Olympic games are a waste of time and money
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
It’s the second week of the Olympics being aired on almost every television screen in the world, which means it’s the second week of me avoiding television at all costs. As someone who does not care for either sports entertainment, nationalism, or any variation of the two, the Olympic games represent the worst of both worlds. Tie that in with all the billions of dollars that are spent on the games and the negative social and economic effects that come with hosting an Olympic game, and what you have is one huge, unnecessary mess.
It’s not the sports aspect that I have any quarrels with; rather, it’s the relentless coverage, wasteful nature, and the whole pizzazz of the games themselves. Billions of dollars and many resources are wasted every time the Olympics take place every two years, billions of dollars that can and should have been used in many other ways that could benefit the country and its people.
Massive and expensive structures that are built for a momentary event such as the Olympics are often left abandoned and eventually decayed, and countries that struggle with poverty get flushed down the economic toilet after opting to host the Olympic games. We saw this when Athens hosted the Olympics in 2004 and went into recession 10 years after, with many people noting that the 2004 games were the starting point for the decline. A similar thing happened in the 1976 Montreal Winter Olympics. A lot of construction was needed before the games started, but most of it wasn’t finished in time, a mistake that cost the city $1.2 billion and severely crippled their financial security for almost 30 years. Even worse was in Beijing in 2008, where they spent $42 billion on the games and 1.5 million people were displaced from their homes to make room to build the Olympic structures—structures that have since been abandoned. Many countries leap at the chance to host an Olympic game in their major cities, but it comes with a heavy price-tag and limited benefits, which makes me question whether it’s necessary to have an Olympics at all.
I can appreciate the drama and excitement of the Olympics; of wanting to be the country with the most gold medals, or holding the most impressive world records, but I hardly see the point in building structures that will never be used again or wasting money on an event that only serves as temporary entertainment. To me, the Olympics are fun and entertaining in the short-term, but serve little to no long-term purpose.