Holding the Olympics in Multiple Cities at Once

A great proposition by Megan Greenwell from WIRED:

Send beach volleyball to Rio permanently, where there are actual beaches. Hold the fencing competition in Italy, where many of its gold medalists are born. Move swimming to Australia, where it’s a nationwide obsession. Host soccer in South Africa, where the 2010 World Cup was a moment of national pride. Let each country bear the cost of one set of events at a time instead of dozens.

Something like this sounds like such a brilliant idea because of just how bad an idea holding the Olympics in one city is to begin with:

“The math just doesn’t make sense,” says Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College whose book Circus Maximus argued that even bidding on the Olympics makes cities a victim of a scandal-plagued International Olympics Committee. “They cost between $10 billion and $20 billion and generate in the range of $4 billion to $5 billion,” he says.

I’m surprised the Olympics are even still a thing considering how much in losses it’s caused to its host cities.

Here’s a short but interesting comment made at the end:

Most of humanity doesn’t live in a nation wealthy enough to take a $10 billion loss on a two-week competition.

Meanwhile there are multi-billion dollar tech companies that could easily handle that loss. Bizarre to think about.

Source: WIRED


Further reading: A look at the Olympic Village in Athens after the Olympics in 2004.