How to put an end to the dark side of the Olympics (via The Volokh Conspiracy)

The Olympics are a great sports event. But they also cause great harm. Host cities routinely lose enormous amounts of money on the games, and end up with decaying stadiums that have little or no value. Even worse, governments often forcibly displace large numbers of people from their homes and businesses in order to make room for Olympic venues. Over 1 million people lost their homes for the 2008 Beijing games alone. Brazil has similarly evicted large numbers of people for the currently ongoing Rio Olympics, and even more to build stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. Most of those evicted are the poor and people lacking in political power. The Olympics also often become propaganda showcases for authoritarian regimes, as happened win the 2008 Olympics in China, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In an earlier era, the the same problem arose on an even more egregious scale with the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Berlin, and the 1980 games in the Soviet Union.

None of this has to happen. We can reform the Olympics to put an end to it. … Read More

(via The Volokh Conspiracy)


2 thoughts on “How to put an end to the dark side of the Olympics (via The Volokh Conspiracy)

  1. This all sounds fine, but how do we change the status quo? How do we tell countries that they can’t bid anymore because the olympics will alternate between Athens and ? Or how do we get private investors to actually pay up?

    • Professor-proposed reforms usually are easier said than done and practically undertheorized. I think designating a single site (or one summer, one winter) is best. The IOC would have to make the decision, and, as potential host countries come to realize that these are money-losing endeavors, they actually may be glad to be off the hook. The exposure should draw sufficient private investment through sponsorships and attention. I think the largest hurdles are political, not economic.

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