The recent news about Brazil’s disastrous economy and huge government scandal had stunned the world, leaving many worried about the progress of the pledged host country’s ability to make the arrangements. Fast forward to the now and everyone’s fears have been confirmed with huge problems erupting from different areas. Firstly the massive debt that has increased from the expensive stadiums and training grounds built for this one time event have stirred the angers of the people. Money that could have been used to improve the living conditions of the Brazilian populace like building needed transportation services have gone unnoticed, instead beach volleyball stadiums and track courts are built using a reckless amount of money.
According to www.ibtimes.com, expenditures over 13 Billion went into the Olympics so far. This estimate is 51% higher than what the original Brazilian budget was. How can they afford this? Secondly the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff left a huge divide in the Brazilian people as anti government supporters fight with previous worker party supporters. All attention has thus shifted to cleaning up the corruption in the government, leaving the Olympics widely under run. The chocolate icing on the cake is a nasty sewage problem in the drinking water, which registered a disaster, probably deriving from the chaos enthralled in the country. Rio de Janeiro is now experiencing overwhelming amounts of water pollution that provide concern for the sailing teams that will have to operate in rather unhealthy conditions.
What does this mean for the Olympics?
What was the Olympics? A global event that has deep rooted history since the times of Ancient Greece where the very first Olympics were held in order to test athletes in a multitude of sports to determine the best of the best. What has it become now? To many, a debt increasing hassle that involves the building of structures that will serve no benefit after said competitions are over. Out of all the countries who have hosted the Olympics, only two countries have succeeded in profiting from the World event. Out of all the Olympic events, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1992 Barcelona Olympics were the only two Olympics in the history of the global tradition where the host country earned money. With many countries now seeing what has happened with Brazil, they fear that a similar fate can be had with them. Boston and Rome seeing past countries’ losses have decided to opt out of hosting the 2024 Olympics and talks of having a single host area where everything is held is on everyone’s mind. However, the OCC has refused to except such an idea, which may register unsettling news for the future of the Olympics. Augment that with stories of doping, corruption and safety concerns, is that what the Olympic reputation has come to?
Olympic Hosting for the Elites Only?
If proud nations don’t compete in friendly strife, they will turn to the unfriendly. The unsettling developments in Brazil are a warning sign for the future to come. Countries that have considered hosting the Olympics are considering dropping out and only elite countries with deep pockets are opting in. Is there still hope? Being able to use existing infrastructure instead of spending multi-billion dollars to build anew seems reasonable. Pooling funding from organizations and other nations can also save resources and avoid deep in the red outcomes. The globalization of the Olympics should extend to its infrastructure funding and should thrive with the collaboration of many nations, particularly the ones that stand to gain the most from its outcome. Certainly, the honor and tradition of the Olympics will continue unabated, but more than ever, to benefit elite nations.
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