Olympics are the world’s leading international sporting events, including summer and winter sports competitions. Thousands of athletes from various nations worldwide participate in a variety of sports organized at this athletic festival. They aim to win the highest sporting recognition in their career, i.e., an Olympic goal medal under their national anthem’s sound.
Olympic Games attract interest from billions of spectators who want to watch the best athletes all over the world competing against each other at the highest level of the sport.
The inspiration behind the creation of the Olympics came from the ancient Olympic Games held at Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed in 1894 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin with the purpose of organizing the modern Olympics. The IOC organized the first-ever Summer Olympics at Athens, Greece, in 1896. Meanwhile, the first Winter Olympics were held at Chamonix, France, in 1924. And the first Paralympics were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960. Olympics are a two-week-long event alternating between Winter and Summer Olympics usually organized every four years.
The pride and prestige associated with the Olympics are unparalleled for hosting countries. The benefits of the Olympics for hosting countries include achieving a boom in their economy through tourism and trade, especially when the games are taking place. World recognition for the hosting country comes through media coverage, leading to more capital investments covering the infrastructure and organizing costs. They can use the Olympics as a platform to improve their public relations with countries that weren’t the friendliest in the past for a variety of reasons. Sporting success for the hosting country revolves around its athletes getting more opportunities to play in different sports while improving their performances and overall standing on the Olympic medal table. The effect of the Olympics is quite unpredictable and often continuous for the hosting country both economically and sportingly.
How does an Olympic hosting country benefit?
Hosting the Olympic Games is a unique opportunity for a country to bring athletes from all over the world into one place to play sports together. It allows them to spread the message of unity and harmony without any race and gender inequity. The Olympic movement aims to contribute by educating youth to build a better and peaceful better world through sport practiced without discrimination. Mutual understanding with a spirit of fair play, solidarity, and friendship defines the Olympic spirit. The hosting country of the Olympics creates a legacy that lives long after the games are over.
Track records for many Olympics hosting countries have been supremely indifferent economically, with some achieving great success and others searching for answers. According to many economists, the economic benefits of the Olympics for the hosting country often involve covering high costs while yielding few tangible rewards in the long run. Even the involvement in the bidding process for securing Olympic Games hosting rights does appear to increase the exports and trade openness for a country in that particular period. Hosting the Olympics has a positive effect on the philanthropic contributions of corporations headquartered in the country, which benefits the local nonprofit sector and civil society substantially during and after the games. Olympics at London, Barcelona, and Beijing has been considered the most successful on the economic side of things.
In terms of sporting success, there is a consensus that the hosting countries that aren’t the top performers at the Olympics benefit more by organizing this athletic festival. It’s because the hosting country can participate in the games with more athletes due to automatic qualification rules. These athletes from the hosting country are very familiar with the venues, environment, and climate conditions as they have lived, trained and competed for most of their lives. They are not required to travel abroad to compete at the Olympic Games, so jet lag and other difficulties associated with athletes of other countries aren’t something for them to tackle at any stage. A hosting country invests lots of money in their sporting programs and facilities, so their athletes get the opportunity to improve their performances and achieve success. The crowd factor plays a massive part in boosting the confidence of the athletes of a hosting country. That higher support from the fans galvanizes the athletes to do something memorable that will be remembered forever.
There are many benefits of the Olympics for hosting a country in terms of economic windfalls, international exposure, public relations, and sporting success. The success or lack thereof for a hosting country of Olympic Games often comes down to its legacy as per the academic research. The legacy includes the long-term political, economic, social, cultural, infrastructural, and environmental effects of the Olympics on the hosting country, whether planned and unplanned, positive and negative.