The Bounce
Doing it for the fans

The only future for the Olympic Games.


When it comes to the most watched event in all of sports, the Summer Olympic Games is a gold medal champion.

The last three games hosted in Beijing, London and Rio respectively have all attracted TV audiences in excess of 3 billion. That’s Billion with a B, with the Beijing games topping out at 3.6 billions viewers.

And for good reason too, they represent a sporting pinnacle that combines history and unparalleled competition, and of course, participants from all over the world.

But. There’s a big but. 

The cities that host these sporting spectacles always seem to lose out, and as a result potential future host cities are drying up. This reality is threatening the very future of the games.

It costs a fuck tonne of money to host this thing, and that’s because so much needs to be built. Tokyo is hosting the next summer games in 2020 games. In 2013 it was estimated that this would cost the city $6 billion. As we get closer to the time it looks like it is going to cost more than $20 billion. That’s simply outrageous!

Sure some of this spend does wonders for local infrastructures, but it’s mostly just a complete waste as facilities and structures become abandoned white elephants.

Rio was an absolute disaster on this front. The Olympic village which cost over $700 million to build apartment blocks is all but empty now. The giant refurbished Maracana stadium was looted and abandoned, and that Olympic golf course has more capybaras on the fairways than golfers at any given time.

Beijing suffered a similar fate, Athens too is still reeling from the financial burden, with just London seeming to have come out of a recent hosting mostly unscathed.

So who wants to host the Summer Games going forward? Well hardly anyone to be totally honest. And can you blame them?

Many see it as financial suicide, and they would be right. I mean if the first world Japanese look like they are about to lose their collective shirts on the 2020 games, what hopes do most other countries have?

The Olympics seem very keen to move with the times by including new sporting codes to attract new and younger audiences, but those sentiments need to be placed where it matters most. And that is the format and hosting of the games.

No one city can host this party anymore. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s a bit like one city coming forward and saying they will host this year’s new year’s eve party. Sure, it will be fun to be there, but it’s a logistical nightmare though which will leave a massive mess.

But just like every city has the ability to host their own new year’s eve parties, every major city also has the ability to host their own Olympic events.

So for example you keep the Olympics as an event every four years, during the same kind of time period. But then the swimming can take place in Sydney, Australia. The athletics can take place in London, England. Specialty events that involve horses can take place in a European city as that makes the most sense with regards to transporting horses.

Countries that would never be able to host Olympic events then also come into the reckoning. Turkey has given us some great weightlifters over the years, they can then host the weightlifting programme of events.

Beijing could host the gymnastics, and a sport like golf could quite literally be held anywhere in the world on an existing iconic golf course.

Logistically from a TV perspective things could be a little tricky, but rather tricky in this regard than financially ruining an entire city and leaving stadiums that only get used by graffiti artists after the time.

The Olympics would not only make financial sense this way, but they would then also become the world’s most inclusive major sports event. The only downside I see to all of this is that we would lose an opening and closing ceremony. But let’s be honest, those don’t really mean much nowadays anyway.

This idea has so much potential, and most importantly future proofs the movement. That’s what the Olympics is after all. It’s not a single event, it’s the pinnacle of sport, competition and camaraderie. Now literally spread across the globe every four years, it will live up to this identity more than ever.

Oh, and the same applies for the Winter Olympics, more so actually as their single city host options are melting away like the ice caps.

Let’s get smart, and let’s make the Olympic Games truly global and sustainable.

Tags: olympics, summer olympics, olympics debt, olympics 2020, tokyo olympics


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