, two buildings down the road back in London, in a small meeting room temporarily converted into a highly sophisticated spying hub, detective Mark Romsey also hang up and couldn’t help a smile either.

The combined forces of the MI5, CIA and Interpol had been following John very closely over the past eighteen months after a lead came out of nowhere. It had been an email impossible to track down, back in February 2008. An anonymous sender who called herself Olympia had contacted the personal assistant of the French Olympic Committee’s Chairman, with the words:

“Sao Paulo 2016 will happen – stop your bid now unless you want to continue wasting your money. You cannot build anymore, you don’t have energy needs anymore and you have no undiscovered oil reserves; it can be India but it’s too early, it will be Brazil. This is enough for now. Do not attempt to track this email, it will be useless. In the face of defeat, be brave and prepare for the next game. Good luck, yours sincerely, Olympia”.

Where Olympia was now was Mark wondering; he was thankful to her. She had been a very subtle but outstanding informer over the past eighteen months; very scarce but always decisive.

It was a matter of waiting for a few hours until the announcement would we made. All units across the globe were on stand by, they had been waiting this moment for too long; many sleepless nights, chasing orders, discussions, arguments; almost discovered a couple of times; the forced help of a couple of already-corrupted politicians along the way and the involuntary one of some other corrupted IOC members had paved the way to this day. The greatest event on Earth was about to suffer its biggest blow ever and for its own sake...

Meanwhile Olympia, known otherwise as Maria, had also been following the latest news from her apartment in Sao Paulo on her laptop. At 04:46AM she wouldn’t mind not sleeping for another day, for her mission had come to the end as she had envisaged.

***** *****  ***** *****

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