The rise and fall of the Olympics

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Photo courtesy of WikiCommons

Rio de Janeiro’s main Olympic stadium, which many in the country protest due to economic trouble with the Games.

Achint Singh, In-Depth Editor

After 27 Summer Olympic and 22 Winter Olympic Games, countries have realized that holding the games is not all that it is cut out to be. Originally thought to be an economic booster, the games are proving to be far more costly than intended.

The cost of holding the games is rising each year, according to ABC News. Records show that the 2008 Beijing Olympics cost $44 billion, while the Sochi Olympics cost approximately $51 billion. Beijing made a $146 million profit, which is comparatively not worth the investment. The profit made off of the Sochi Olympics is yet to be calculated. For this reason, a long list of countries has dropped out of the race to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics.

As of May 28, Krakow, a Polish city, withdrew from the competition. Presently, there are four cities remaining in the Olympics competition. Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, China; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway are the countries still interested in holding the Olympics, according to the online magazine Slate.com. Kazakhstan and Ukraine are steeped in economic problems and will not be able to keep up with the rising cost to hold the Olympics. China has proven capable of handling the feat of putting on the Olympics. However, there is not much snow in Beijing to hold the Olympics in the winter. Norway is an ideal choice for the Olympics, but over 70 percent of the country is against holding the Olympics, according to Slate.com

A general belief up until now, as a motivation to hold the Olympics was the fact that countries would profit from holding the Olympics. While the economy does profit in some sense, off of the Olympics, there is much loss to be accounted for. The discrepancy between profit and investment is not worth the risk. However, what Countries also fail to take into account is the cost of holding the Olympics and the wasted infrastructure that will only be left to deteriorate. At best, countries may walk out of this arrangement profitless, gaining about as much business as they are losing, according to Business Insider.

Since the Olympics cannot be held without a host country, the Olympics committee should actively search for an alternative.

“I think that perhaps countries that are economically stable should host the Olympics, like the world super powers,” junior Daniela Georges said.

Georges competed in the Junior Nationals and qualified for the Olympic time trials for swimming.

Realistically, this would entail that the United States would be the only country that could hold the Olympics.  Europe, primarily unemployed, and India and China, having a growing population, high poverty, and low literacy, are far from capable of taking the lead on the Olympics, according to Forbes.com

While the façade of an economic boost from the Olympic Games is fading, the Olympics still hold a powerful meaning to us around the world. Meant to strengthen relations as athletes and as countries, according to the official Olympics website, the games have brought different people together since the time of the ancient Greeks. Although in this day and age, the line between economic benefit and friendly relations is beginning to blur.