The Costs of Olympics Have Overweighed the Benefits. Discuss.

By | February 27, 2017

Olympic Games are undoubtedly the most significant athletic events and have attracted the world attention once in every four years. The origin of Olympic Games is Athens, Greece back in to the distant past of 776 BC. The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 and promoting the concepts of world peace and international communication (Wallechinsky, 2012). However, meanwhile every country are fighting to the death for the franchise of hosting city, there are also hinder cost they have to pay. This dilemma has triggered the arguments that the costs of Olympics have overweighed the benefits. Supporters believe that the Olympic Games have its own values, national reputation and achievement and culture exchange, while critics argue that the financial cost, social inconvenience, pollution have weaken the value of Olympic Games.

Olympic Games are not only a sports competition, but indicated a very strong traditional value. The traditional Olympic Games once held in ancient Greece which already thousand of years ago. Even the modern Olympics have at least 143 years of history. It is not possible to denial the worth of existence of Olympic Games. For instance, the modern Olympics Games are not only about the motto ???Faster, Higher, Stronger???, but a way of life. It has stated a way lead to a better world by encourage constructive competition, in order to promote world peace, friendship and healthy life style among the younger generation (Wallechinsky, 2012). Those concepts even come stronger in the contemporary Olympics Games. The slogans of Seoul Olympics in 1988 and Barcelona Olympics in 1992 were ???Harmony and Progress??? and ???Friends for Life??? respectively. Those profound slogans represent the whole spirit of the Games and for passing on, the Games will eventually finish but the spirits remained.

Another proffered reason is that Olympic Games help to maintain or gain national reputation by achievements in the Games and the franchise of hosting it. This is a magnificent honor for the athletes to fight for their countries, and those athletes were trained since they were young. They considered it as a serious duty because it pertains to the national reputation. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, swimmer Michael Phelps from America won eight gold medals, becoming the pride and the best shot of American (Davis, 2008, Sep 1). For instance, being the hosting city is a symbol of achieving at the developed status (Wesley, 2012, Aug 3). For example, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the 1988 Seoul Olympics , the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the coming Olympics in Rio. It shows the world that they are capable to host such a great events with enough human resources, and this is not the patent of wealthy countries anymore.

Olympic Games also encourage culture exchange. Olympic Games provided a respectfully and friendly environment for the participants put aside all those differences and joining themselves together. Therefore this is an important platform for cross-culture. Every Olympics, millions of tourism went to the host city to experience the Games for real. There were roughly 600,000 foreign visitors have been received during the Beijing Olympics (Sands, 2008, Jan 7). This was a great chance for them experience the eastern culture and introduce their culture to China. Moreover, the opening and closing ceremonies are the spotlight during the games as well and culture of that particular hosting city. This is a very great effect since there are billion of viewers were watching it. For example, music is a significant element in the closing ceremony of London Olympics 2012, since this is one of their main cultures and called ???A Symphony Of British Music??? (Lutton, 2012, Aug 13). The classic celebrities such as George Michael, Liam Gallagher, Mick Jagger were invited as performing guests (ibid.).

There are, nevertheless, there are several drawbacks against the benefits of Olympics Games. One of the biggest concerns is that the massive financial cost by hosting the games. Those hosting cities invest large amount of uncountable capital to operate the games. China invested about $40 billion in infrastructure because of the Beijing Olympic Games (Sands, 2008, Jan 7). Some critical may argue that the blooming of tourism could boost the economic. However, based on most of the examples, it could not make the balance. According to James (2004, Aug 13), the games which were held in Montreal in 1976 leaded to a deficit of $ 1.2 billion. For instance, the 2004 Olympics in Greece were over-budget has made it the most expensive games ever, and put Greece in debt (Clement, 2005, Mar 1). Since the games are only a short term benefits, there will be a sudden drop-off of tourism and related business in the period of post-games. And all those infrastructures will become white-elephants and useless (Irvine, 2012, July 27).

Furthermore, operating the Olympic Games will cause inconvenience to society. The local society will become overcrowded because of the sudden blooming of tourism. Although the improvement of infrastructures had been done, the problems such as traffic congestion occurred. It caused inconvenience to local resident and interrupted their daily routine of life. For example, the local taxi driver claims that working during the Olympics is a ???total waste of time??? (The lighter side of the Olympic Games, 2012, July 20). Besides, for the sake of security, armed police and military were located in the region where the games will be held. It has made them feeling uncomfortable and bound (Smith and Williams, 2012 July 24). There were also news report pointed out because of building new sports facilities and transportation in Beijing, many local resident are forced to move out from their home( Fishman, 2008 May 1).

The final reason has been suggested is pollution. There were variety of pollution are caused by the construction and waste, such as air, water, land, noise pollution. All these pollutions were strictly had direct negative effects to the environment and society. The main pollution expected is the huge amount of waste generated by the visitors, sponsor products and construction materials. Moreover, smog problem was always a disturbance in Beijing. However, since the preparation works had done before the games, this concern has been more serious than before (Pollution Risk for Olympic Events, 2007, Aug 8). The green house gases were emitted along with the glaring construction, which harmed the physical health of local residents and participants.

In summary, it is clear that Olympics Games are the most significant and successful athletic events, the values of the games are undeniable. But, consider the both sides, many arguments have been raised that the cost of the modern Olympics Games has outweighed the gains. Nevertheless, there are spaces for preparation works to minimize the drawbacks of the games, since the later games are able to improve based on the past experiences. In fact, advantages and disadvantages are unpredictable in any other future cases, therefore, it could be suggested the cost of Olympic Games may not overweigh the benefits.

References

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Davis, C.E. (2008, Sep 1). Michael Phelps ??? Yes, I Did It??™. NW, 16(35) 16-19[On-line]. Available: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detailsid=24b7ccee-47f4-48ab-bf58-7246a9f8ad20%40sessionmgr12&vid=1&hid=14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=anh&AN=35126422
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Pollution Risk for Olympic Events. (2007, Aug 8). BBC Sports. [On-line]. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/front_page/6934955.stm
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Smith, A. (Producer) and Williams, E. (Reporter). (2012, July 24). Olympics Inc. [Documentary]. Australia: SBS Dateline. [On-line]. Available: http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/about/id/601498/n/Olympics-Inc.

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Wesley, M. (2012, August 3). Olympic Symbolism Worth More Than Gold. The Sydney Morning Herald. [On-line]. Available:
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