Stephen D. Gibson
17 May 2017
Participation in Olympic Games on the Host Country
The Olympic Games since their revival in 1896 have been a status symbol for the country lucky enough to host them. Through it a country can put on a show of their ingenuity, ability, and hospitality. Yet, despite these and other potential benefits, many countries seem lukewarm to the idea of hosting them, and this can largely be explained by the uncertainty of economic benefits. As if looking at an expensive car, these countries ask themselves, if it is worth it? Will this investment pay off in the long run, or, after the hype has died down, will it crash and burn, leaving municipalities with less money than they had before?
Generally, how a city or state uses taxpayer money is not a significant problem, but whether to host the games or not is a question that should be asked by every citizen. Citizens have no voice currently, but the games come with huge potential gains and risks for them. For example, businesses stand to make a profit, providing services to the tourists or the Olympians. The games also come with a risk. Tax money is used for many of the expenses incurred by hosting the games. Venues built for the Olympics could be beneficial to citizens in the long-run, like the Olympic Swim Stadium build on the for the 1984 Summer Olympics, which still stands and is in use today. The venues can also be harmful and disruptive. The building of venues for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro threatened many citizens in low income housing with relocation and the destruction of their neighborhoods (Gregory 23). Foreign trade can be improved, sports programs will be encouraged, tourism can be increased, but are these benefits guaranteed and do they outweigh the massive costs? If the benefits of the games include only a show of hospitality toward other nations, a country should not want to spend its money on something so grand if their economic standing is endangered. Since so many citizens have so much to gain or to lose, hosting the games should involve a vote by them, in the form of a ballot initiative or bond. This would increase interest in the games and solve the problem of taxpayer money being used in ways that taxpayers have no influence over.
I take personal interest as an aspiring lawyer on the subject matter. Public policy can be a tool to improve a community, and if something like the Olympics is found to do just that, then hosting the event should be a goal for community leaders. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, my mother worked with a catering company serving food to the Olympians and press teams there. This was a benefit to my family, but I don’t know how many others were affected. If the positive effect is not widespread and does not cross economic and social boundaries, it would make sense that countries and their citizens would think twice about such an investment. A vote, as part of the bid process, allows citizens to express doubt or confidence.
In order to give an educated and informed response to the problem, I will research journals and respected news articles on previous Olympic games. I will begin by researching the bidding process itself. How does it begin? Who is involved? How might the process be reformed? The group that can change the bidding process so that it includes the tentative solution I hope to argue for is the International Olympic Committee, Chateau de Vidy 1007 Lausanne Switzerland. Thomas Bach is currently the president, but it might be better to write to the Evaluation Commission because they seem to be a central part of the bidding process. My tentative thesis when writing to them might be “Although the influence of politicians, business leaders, and the IOC in the bidding process is obvious, citizens of host countries have no influence; voting by them should be part of the process.”
I will seek to expand upon what has been written on this topic. I acknowledge that there may be case studies on this and some factors may be presented in some studies that are not presented in other studies. The last time I was involved in a sport was in third grade, and although I do have some sense of the ideal oneness and competitive spirit of sports, my article’s primary focus will be on money. I am not sure how sport enthusiasts will receive an article focused on what is often considered the evil of politics and sports, but I hope a general audience will be able to view it in the light of the general prosperity of a country, and democracy worldwide.
My hopes in writing this essay is to better inform myself and the readers to the system of what is considered the greatest sporting event in the world and improve it. I don’t know how a country obtains the opportunity to host the Olympics, but I would like to find out. An informed public and informed policy makers are better able to make decisions of magnitude and make them for the right reasons. Viewing the Olympics as an investment on a political scale will help the public be confident in their decision before and after the fact and could lead to a more unified base on this topic.
● 15 May: Turn in Proposal Rough Draft
● 17 May; Turn in Proposal Final Draft
● 17-20 May: Research Articles
● 21-23 May: Write 1st Rough Draft and Annotated Bibliography
● 24 May: Turn in 1st Rough Draft
● 26 May: Turn in Annotated Bibliography
● 26-1 Jun: Personal and Peer Review
● 2 Jun: Turn in 2nd Rough Draft
● 2-4 Jun: Write Rhetorical Analysis
● 5 Jun: Turn in Rhetorical Analysis
● 6-20 Jun: Personal and Peer Review
● 21 Jun: Turn in 3rd Rough Draft
● 23 Jun: Turn in Final Draft of Researched Argument
Preliminary Works Consulted
Gregory, Sean. “The Favela Residents Who Won’t Make Room for the Olympics.” Time, vol. 187, no. 3, 2/1/2016, pp. 24-25. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.uvu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=voh&AN=112415439&site=eds-live.