Olympic Rings on Fire

The Torch That Burns The Bearer

Group 41

Pierre de Courbetin, the father of modern Olympics postulated a concept known as Olympism,

“a philosophy of life, … blending sport with culture and education, seeking to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”.

He believed every country should celebrate hosting Olympics in turns, thus resulting in the first Olympic games outside of Greece, Paris Olympics 1900. However, with today’s rising cost and sustainability concerns, Olympism should be viewed in a new perspective. Sports are no longer a cheap and simple affair. The nasty bidding wars, huge debts and countless abandoned infrastructure after 28 Olympics hosted in 23 countries, the question to ask is, is it worth the effort?

The curse of the Olympic flame

One of the major aspects of a rotating Olympic host is the requirement for the host country to build or upgrade sports facilities. This is a large undertaking for many countries and requires substantial investments from the country’s government. The host government is also required to procure land to build stadiums, gymnasiums and other sporting infrastructure, which are in many cases become abandoned after the closing ceremony.

Before and AfterIn many countries, such land is very difficult to find near populated areas, and there have been reports suggesting government authorised displacement of people from their homes to free land for building Olympic infrastructure. Staging of the last 20 Olympic games has displaced an estimated total of 20 million people. This is the moral myopia issue countries face as they focus on boosting infrastructure, their citizen’s well-being is negatively affected.

There are also reports that suggest extremely poor conditions for construction workers responsible for building the Olympic infrastructure. These reports indicate that multiple workers have been killed due to non-existent or lacking safety regulations. Looking from the utilitarianism ethics point of view again, the deaths of these workers is an issue, as not only are the workers being killed, the families of these workers also suffer due to the lack of safety regulations, and therefore negatively affects the well-being of many people. From a duty ethics (Kantian Ethics) perspective, the onus should be on the country’s government to ensure the safety of the many workers responsible for the construction of the infrastructure that will bring publicity and exposure to the country.

“Should we go back to the ways of the Ancient Greek?”

In the ancient world for around 12 centuries, Olympics were always held in Olympia, Greece. Similarly, should modern day Olympics be held in one specifically designed city, “an Olympic City” held in a neutral soil? Greece for instance, could ease its debts by selling one of its sparsely populated islands to International Olympics Committee which then could be turned into an Olympic City, developed sustainably with investments from both participating
countries and private sector. This can have a positive impact on the economic and sustainable development of Greece, thus being justified from the consequentialism point of view.

Additionally, every Olympic host since 1992 has experienced cost overrun. The 2016 Games in Rio for example, were projected to run at $4.6 billion but the actual figure has risen to as high as potentially $20 billion. There is an ethical question if these investments could be used in a better way by investing in new schools, universities and construction of public infrastructure.

Also, by creating a developed sports infrastructure in one place and focusing investment on one city, it is possible to show the world the state of the art technology with focus on sustainability and efficiency (offering a model of sustainable urbanism to a wider world) with justified costs as it is going to be heavily reused.

It’s simply not going to work

The very fact that a modern Olympia was never established exhibits the benefits of the current status quo. The Olympics, with proper planning, acts as a catalyst for the host country to build or improve infrastructure and invest in new technology. Construction of sports complexes in less inhabited places forces creation of better transportation infrastructure across the country and can potentially improve life for the citizens of the country.

“Before the Rio Olympics the public transport system was able to cover only 38% of the population. There was a significant increase to 66% with the construction of new infrastructure in the course of preparation for the Olympic games”.

While a lot of investment is required for the construction of sporting sites and Olympic village, careful and thoughtful management of resources would allow efficient usage of these facilities after the Olympic games and as a by-product contribute to the well-being of the surrounding community in line with eudaimonism. After 2012 summer games London Olympic village was converted into 2800 apartments with 5 neighborhoods created, ⅓ of which was affordable housing. Barcelona on the other hand still benefits from infrastructure such as a port, beachfront and transportation that were improved back in 1992 for the games.

Another direct advantage of rotational Olympics is sharing of state of art technologies. Host countries often use Olympics as a platform to boost and encourage engineering technologies. For example, in 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics electronic timing devices and public-address system were introduced to the world. South Korea today boasts of their 5G mobile network and its connectivity by offering live VR experience to visitors in Pyeongchang, Winter Olympics meanwhile Japan plans to roll out instant language translation devices for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In a nutshell, we believe the IOC should adopt changes in determining Olympic hosts. We believe the best course of action would be to pick hosts amongst proven hosts, with a good reputation of hosting global sporting events, some infrastructure in place and strong economic power to avoid problems due to cost overruns.

Please feel free to comment below to let us know your thoughts on this subject.

39 thoughts on “The Torch That Burns The Bearer

  1. I think youre forgetting how good these events can be for local people. One of the great unifying things in the world is sport, as everyone can enjoy it, either as a spectator or by playing it themselves. If you keep events like the Olympics in richer countries that can more easily afford it, youre stopping millions of people from enjoying something that realistically will only be available once in their lifetime. The social value of sport and the Olympics is more important than you realise = )

    1. Hello Professional Responsible Engineer. Thank you for your thought which is definitely in line with Pierre de Courbetin’s vision when he first postulated the idea of Olympism; blending sports with culture and creating an universal platform for joy based on effort.

      As much as we acknowledge, that citizens from developing countries should also have the chance to experience this global sports at least once in their lifetime, we believe the cost to achieve this is too high. The world’s climate issue is at red alert, and with this at stake, we should be prioritising sustainable developments. By having an Olympic City, we could massively cut down carbon emission from the various new developments taking place every four years in a new country. From an utilitarianism point of view, we believe is it better to take measures to reduce global warming which affects everyone, rather than having it for the joy of a few million in the host country.

  2. Interesting article which addresses currently really important problems.

    From my point of view, I am for Olympics which are held in different city every year. I believe there are a number of positives and economical benefits that outweigth the negatives.

    First of all, it is a chance for country or city to let the world know about them. Olympics is one of the biggest televised events and is a perfect chance to show your culture, people and attract tourists.

    It also provides economical growth (as mentioned in the article) and possibly brings new investments to the country. Many countries and cities were able to profit from holding the Olimpics. For example, 1988 Seoul Summer Olimpics were able to generate $300 million profit to the host city which is a huge amount considering it mainly comes from ticket sales. This is not including the new jobs created during and after the Olimpics.

    Finally, Olympics is the biggest sporting event and stadiums, arenas and other venues that remain after the event is finished are used for promoting sport activities and developing future athletes. For example, 2012 London Olympics increased the sales of bicycles by 15% and after the event a boost in interest in sports was seen.

    The losses that some host cities experience could be mitigated by taking a look at some good examples such as London Olympics where a number of venues were built with an idea of disassembling or converting them to public spaces after the event is over. This massively reduced the costs required for maintaining empty or unused spaces.

    Therefore, rotational cities is still proabaly a way to go as many countries see hosting of the Olympics as an honour and economical benefit but careful planning and control has to be implemented to reduce possibly harsh outcomes.

  3. “Looking from the utilitarianism ethics point of view again, the deaths of these workers is an issue” – presumably because we want the maximum amount of people to experience the greatest amount of happiness. Where others are avoidably harmed then we’ve failed morally.

    If we return to the ways of the Ancient Greeks, then I can think of one country (Greece) that can benefit but many who will not see a benefit. Is there a reason why we can’t have multiple countries hosting a range of different events. Track and field in one country, swimming in another. From a TV point of view this means that there is always a live event at any time of day, and it means (or could mean) that large TV audiences, such as the US don’t unfairly influence hosting decisions?

    “This can have a positive impact on the economic and sustainable development of Greece, thus being justified from the consequentialism point of view.” – how is it justified please?

    This is an interesting article.

    There a good reasons for going with a static Olympic City, just as we have a static UN but equally we have good reasons for the current model. I strongly suspect that the current model has a lot of momentum meaning it is difficult to change the model now. Moreover, what about the Olympic ideal of Pierre de Courbetin? Is this a form of a Code of Conduct? Should it be obeyed? Or should it be changed?

    1. Thank you for your thoughts Dr Smith. One aspect of the article looks into the deaths among construction workers and the poor condition they face. As you said, even though their efforts and sacrifice are benefiting million others who enjoys the event, the avoidable harm caused is indeed a sign we have failed morally, making a case for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to be more stringent in picking host in the future. The IOC should be looking into the measures the bidding countries adopt in ensuring the safety and well being of these workers as it is the government’s duty to do so and not simply use cheaper labour and shortcuts to finish the projects as quickly as possible.

      We like your suggestion on having multiple countries to host the Olympics with different events at different countries. This was also suggested by another reader. With the borderless world we have today, I see no problem for the events to be live streamed at all time. In terms of economic, this would also benefit a greater number of countries; from tourism and tv licences justifying the model from a utilitarianism point of view. However, it may be an issue for those who would like to support more than one event. Often, people who travel to Olympics tend to support more than one event, hence having it a different locations may discourage citizens to fly in and support their national teams.

      Initially we suggested that one of the sparsely populated island in Greece could be used as a static location for Olympics as it has got historical attachments to the Olympic games. To convince Greece to sell one its island to International Olympics Committee is why we used consequentialism to as the decision right or wrong, would produce a good outcome; ease their debt.

      Thank you for pointing out that the current model is likely to have a high momentum and to change it solely on the basis of environmental impact would be difficult. The model we have now postulated by Pierre de Courbetin is definitely advantageous in promoting global unity and national pride but we belief it is about time for an update to the model where only credible countries could be picked as a host.

  4. The Olympics is a great global event which is special because it’s once every four years. If only held in some countries the local people for countries not included will be missed out. The Olympics allow tourism and boost of publicity. It also adds to the historical culture for the country. Also you could argue the economic problems seen from the Rio Olympics allows their political problems to be seen more clearly. The corruption, the lack of sporting facilities and the economic incompetences of the government allows people to recognise and possibly address.
    The Olympics is special since it’s once every four years and enables athletes to sustain their high level of sports for longer time just for the event. This allows greater happiness for viewers. Also allowing hosting for different countries increase the popularity of certain sports otherwise not so popular before and engages more viewer interest.

    1. “Also you could argue the economic problems seen from the Rio Olympics allows their political problems to be seen more clearly. The corruption, the lack of sporting facilities and the economic incompetences of the government allows people to recognise and possibly address.”

      I feel that highlighting the issues with the host country by (possibly temporarily) making the issues worse is not the ethical thing to do. While true that the Olympics highlight the issues with the country, there are far better ways to obtain this information, such as documentaries or news reports.

  5. Hosting the Olympics is both a privilege and an inconvenience. On the one hand it can bring in necessary reforms in regards to the infrastructure, transportation and other services to the cities that have been well awaiting it for many years. Many host cities have benefited from this in various ways. The promotion of sports and health has also increased. The biggest example of this would be Los Angeles in 1984. Hosting the Olympics was a tremendous success for them as they ended up making profit instead of going in debt. This was only possible because the majority of the costs were taken on by private backers like McDonald’s and 7-Eleven instead of being borne by the taxpayer. As well as they only built two new venues and majorly used the existing ones. Then there are the games of 1992 hosted in Barcelona which also helped the country a lot and most of their infrastructural changes are still in use today.

    However on the other hand there are countries like Montreal and Greece who have seen a downfall on hosting the Olympics. Montreal ran in debt for eight year preceding the games and another 30 years after. Greece, being the home to the games also faced a six-year depression, record unemployment, homelessness and poverty, with many questioning how the nation has benefited from the multi-billion-dollar event.

    In the end, the games are hosted for ‘blending sport with culture and education’, and that would be impossible if they stayed in one place. Therefore Olympics should be held in different countries, given those countries are previously experienced in successfully hosting it or have a full proof plan to avoid the mistakes that the other countries who suffered made and actually make profit from it.

    1. Hai Priyanshi. Thank you for your thought. Really liked how you broke down the comment to LA & Barcelona VS Montreal & Greece which factually portrayed how certain countries can benefit from Olympics and vice versa. Among the 23 countries who previously hosted Olympics, only a handful of them managed to achieve economic success in hosting it, indicating there is indeed a problem with the current model we have.

      However, just like you said the best solution might not be a static Olympic as the game is to demonstrate global unity but to have the International Olympics Committee to stringently select host based on their previous successes in hosting global sporting events.

  6. As your article explains the Olympics wan bring benefits to the local community, however there is also the risk of the infrastructures and facilities falling out of use after Olympics (which were built at massive cost) and in countries with lax health and safety regulations there is significant risk to the workers which leads to the question you pose, are the Olympics worth it?

    You say to overcome these problems a solution would be to “pick hosts amongst proven hosts, with a good reputation of hosting global sporting events, some infrastructure in place and strong economic power to avoid problems due to cost overruns” however is this truly ethical? Yes, the risks are mitigated however it also limits the countries who are able to host the Olympics to the ones who have already hosted the Olympics or a similar event. Since this would rob the opportunity of hosting from many countries, and therefore the international prestige and the benefits that can come with these events and it could place more of a burden (the burden of hosting the Olympics is already an issue) on the countries that are able to host I would argue that such a selection method is unfair and unethical.

    Rather than requiring the countries to prove themselves would it be better to apply certain requirements regarding for example the health and safety of the workers that must be met? Rather than having a static Olympic City, how would a more collaborative approach towards hosting the Olympics work? Could it still change city to city but rather than being funded by one country it is funded by many? This though then raises the question of how much should each country pay, where does the obligation lie, is it fair that one country benefits at the expense of others?

    I think I agree the structure for hosting the Olympics does need to change for it to remain sustainable and fair. For me the solution proposed is not ethical and so the question remains, how?

    1. “Yes, the risks are mitigated however it also limits the countries who are able to host the Olympics to the ones who have already hosted the Olympics or a similar event. Since this would rob the opportunity of hosting from many countries, and therefore the international prestige and the benefits that can come with these events and it could place more of a burden (the burden of hosting the Olympics is already an issue) on the countries that are able to host I would argue that such a selection method is unfair and unethical.”

      This is an interesting point. I agree that it is unfair to countries who have not already hosted a major sporting event successfully. However, many of these countries are developing countries with limited finances and relatively poor workers’ rights and health and safety laws, I feel that it is ethical to avoid hosting Olympics in such countries where people can be injured or killed during construction, or where the countries may face economic problems due to the costs involved in hosting the Olympics. Perhaps a method can be devised for countries to prove that they are able to successfully host the Olympics, followed by regular inspections by Olympic officials during the planning and construction process.

      “Rather than requiring the countries to prove themselves would it be better to apply certain requirements regarding for example the health and safety of the workers that must be met? Rather than having a static Olympic City, how would a more collaborative approach towards hosting the Olympics work? Could it still change city to city but rather than being funded by one country it is funded by many? This though then raises the question of how much should each country pay, where does the obligation lie, is it fair that one country benefits at the expense of others?”

      Another interesting point. I feel that your final sentence nails the issue with this idea. It would be quite difficult to convince a country to invest in another country’s infrastructure when they would not see any benefits from it, at least in the short term.

      Thank you very much for your comment, it gives me some interesting topics to think about, to achieve a more ethical solution to the issue.

  7. A very interesting article about a topic that definitely gets it’s share of praise and criticism every four years. While I do agree with the points raised, personally, I feel it would benefit the countries hosting the Olympics if the events were to be split into 2 or 3 neighboring cities instead of just placing all of the responsibilities on just one. In this sense, not only will the cost of the Olympics Stadiums development be split, but the fans watching and the countries participating would be able to be part of multiple cultures and give initiative for more than one city to develop themselves. Even so, proper care and regulations should be established for what happens to developed areas after the Olympics early on in order to not leave things to the last minute and allow things to rot away.

    1. Hey dave, thanks for your thoughts. I think its brilliant to have a few countries to co-host the Olympics. This would minimise the cost each country face and bring a greater social economic benefit to a wider range of users. Airlines, hotels and business owners in few countries will now benefit instead of just one. Equally this will eliminate the need for extremely huge infrastructures such as the Olympic Village and having smaller buildings mean it would be easier to reuse them. In fact this model was also suggested by the module leader.

      However, my concerns are regarding the participation among tourists/supporters. Would citizens still fly in to another country to just support or watch one event as opposed to the current model where they have the opportunity to watch few sporting events?

  8. Interesting article and I am divided in my views. One thing to investigate would be why certain countries are better at restructuring and reusing the Olympic infrastructure while some countries aren’t. Once this is identified, maybe there will be a better selection process to identify potential hosts? This would also give countries a guide on how to become better bidders while continuing with the current model which as Dr Smith mentioned is unlikely to go away. Why did Pierre de Courbetin got such huge support for his views would be a good starting point for the investigation committee.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

      Identifying the reasons for some countries being successful at reusing the Olympic infrastructure, while others are not able to do so is definitely an important factor to consider before identifying a process to select host countries. Once this factors are understood, they can be used to optimise the host selection process, such that hosts that have made sustainable proposals for their bids to host the Olympics can be highlighted and chosen.

  9. Hands down the most out-of-the-box article I’ve read so far this year. I’ve really enjoyed it. Thanks.

    I particularly like the idea of an olympic city. One would think it would be obvious. Wimbledon sees participants and spectators from all over the owl beach year ask is held without fail at the All England and Lawn Tennis Croquet club each year, is it not? While I understand that part of the aim of the Olympics is to foster unity among countries and that exposure to new countries through the change of venues each year is a way to this, you’ve rightly pointed out that it may be doing more harm than good.

    If the price for my country being put on the world stage and gaining exposure will be the displacement of people who will not be in that limelight once the olympics are done, then Kindly count us out. That said, I like the innovativeness of this article and the suggestions raised. Will be sharing on my twitter f feed shortly to start a lively debate.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the share, glad you enjoyed the article.

      I agree with your comment, displacing thousands of people from their home for the sake of the Olympic village, which may never be used again is unacceptable from a duty-ethics perspective in my opinion.

      Assigning a Olympic city sounds like an appropriate solution. You mention an interesting point about fostering unity among the participating countries and the host country. Perhaps a solution would be to have opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic games representing cultures of a few participating countries instead of just the “host” country.

  10. Very interesting article!

    The idea of olympic city as ancient Greek is very interesting. But i think we should consider the economical benefit of this event to the country that hosts it. For some rich countries, this might be not really significant issue, but for the others, hosting such a big event would make a whole lot of different. It is just like your example of development of public transportation in Rio. As for overrun budget and poor construction issue, i believe it just need more proper planning in the management of event.

  11. This is an interesting dilemma, it could be that the Olympics has grown to a scale where it is too big, to the extent that it can only be hosted by the biggest economies. I think that a smaller Olympic games that can be hosted by smaller nations would benefit more people in the long run. There would be a financial trade off where the absolute value of broadcasting rights would be reduced from a smaller games, but it would allow a smaller economy to act as host and ultimately the financial benefits would be spread over a larger number of people who stand to benefit most.

    1. An interesting point here. It does seem like the Olympics may have grown too big for its own good. However, in the current world where everything seems to be getting bigger, more technologically advanced and more expensive, I am not sure how it would be possible to reduce the scale of the Olympics, without reducing the “prestige” associated with it.

  12. The pros and cons are listed to be quite easily understood. The idea of hosting the Olympics in turns are actually a good idea if we only look at the bright side. A fair chance is given to any country to wish to showcase their country and propel the economy growth.
    But certain explanation linked with ethical issues could be further explained. For example, why did the government of a country decided to host an Olympic games when their economy was not supportive enough. What was the consideration done during decision making and what were their ethical arguments. Certainly, there will be some advantage for hosting an Olympic games but how do these advantage overpower the disadvantage?

  13. In my opinion, the culture of having this significant and iconic event at different nations every 4 years has to be preserved. Olympics brings the nation together and also promote people’s participation in sports, which is essential. Athlete would get a world class experience as a payoff of their hardwork providing them with even more motivations to perform what they have been preparing their all lives at different countries. People from different nations get to visit the host of this events improving the bonds and understanding of the local culture every 4 years. The fund management team from each countries can also further improve their cost estimation skills learning from the mistakes from the Brazilian. Miscalculations happens eventually in organising such a world class events.

  14. Indeed, organising the Olympics would present a huge opportunity cost for the host nation, jeopardising the development of other more important infrastructure needs within the nation itself. Nevertheless, such large-scale events promote tourism and increase international exposure of the host nation, leading to possibly greater economic benefits in the long run, outweighing the initially costs of setting up the event.

  15. I think there needs to be an overhaul of the bidding system for the olympics. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) bidding process encourages wasteful spending, by favoring potential hosts who present the most ambitious plans. This so-called winner’s curse means that over-inflated bids—often pushed by local construction and hospitality interests—consistently overshoot the actual value of hosting. The IOC also should share more of the fast-growing revenue generated by the games.

    1. This is precisely what I thought. The IOC should take responsibility for post-games effects an thus an overhaul in the bidding is definitely needed. Thank you for your thoughts!

  16. It is no secret that governments often end up with a huge debt after hosting an Olympics. However, as mentioned in the article, we should not forget the benefits countries reap from hosting the Olympics such as, better infrastructure built, economic boost (more jobs and more demand of host country’s currency), and catalyst to technology advancement. If we were to only allow the Olympics to be hosted by a few proven countries, other countries will not have the chance to enjoy these said benefits. Thus, in line with the arguments of utilitarianism and eudaimonism, I believe the current selection of the country host will benefit more as more countries will have the chance to host the Olympics and reap the benefits.

  17. The abandoned infrastructure is an unfortunate impact of poor planning, big obvious examples include the bird’s nest and the water cube from Beijing Olympic in 2008.
    I wonder if during the bidding process, IOC could put more emphasis on the infrastructure management post-Olympics, would that spur the competing host countries into proposing creative ideas of infrastructure management?
    Also, worth noting that, every mistake made is a lesson learnt, maybe an in-depth investigation into the reason why those infrastructure has failed to convert into a useful building post-Olympics, would shed some light to the problem!

  18. Truly a thought provoking article. This was a really good read.

    I am however divided on this matter. Keeping sustainability and ethics in mind, the proposed idea in this article would be the most ideal solution.

    However, as Dr Patrick Smith mentioned, the current model has a lot of momentum which makes it difficult to bring change.

    Yet I still believe the Olympics should not be static but it should be held in different countries. In this current situation where the Olympics model may be very difficult to change, joint hosts would be the most practical solution, as the Olympics budget can be split between the countries. A fairly good example where this was a success in the past was another huge sporting event, the 2002 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Korea and Japan. It was the first time that two nations shared hosting duties for the World Cup, with neither country having the infrastructure required to do it alone. The fact that Japan had never qualified for the World Cup at the time of bidding raised numerous eyebrows, as did the logistical issues for fans travelling across the seas between venues.

    But that one event completely changed the football culture in these 2 countries. Both are now major teams who have consistently qualified for the World Cups since 2002. I believe this would be the same for the Olympics as a whole new sporting culture will be formed and it will possibly bring more benefits to the host’s economy in the future.

    All this will only be possible as long as the host’s bidding proposal, budget management pre-Olympics and infrastructure management post-Olympics are given extra care by the deciding committee to mitigate further mishaps in the future.

    Plus, the idea of joint hosting the Olympics may be already in the plans for the near future where Poland and Slovakia may be bidding for the next Olympics.

    1. Thank you for highlighting how Japan and Korea co-hosted the World Cup in 2002. This would definitely used as a precedent in building a case for the Olympics to be co-hosted. Cheers!

  19. Very good article.

    You see while I agree that only allowing hosts among proven hosts will help solve a lot of problems, it will deny other smaller and poorer countries from participating and the Olympics will be monopolized by only a number of countries. While I also like the idea of having a modern day Olympia and the benefits it would cause for Greece, a modern-day Olympia denies other countries from the economic and publicity benefits that come with hosting the Olympics. So my opinion is that I believe the best course of action would be to have it open for any country to host, as long as they meet particular guidelines and specifications that ensure the sustainability of the created infrastructure and the benefits it would bring upon its people.

    1. It would definitely be a lot more fair if every country have the equal chance in hosting such a privileged sporting event. However, in rise of the climate changes we face today, maybe it’s time to sacrifice this luxury? Having a modern Olympia would avoid constructions of mega infrastructures that probably only will be used once saving tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions 🙁

  20. A very interesting article!

    I personally believe that the Olympics should be held in different countries as it is now. There are a lot of potential benefits and advantages that the country will get before and after the event. For instance, the benefits are encouraging the investment in infrastructure especially in transportation and attracting more people to visit the country. These are examples of long term benefits as a better transportation will reduce congestion and helps in improving the local business efficiency and this is also the opportunity for the host to show the unique and beauty of their country that never been exposed widely to the world. For example, new rail links were built and improvement on existing overground and underground train services were done for Olympics London 2012. Besides, this event also promises a great potential for economy income as people are visiting popular tourist destination even after the event finished. Eventhough, there is no doubt that there are possibilities for potential drawbacks from the event but I believe that this is the responsibility of the government to come out with a well-structured planning to encounter any potential risks of the event. Furthermore, the International Olympics Committee also plays a significant role in deciding the right country for this big event. The evaluation and selection of the country should emphasis on the management of the event before and after.

  21. Interesting read. From my perspecitive, I think there is much prestige being a country able to host the Olympic games. I beleive that the costs and risks involved in these can be avoided by careful planning and does not at all make it any reason significant enough to hinder such a world-reknown event. Continuing on with what the many other comments have mentioned, it the Olympic Games holds significant social values; it is an opportunity for a country to showcase what they have to offer and advertise their contires and culture. Furthermore, the Olympic games are a multi-national event that connects different countries to come together in friendly competition. By isolating the hosting location of the games, I believe it would go against what the entire meaning of the olympic games are.

  22. Honestly speaking, I have never thought about the negative side of Olympics before. This article certainly helps me raise concerns in the potential “costs” behind what is seen as a world-wide celebration. Like many other infrastructure projects, cost overruns and inconvenience to nearby residents are almost inevitable. The safety for construction workers is an even bigger issue, especially when deadlines are put ahead of lives. Hosting Olympics might be seen as a great opportunity for many countries, but it is actually a big challenge, that comes with a huge responsibility. As being justified in the article, isolating the hosting location is not going to work. In my opinion, the additional values in the name of Olympics have already made the construction process more transparent – any inappropriate or even unethical actions will be exposed to more public pressure. By carefully planning the construction and reuse of the facilities, I tend to believe that hosting Olympics brings more benefits than detriment.

  23. I have always considered how much can the country profit/loss when they are organising Olympics. This article is interesting as it shows the country can have both advantages and disadvantages. People around the world get the luxury to visit and experience the hosting country. This can help the country’s economy. However, it will be a big challenge for the country to achieve more profit than loss in terms of costs. Transportation in the country during the period of the Olympics is also important for those who are attending and watching the games. Having a smooth flowing traffic and various different ways to reach the destination is important. People who are working in the hosting country can feel pressured as well due to transportation being full and all. In the future, if the hosting country did a great job, they can attract tourists to help their country’s economy.

  24. Hi, Group 41. Thank you very for putting together this article: it raises points which are often overlooked, due to being in the shadows of excitement, patriotism, and awe of the Olympic Games.

    I am in resonance with many of the points written here, and thus have the opinion that the Olympic Games should not be held in one city alone but rather, in a different city, each time. This is if and only if the International Olympics Committee (IOC) along with the other members of the Olympic Movement stick to the criteria and requirements set / create a more strict selection process, for countries wishing to act as host for the games. While the idea of building an Olympic City for the games sounds like a very tempting solution, this will no doubt hinder the exploration and sharing of cultures across nations. This negates the “international” aspect of the games (hypothetically, if I were to represent my country in the Olympics, I probably would not be very enthusiastic about going to the same city each time – I joke).

    Having said that, it was quite unsettling to see pictures of abandoned facilities that were long ago majestic Olympic sport venues. The host country should be selected with the consideration of how its existing facilities can be made into sports venues, or, if there was a budget for a new facility, a long-term plan (and therefore, post-Olympics) for its use must be presented to governing bodies. The IOC published their implementation plan for 2016 onwards as part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 where they have stated that a bid city should be evaluated according to “the maximum use of existing facilities and the use of temporary and demountable venues where no long-term venue legacy need exists or can be justified”. Whether this has been respected / will be implemented, I do not know, but it is definitely a positive move.

    It was even more disturbing to learn that approximately 20 million people had to leave their homes to make space for infrastructure. That the absence of emphasis on health and safety laws when it came to construction activities caused thousands of families had to bear the loss of loved ones In his principle of Olympism, Pierre de Courbetin mentions “social responsibility” and “respect for universal ethical principles”. Clearly we can see that the respective decision-makers have failed to uphold their social responsibility.

    Thousands of years ago, the Olympic Games were revered for being part of a religious festival. Today, they are much more than an international multi-sport event, and stand for values such as social development, gender equality, and corrupt-free sports. My knowledge on this subject is limited, but I definitely believe that the IOC and governments in host countries should take the lessons learned from the previous Olympic games that were unsuccessful for the future Olympic events to come.

  25. First of all, it is worth considering that the “sport interest” is primarily the policy, and wherever politics, there is rivalry, which often grows into a principle. The desire of everyone to show their superiority, including in value, quality, quantity. Excessive costs are associated with the popularization of competitions and globalization in general. To take this problem into account and to lose sight of similar ones is at least illogical. Just look at the number of consumed products, clothes, services in 1990, and then now, you will understand everything. The Olympic Games in this case is only one of the links. If we want to solve the problem, we should approach it in a comprehensive way and act together.

  26. Interesting read! Just my two cents, I for one do believe that the sporting event itself unites countries together and creates harmony between them. I have to say that post-olympic is the major issue. I feel that a country should not host the olympics ‘just because’ they want to or they can. I feel that the olympics committee should work together with the country and regulate on how the infrastructure will be used after the olympics. Also, hosting the olympics should not be a popularity contest on ‘who can build the biggest and most expensive stadium’ but maybe they should do it on a more ‘the most environmental/efficient building’. With this, i feel that the race for sustainability among countries could be heightened and eventually, everyone wants what is best for the earth.

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