CHENNAI: The sustainability of the Olympic Games and the legacy it leaves behind are two of the most discussed topics after a nation hosts the mega event. There are a few examples where the countries struggled with their economy like in the case of Greece and even Brazil. Sydney struggled with the upkeep of the infrastructure they created for the 2000 Olympic Games. Sometimes the expenses need to be underwritten.
Closer home, though the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games are incomparable in their magnitude, the 2010 CWG in Delhi did have financial implications. With India showing interest in hosting the 2036 Olympics, it’s yet not official though, the International Olympic Committee during a round table webinar on Thursday, ahead of the IOC Session in Mumbai next month talked about how they are trying to make the bidding process easier and less expensive and the Games more sustainable. There are multiple stakeholders including the Indian Olympic Association, the host city, and the governments (state and central).
Jacqueline Barrett, future Olympic Games hosts director, explains the new bidding process succinctly. “The IOC wants to make it more accessible to the countries around the world to bid. To make it more universal. We want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to host this exciting Games in the future and in a way it works for them and is well planned and ahead of time. The new approach to bidding is by us becoming the partner right from the word go so that we can help and share the expertise of the entire Olympic movement with cities, countries, and regions aspiring to host the future Games to help them build projects that will really work for them. And result in sustainable Olympic Games and working for the region that will leave a long legacy for the country.”
“In terms of us coming to the table right from the word go with the NOC of the host country and again using all the expertise of the Olympic movement and working with the future organizing committee because we have a lot of experience to help interested parties of the future.”
“We have rolled out this program Brisbane 2032 and this is the first future host elected under the new approach to bidding and hosting the Games. By doing that we have managed to bring the cost of bidding by over 80 per cent based on the last bid procedures and that is relevant for both the Summer and Winter Games. This new approach is bearing fruit.”
Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games executive director, also explains the economics behind the Games. “The Games are the best possible business in town. Why do I say that? Simply because for 20 years or more the budget of the Games that is organizing the event from the start of the Opening Games to the Closing of the Paralympics the budget is balanced,” he said.
“This is for many reasons. First, the IOC came up with a very hefty contribution of about $1.8 billion in the context of Los Angeles. Then the organizers sell tickets and have their own programs and that helps to balance the budget. Imagine when you have a ($) 4.3 billion operating budget that is balanced. The volume of economic activities that this produces across the economics of Paris, the region, and the country, it is estimated at 10 billion (dollars/euros). When you have this money for the French state this also means you have the fiscal revenue. All in all, with the injection and power of the Games the city generates additional economics which in the end turns out to be formidable. This is why we have a very long line for 2036 already. Because it’s a great value proposition.”
India must have strong IOA to bid for Games
The IOC once again reiterated that the IOA must appoint a Chief Executive Officer as early as possible. James McLeod, Director of NOC relations, said that despite holding several rounds of discussions with the IOA and its executive board they are yet to appoint a CEO.
“There was a change in the constitution last year and one of the key points in that was the appointment of CEO,” he said. “We have been continuing our dialogue with the IOA for that position to the appointed and I must say that we are quite disappointed that it has not been done up to now. In conversation of the future hosting of the Games, you need a very strong National Olympic Committee to back the bid. We will continue our dialogue with them.”
The IOC also said that as of now there is no official communication regarding hosting the Olympics in 2036. However, the IOC said that it will be exciting to see India bid and host the Olympics. Aware of Arunachal athletes visa issue: IOC
The IOC has also said that they are aware that Arunachal Pradesh athletes from India were denied conventional visas to enter China. The IOC said that they are in touch with OCA to try and resolve the issue. “Our principle doesn’t only apply to the Asian Games but every day and everywhere across the globe,” said McLeod.
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“All athletes should have free and unfettered access to sports competitions regardless of their nationalities and regardless of the passport they hold. These are the policies we as IOC will continue to uphold. We will talk to different parties within the Olympic movement and also governments so that these principles are upheld. We are aware of the situation and it is a matter of the Olympic Council of Asia and we know that there are discussions between the OCA and the hosts of the Asian Games to try and resolve the situation.