All the competition is over. The build up, the hype and everything in between is finished. Billions of dollars spent just to host a 16 day event has come to an end and after the closing ceremonies, every host city gets asked.. Was it worth it?
The easy answer is yes. Sports bring people together when times are tough for a nation shattered with homelessness and poverty like Brazil. To see Brazilian natives jump into a state of pandemonium when their country brought home gold in Men’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Indoor Volleyball and Men’s soccer was absolutely priceless.
It’s also the inspiration that is provided when the athletes become instant heroes to the locals. This makes it really important for the next generation of athletes to have someone powerful and meaningful to look up to.
With a significant number of sport complexes built in Rio now, these arenas have a chance to be state of the arc training facilities that can rebuild Brazil’s Olympic team in other sports besides soccer and volleyball. On the other hand, the Olympics are a huge financial burden to any host city. With Rio struggling to treat its large amount of homelessness, quite a few people would argue that the Olympic money that was used could have been spent elsewhere. As CBC illustrated for the past two weeks, Rio is a world-class city with five-star beaches and a breath-taking view from Christ the Redeemer statue. However, this is just part of the city that major TV networks focus on.
The other half of the city has the looks of a third world country with 40% of their population living under the poverty line. In fact, that amount of empty seats at the various events was a correlation of how there was just so many Brazilians that couldn’t afford Olympic tickets.
It should be noted, that the Summer Olympics are too big of an event for any host city to hold. With the increased number of events being added to the already jammed packed program, each city is almost dealt a no-win situation right from the start. The weeks after the games will also be the most negative considering a city doesn’t find out whether or not hosted the Olympics was worth it financially until 25-35 years later. Tourism will be up the next few years, but will it be sustained long-term?
Lastly, what about the venues? A big question after the games is what will happen with the Olympic Arenas. Every host city hopes that none of the venues becomes a White Elephant. A White Elephant is described as a venue that gets little use after the event is over. A good example of a White Elephant is the Olympic Stadium in Montreal that was built for the 1976 Olympics. Since the departure of the Expos, the stadium doesn’t get used very much nor is a very good in quality.