The Olympic dilemma
November 25, 2017
Pyeongchang, South Korea, is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics this February. The Olympics have always been something I have always adored watching on television. From the extravagant opening ceremony, to watching all my favourite athletes compete on the world stage, the Olympics has it all. On the surface, we are only able to see the medals, the crowd cheering, and the breathtaking facilities built by all the host cities, but we really don’t stop to look at the effect of the Olympics on a country from an economic standpoint.
Many countries have started to pull out of their bid to host many upcoming Olympic events. Countries are just not willing to hand over billions of dollars to host this iconic competition if they aren’t profiting from it, because there are many costs that a country has to take on when hosting the Olympics, such as security costs as well as venues creation. Many of these venues are left abandoned after the games. In fact, much of the infrastructure of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are not being used even now.
Nevertheless, some cities see the hidden value behind hosting the Olympics and have stepped up to run the Games. For the 2022 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was all but forced to go back to Beijing, China, even though they already hosted the Summer Games in 2008. Due to the pool of potential hosts drying up, the IOC awarded two Summer Games at the same time, giving 2024 to Paris, France, and locking in Los Angeles, USA, for 2028, due to worries about them backing out later (as many cities have been doing). With the number of cities willing to host the games drastically decreasing, it leads us to question the future of the Olympic games and whether they will be able to continue in the future.