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Brits change tune on Olympics

July 31, 2012: 11:05 AM ET

Fifty percent of Brits say hosting the Olympics is worth the cost.

The British, famous for their grumbling, have apparently taken the advice of London's mayor and "put a sock in it."

Fifty percent of the British public now believes the Olympic Games are worth the $14 billion investment, according to a ComRes poll conducted for The Independent. Forty-two percent say the Olympics aren't worth the price tag. Eight percent don't know.

That's a sharp turnaround from March, when only 40% said the games would be worth the money.

The poll was conducted after Boris Johnson, the outspoken mayor of London, told his countrymen to quit grumbling.

"Cut out the whining. And as for you whingers, put a sock in it, fast," Johnson wrote in The Sun earlier this month. "We've got an advanced case of Olympo-funk."

Of course, the games themselves seem to have done more than Johnson's rant to change public opinion.

The poll was conducted between July 27 and 29. Just 43% questioned before the start of the lavish opening ceremony on Friday night thought the games were worth it. But that number jumped to 53% after the games were underway. By Sunday, 57% of respondents said the Olympics were worth the money.

On Tuesday, CNNMoney took a look at the financial challenges facing Olympic host cities. The general consensus among economists is that hosting the games rarely makes financial sense -- but they are always a great party.

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About This Author
Charles Riley
Charles Riley
Reporter, CNNMoney

Charles Riley lives and works in Hong Kong, where he covers markets, economics and other high-impact stories across Asia. He previously worked for CNNMoney in New York and CNN in Washington. He tweets @CRrileyCNN

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