What are the Olympics?
The Olympic Games are an international sporting festival, that is held every four years. The ultimate goals of the games are to cultivate human beings through sports and contribute to world peace. There are 2 types of Olympics games The Summer Games and The Winter Games they both are held separately.
The United States has hosted a total of 8 Olympic games followed by France with 5 editions of the game.
While London has hosted the most Olympic games it has hosted 3 games doing so in 1908, 1948 and 2012
In 2016 RIO Olympics 11,000 athletes took part from 207 countries. 2,900 athletes from 92 countries participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea.
Could we be watching the end of the Olympics?
Hosting an Olympics games is expensive, every game in the last 20 years has gone over budget. The Sochi Winter Olympics went over its 10 Billion$ budget by and additional 41 billion$.
Professor Andrew Zimbalist says "These days the cities require about 35 different athletic venues, they require an Olympic Village that could cost 2 to 3 billion dollars depending on the circumstance. They require a media and television production facility with could bring in media and TV rights and it usually goes for half a billion to a billion dollars. They require ceremonial space and green space. Transportation of players is also important and special lanes have to be made for the IOC executives, and Players transportation amongst all of the venues."
Cities used to make a profit due to the Olympics as they bring in huge Audience and TV rights and Advertising. But recently the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has been taking a larger percentage it took around 4% in the 90’s compare to 70% it collected from 2016 Rio Olympics.
After each year fewer cities bid to host the games, after all, it takes a decade to plan the infrastructure to host the games and millions are spent on the campaign. 12 cities bid for Olympics in 2004 5 for 2020 and only 2 countries tried for 2022 winter Olympics. Meanwhile, Boston pulled out it’s bidding for 2024 Olympics after citizens of the city hit streets protesting against it.
So is it the end?
No, despite all the criticism In 2014 Thomas Bach the president of IOC suggested a list of 40 actions the IOC could take to shape the future of the Olympic games. One of them is to Evaluate the bidding cities by assessing key factors like opportunities and risks, Reducing the cost of bidding for the cities and making it important to bring sustainability in all forms of the games. It sounds great in theory but only time will tell if the actions take root.
A different idea to keep the Olympics alive is getting rid of the bidding system and picking up a permanent city to host the games. A city that has built-in facilities, infrastructure, and venues to host the games the same can be done for the Winter Games as the climate changes, fewer cities can reliably keep snow to host the Olympics.
The IOC isn’t the fan of the idea but as bidding for games decline so do their options.
Despite its flaws, the Olympics Games are still loved and pleased by people. IOC polled candidate host cities for 2020 games and 70% of Tokyo 76% or Madrid and 83% of Istanbul were in support. So maybe the Olympics aren’t dying but it’s up to IOC to keep the games alive both on and off the field
This article has been written by Siddhesh Patil for The Paradigm
See you next time...