Tohoku Olympics Bid: A Good Idea?

July 11 2011

Chicago was one of the 4 finalist cities bidding for the 2016 Olympics and it cost the city $3.3 billion. I don't know what Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro spent, but it doesn't seem to be money well spent for the losing cities (maybe it wasn't well spent for the winning city either).

Osaka made a bid for the 2008 Olympics. Beijing was the winner, with Toronto being the runner-up. What this says to me is that neither Tokyo for the 2016 games nor Osaka for the 2008 games were likely to win their bids. Why?

In 2008 Beijing stood out as representing a very large city in a vast country, with a huge population, struggling to overcome its "emerging country" status. China was also a critical manufacturing source for much of the world and had a sufficient amount of financial depth to fund such a large undertaking as the Olympics. As such, it is possible that the Committee decided that it was time to give China a chance to shine in the world spotlight.

With the Olympics held in an Asian country in 2008 and the scheduled 2012 Olympics to be held in Europe (London), it was unlikely that either Tokyo or Madrid would win the 2016 bid. Although Chicago came in last place in its 2016 bid for the Olympics, I think it was geographically "acceptable." I suspect Rio de Janeiro was selected to give it "a chance to shine in the world spotlight," as I said about China.

All this being said, I think the Olympic bidding process has become far too costly, and the additional costs of security because of current terrorist threats simply add up to what could be a financial disaster for the host country. That is why I think most cities are better off concentrating their efforts on attracting other sporting events.

By the way, I was reading that cheerleading may become an oficially recognized competitive sport. That's really neat!

Category: Open to Debate
Filed under: Japan