Last week the country of Norway’s Conservative party withdrew its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Oslo. The decision leaves just two cities, Almaty – Kazakhstan, and Beijing as the remaining duo in the race to host the Games.
This is the first time since 2006, when Turin beat Sion to host the Winter Olympics, that just two cities will be vying for the chance to host the world’s most illustrious multi sporting event, with St. Moritz, Munich, Stockholm, and Krakow also withdrawing their bids to host the Games.
Despite Norway being the most successful Winter Olympic country it is estimated that more than half of their population were against the 2022 bid. Frtihjof Jacobsen, VG newspaper’s chief political commentator, said that the current Conservative party didn’t “want to spend money on the wrong things,” echoing the protests in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup that demanded FIFA quality schools and hospitals.
A question of cost
The appeal to host is becoming less attractive with every passing Olympiad. Estimation costs during the bidding process are routinely underestimated, leaving the public purse to pay for excessive security, transport and facility costs.
The recent examples of mega sporting events are leaving the IOC in a meltdown, caused by their own insane demands and an excessive expenditure being forced upon the host cities.
The most recent Games held in the subtropical, desolate city of Sochi, Russia were estimated to have cost a staggering $51 billion (£31.5 billion), passing Beijing to make it the most expensive Games in history. The costs have been criticised by many experts, who believe Vladimir Putin and his corrupt Oligarchs stole $30 billion (£18.5 billion) of the total costs from their own people.
It is not just the Sochi 2014 Games that have been financially extortionate in recent years however. Despite legacy being the prominent word materializing from the London 2012 Games, the costs, which were expected to have been under £3 billion during the bidding process in 2005, reached a staggering £11.4 billion by the time the Games came around.
88 per cent of this total, which doesn’t include the £6 billion investment on public transport, is expected to have come from public investment, with just £1.4 billion coming from private investors.
In 2016, the Games will be held in South America for the first time in its history, when Rio will be expected to play host to rich investors and IOC delegates. But before the Games have even begun, human rights and environmental issues have been aroused.
Looking from a new lens
For only the third time golf will be included in the sports program, but the course has already been criticised for threatening around 300 different species in the designated area for the course and with an estimated 1.5 million people evicted for the World Cup in 2014, and more expected to be eradicated to make way for parking lots it is tarnishing the image of major sporting events.
The private investors, along with IOC delegates, are the sole beneficiaries from the Games. In their 7,000 page the IOC demanded separate lanes for Olympic traffic along with a cocktail reception for their members, paid for by the state, upon their arrival and Conservative lawmaker Geir Inge Sivertsen believes the “very strange demands” helped sway the vote made by the party to retract the bid.
The Olympic movement is on the wrong path, invoking capitalist ideology that helps the rich prosper and the state taxpayers suffer.
When Thomas Bach and his team of cronies meet in Monte Carlo on December the 8th to discuss the issues surrounding demands placed on host cities, an emphasis must be placed on a much more efficient legacy that doesn’t only benefit themselves, sponsors and the sporting excellent.
What do you think? Who should host the Winter Olympics in 2022? Have your say in the comments section below.