• phil cantor/@osgphil

The Olympics are a Relic from a Bygone Era and are No Longer Relevant



Most of my peers, those of my generation are going to call me out for this, but I truly believe I am right and have a pretty compelling case. I'm serious, how many of you reading this get super excited and schedule their days and nights in anticipation of the Olympics? I would argue most of us aren't even aware of them until NBC begins the heavy promotional campaign leading up to the start of the event.


Finally after almost every major country said they wouldn't come, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided they would postpone the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo until 2021.


It was an overdue and necessary decision but the IOC drew it out in large part because of one primary thing: Profit


And that folks is the only significant reason the games exist in the 21st century, profit.


The IOC is a multi-billion dollar agency. That's profit. After expenses and costs, it's pure profit. No, I don't have a problem with a group making money on an event. That's how business works. It's how they go about it where my problem comes in.


Think about this: If you live in a "Host City"---congratulations, you paid for the Olympics to be held in your city. Yes, I'm not making this up. Part of the requirements for putting on the games is building stadiums and facilities to host the events. Lots of them.


Do a Google Search for "How much does it cost to host the Olympics?" and see what the results are. I'd bet money, most of you will be shocked/stunned. We're talking 11-figures here, not millions, not hundreds of millions....we are talking BILLIONS, like more than $10 billion and closer to 20 billion. The latest cost audit done by the Japenese government estimates it will be more like $28 billion spent to host the upcoming games whenever they happen.


Where do you think the money for that comes from?


Yeah, sure, sponsorships pay for some of it. Private investment pays for some of it. But most of the money comes from the host city. Not just from constructing venues, but for infrastructure and daily operational costs. The IOC doesn't pay for that stuff kids, we do....


Sure, you'll see Chambers of Commerces and governments saying we'll get "Tourism Money" and they aren't wrong. There is a spike in visitors for the events. And some they will spend money in your town, it makes up a fraction of the cost. But not tens of billions of dollars. Nowhere close to it.


That explanation alone is why the Olympics should be stopped.


What part of spending say $12 billion to host the event helps your city? It doesn't help fix the roads, keep schools funded or keep your city from going into debt. So why is anyone so eager to host the Games?

Like so many other things for people, particularly in my generation or age group, The Olympics are an event we grew up with. It's something we've always had go on every four years. Which is great.


But my peers and so many others think the world should be operating the way it was when they grew up. That life should be lived the way it was when we were 10-year olds. Which is a painfully naive fallacy so many can't seem to get past.


The world has changed, the things which should be important to us have changed. Behaviors and beliefs have changed and should have evolved (for many they haven't).


Ask a 20-year old if they care about the Olympics. Or a 25-year old. I'd be willing to bet money the answer would be some derivative of this---"The what?"


There is NO compelling reason the Olympics should exist in the 2020's. None. It's a billion dollar boondoggle that exists solely for the purview of those who profit from it. Not for the fans and certainly not for the athletes.


For those who say "What about the athletes?", what do you think those athletes do if they aren't competing in the Olympics? Seriously, would any of you actually tune in to "Track and Field" events during an off year? Are you even aware that most College's have Track and Field teams? No, I'm betting most don't know.


If swimmers want some sort of goal to achieve, create a Professional League for them. Same for gymnasts. If you want to watch marathon athletes, your community has a marathon event at least a handful of times every year. There is NO need for any of these Olympic events.


The cost of starting a professional league for ANY of these events is considerably less than the Olympics. The cost of operating them would be born by the league and the team owners, your "City" won't be funding it. Why not do this? Why have the Olympics? Do we really NEED the Olympics to fill our lives? I can guarantee that ZERO of you miss it when it is gone.


Make them go away, make the IOC find another way to make billions of dollars. Or take those billions of dollars and invest them in something everyone can use, not just for events that happen once every four years.



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