The Olympic Games have a huge impact on all spheres of the national economy of the country hosting the event and being the venue for these games. At the same time, there is an excellent promotion of a healthy lifestyle and, of course, the Olympic Games have a powerful influence on the development of sports. Hosting the Olympics comes with many perks for such as prestige, the creation of new facilities and countless amounts of benefits.
With so many things the Olympics has to offer, there can be numerous reasons why countries compete to be elected as the hosting country for the Olympics. The most common reason countries want to host the Olympic is because of its potential ability to improve the country’s economy. However, as beneficial hosting the Olympics may seem to be, a profitable outcome is not guaranteed. Hosting the Olympics can also be viewed as a massive gamble. Usually, billions of dollars are invested into this event, and if something were to go wrong where the country cannot reach the breakeven point, it would put the country into an economic collapse and in debt where it may take decades to pay off. This paper will look at pros and cons of hosting the Olympic Games and argue that a permanent venue for Olympic Games is needed.
Con ArgumentsThinking beyond the magic of Olympic Games, one questions what it takes to make all this happen. To put the general cost into perspective, the television rights alone for the Sydney 2000 summer games rang up to a total of roughly $1.12 billion (Malfas, Theodoraki, Houlihan, 2004). The overall cost is about $3.8 billion (Weber-Newth, Schlüter, Helbrecht, 2017). And as time goes by, the price placed on the games keeps growing and growing in great, big, giant leaps. In 1996, the Atlanta, GA summer games ended up to be around $1.8 billion.
However, the 2004 Athens, Greece games rose to an astonishing $15 billion. Even more insane, the 2008 Beijing games, just 4 years later, rang up to $40 billion dollars (Weber-Newth, Schlüter, Helbrecht, 2017). The winter Olympics has been known to raid the piggy bank a little less as opposed to the summer Olympics. But, with the new dollar signs showing up at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it’s safe to say that this statement can be turned into an old wives tale.
The digits showing for the 2014 winter Sochi Olympics are a large $51 billion dollars (Müller, 2014). The Earth is populated by about 7 billion people. That is $7.
29 billion dollars for every 1 billion people. The numbers in future years will be even more astronomical than these presented. With countries spending money like this for the Olympics, another question arises.
Is spending this much money worth it?The after-effects of the Olympics vary with each city. Some prosper well while others spiral downwards. An example of a great economic and infrastructural failure is actually none other than Athens, Greece itself, the motherland of the games. After what was called the best ever ending ceremony of the Olympics, Athens had become a ghost town. “…As many as 21 out of the 22 venues lie abandoned.
The open-air swimming pool is empty and stained, while squatters camp outside the graffiti-festooned Faliron complex, which hosted events such as taekwondo and beach volleyball” (“After the Party”). The debt amounted to an estimated $68,880 per Greek household. One can only imagine taxes after this downfall.
The Greeks live it every day. A reoccurring statement spreading throughout the research of the Olympic cost is the fact that people didn’t have an after plan. They focused too much on the grand event and how amazing it was going to be. Moreover, in today’s world not only should the country fear an economic collapse, but terrorism as well. The Olympics is a prime target because of a huge number of people in one place. An instant, for example, is the 1972 Olympic in Munich where eleven Israeli athletes were taken hostage by a Palestine group known as the Black September.
As a result, all hostages were killed and five of the eight terrorist surviving (Klein, 2005). Pro ArgumentsNevertheless, the positive effects of the Olympic Games should not be underestimated. Though the Olympics may not be able to stop poverty, it is able to promote peace. The Olympics is an opportunity for countries all over the world to unite and interact with each other in a healthy competition.
The Olympic Truce enables countries at war to become peaceful, even if it is for a short period of time. This tradition that has been established since the beginning of Olympics had allowed North and South Koreans to consolidate into one delegation and march together under the same flag at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics 2000 (Sullivan, 2000). Moreover, with the entire world participating in the Olympics, the hosting country can market the Olympics to over seven billion people.
The unique experience of watching the top athletes from each country compete against each other and extreme patriotism to support their nation’s athletes makes the Olympics a very attractive event making it easily marketable. Countries utilize both the vast market and the attractiveness to increase ticket sales, sales in merchandise and tourism in their country. For the 2012 Olympic in London, it was estimated that 471,000 people visited from overseas primarily for the Olympic/Paralympics (Raco, 2012). Not only does the country benefit from the ticket sales, but other businesses in the city will flourish in business due to all the international trades that are occurring. The Olympic also provide jobs since the preparation, and the execution of the event requires a large staff as well as people with different skills. Thanks to the Olympics, the United Kingdom saw a boost of £9.
9 Billion in trades and investments (Raco, 2012). Furthermore, studies showed that the physical activities and sports being played in the city of Sochi had more than doubled by 2011. Women and people with a disability also have been showing more interest in physical activities. Only about six percent of Sochi residents do not participate in any sport or physical activity. The acceptance of someone with a disability doing a sport also rose in 2011 in Sochi (Kresova & Prutz, 2014).
People have sown to lead a healthier lifestyle when exposed to Olympic fever. This influence is, of course, a great thing to come from the Olympics.My StandpointHowever, with billions upon billions of dollars being each host country spends on building all new Olympic venues, one must think whether it is really the best solution and if it is sustainable long-term. The godfather of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, who proposed to hold Olympics every time in a new place, assumed that such a tradition would contribute to strengthening peace and understanding among nations.
That the Games would become a gateway to unknown and fascinating cultures and people. However, this idea of getting acquainted with new cultures only through Olympics faded in the age of the Internet. However, the financial problems associated with the organization of the Games such as corruption, cost overruns, costly advertising campaigns greatly overshadow the honor of hosting the Olympic event. Nevertheless, the cities still line up, competing for a dubious honor to throw out their money, only so that they can, later on, regret it.
The aforementioned Games in Greece serve as a good illustration to the point. A very small number of host cities of the Olympic Games managed to get off relatively cheap. According to the Olympic Committee in Sydney, the Games of 2000, which have a reputation for success, have indeed become break-even. However, according to the audit, the long-term financial investments of the Australian state amounted to 2 billion dollars.
The 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles made a profit – but only because the organizers used existing sports facilities, and the preparatory work was carried out by volunteers (Pettigrew & Reiche, 2016).In addition, the switch of the Olympic venues carries significant political consequences. Due to the boycotts, thousands of athletes could not participate in Olympics in Montreal, Moscow, and Los Angeles, and it is impossible to forget the beating of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. The Olympic Games deserve better; and there is only one way to revive their glorious past, to give them a permanent home. In my opinion, the best solution would that will allow us to end the Olympic squandering of funds, promote stability and enable us to focus on the competition itself, is to establish a permanent base, both for summer and winter Olympics in a traditionally neutral Switzerland.
The geographical location, climate, traditions, and transport conditions of this country allow it to host both winter and summer Games. Moreover, the Swiss would be able to gradually reduce, and then compensate the cost of building and maintaining Olympic sports facilities due to their repeated use, as well as through income from tourism.The Olympic Games can have some benefits for the host country. They are a source of pride and can provide inspirational stories of athletes who achieve their dreams of competing for gold at the games. However, in my mind, I am still struggling to justify holding a seventeen-day party that will cost billions of dollars, while the funding for things like health care and education is being cut.
Nonetheless, one cannot deny the magic of the games and the heroes they leave behind.