The Painful Costs of Hosting the Olympic Games

Even though Hosting an International Olympic Games seems like the country would profit immensely, history has shown that this is not always the case. Often the Olympics impact the economy of the host country in a negative way. Examples of this include London Summer Olympics 2012 and Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.

The citizens of London eagerly anticipated the hosting of the Olympics. The unemployed had visions of long-term work that would be brought by the need for new infrastructure, stadiums, and hotels. This did occur for the years leading up to and preparing for the Olympics, but when the building was finished and the Olympics were over, the jobs dried up and unemployment soared. Small business owners assumed that more money in the economy would be spent on their businesses because of the amount of people pouring in to their area to watch the Olympics, but things did not play out as many business owners had thought. For example, small business owner Joe Stillion had to close his cafe before the Olympics were even over.

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In order to build one of the Stadiums the route to Joe’s cafe was closed off rendering him completely isolated. Once the Olympics were over, there was no one to stay in the hotels, no one to fill the stadiums, and no one to come to Joe’s cafe. Citizens of Sochi (where the Olympics are currently in progress), also thought that the Olympics would bring them financial success. So far however, the Olympics have been quite a disaster for Sochi economically and socially. They have spent more money than any other country preparing the stadiums, roads, and hotels for the Olympics.

At a whopping 51 Billion spent, you might think that the best Olympics ever was in store, but Olympians and spectators are incredibly disappointed. The hotels are unfinished, and there are reports that there are no stalls for the toilets, the Wifi is hanging from the roof, and there aren’t enough light bulbs to go around. Roads were being poured after the Olympics started, and unfinished projects were strewn throughout the city. Guests are appalled with the conditions, and have even created a Twitter account dedicated to showing the quirks found in Sochi (#SochiProblems).

Although the income generated has yet to be tallied, it seems clear that there will be a deficit in Sochi. The Olympic Games can create jobs and economic gain for host countries. However, there is another side to the pretty picture of hosting the Olympics; Devastating costs, un-used buildings, un-necessary infrastructure, and ultimate job loss. Is it worth it?