Looking back to Chapter 3 of our class textbook “Game Over: How Politics has turned the sport world upside down” by Dave Zirin, I more or less begin to wonder if the Olympics are really worth it ?
Throughout this chapter Zirin continues to discuss all of the issues and battles countries have to go through in order to make the Olympics happen. The example he uses first is the London Olympics. During it’s beginning stages he tells about all of the discontent and unhappiness many people have towards the Olympics coming to London and how it will not be a major benefit to London, but instead be a money sucker (so to speak). On page 54, Zirin states that “The latest figures have the London games coming in at ten times above the 2005 projected budget, which means that the projected taxes will be even higher than Livingstone’s rosy calculations” (Zirin, 2013). Much anger arose in the city of London, causing “a week of fiery riots”, “conventional terrorism”, and “a shortage of affordable housing” (Zirin, 2013). You would think that such destruction would have lead London to re-think whether or not they wanted to continue with having the games?
Similar anger arose during the Vancouver Olympics. Most of the anger came about when tax dollars were used to pay for many expenses, and when projected budgets were left in the dust by millions (Zirin, 2013) ! To top it all off, despite the major unaffordable expenses that were incurred during the construction of the games, individuals continue to read about all of the doping scandals of athletes that they are “paying” to watch compete. It’s almost becoming more of a “whose-the-best-doping-athlete-that-can-hide-it-from-the-drug-tests-for-the-longest-period-of-time” Games. It’s sad, but true.
Overall, the excitement of waiting for the Olympics to come, is slowly dwindling down into a “I’ll-guess-i’ll-watch-it-since-there’s-nothing-else-on” kind of month.
So, what can we do to make the Olympics something that people are supporting? Something that people look forward to and are more than happy to support? Something that countries aren’t risking going bankrupt over an event ?
Zirin, D. (2013). Game over how politics has turned the sports world upside down. (pp. 50-72). New York, NY: The New Press.