As i look around the room, i see a syndicate, built from scholars and athletes. People who give up there time in the pursuit of personal excellence. From a sporting background myself. I know how this feels. Through the years I’ve journeyed into unfamiliar territory, part-taking in sports such as ice hockey, rugby, snowboarding, football and hockey to name a few, where the aim is simply, to be better today than i was yesterday. All in the hope that upon the final trial, my personal best, at that point in time, will be enough to claim top spot among others in my categories and fields. This day-to-day struggle that we all fight in our own respect, for me, encapsulates the Olympic Games and why it epitomises human transcendence. The Olympic Games inspires the worlds population to be the best versions of ourselves, to be “faster, higher and stronger” in every aspect of our day to day lives. However this spectacle, this event, that touches so many of our lives, is being ruined by the people that build, the people who pay and the people that bid for its existence in their country. The notion that the olympics is not held in a singular destination, instead travelling the globe wrecking havoc on the equity and efficiency within a countries society is absolutely absurd.
The IOC, international olympic committee have clear goals and values in place, to represent the organisation that provides some of the largest multi national events in the entire world. One of these is their commitment to “social development through sport”. The aim is simply to address social inequalities and poverty by providing “concrete” answers through sport. Equity within society is defined as the”quality of being fair and impartial”. To me, fair and impartial represents a level playing field for society, whereby regardless of the background and history you may have, everyone is given a equal chance at his and/or her ambitions. However the olympic games, as it currently stands simply does not achieve this. Rio is a great example. unemployment has literally doubled in the months since the games while the country’s GDP has fallen by 8.4%. Public sector employees have had wages and pensions cut by 30%. 12 billion dollars later and Rio as well as the rest of Brazil are now facing one of the worst economic recessions of recent times. This is no one off, no anomaly. In history we have seen this time and time again, with Athens being the most notable in the last 20 years. In 2004 Greece forked out 9 billion dollars to host the games. Being a small country, at the time this brought the total cost to 5% of the entire countries GDP spent on venues and infrastructure alone, taking Athens and Greece along with it into economic disaster that to this day, they have been unable to rectify. This inefficiency within countries as a direct result of olympic hosting is simply ludicrous and needs to come to a stop. Countries like Brazil and Greece are forced to play there hand by dodgy lobbyists within the olympic voting committees, covering unforeseen costs and downplaying estimates for countries looking to host. Every year since 1960, the olympics have over run budget forecasts with the average being 156%. Often countries don’t wont even know that the overrun has occurred until months later when final figures and stats have been confirmed.
I’m not sure about you, but I am sick of the build ups to olympics revolving more around whether or not the country can cope with economic costs to hosting an olympics rather than the hype of the athletes and the performance themselves. i am tired that once every four years these athletes who train day in day out come together from all corners of the globe to complete in for most disciplines in the biggest event of all and yet the stories media and press releases are more concerned with are economical and socio-cultural factors that have been present in a country for decades but may be supplemented by recent olympic activities? If we continue to allow the olympics to shift nations and cities, wrecking havoc on our economies, before long countries that used to be economic power houses will find themselves in debt larger than they can pay and then maybe no country at all will be left to afford the olympics and it will simply cease to exist. The entire purpose of is to compete and celebrate global sporting achievements for the ultimate title, however this is likely about to be compromised entirely for reasons completely unrelating to the sport itself unless we decide to make a change.