Are the Olympics still worth it?


yg17

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Aug 1, 2004
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To be fair, Sochi was so expensive because there is so much corruption in that country and massive contracts were handed out to Putin's buddies. Vancouver was only 6 billion.
 

Michael Goff

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To be fair, Sochi was so expensive because there is so much corruption in that country and massive contracts were handed out to Putin's buddies. Vancouver was only 6 billion.
That's still 6 billion dollars.

As the graphic shows, going to MARS takes less than that.
 

nebo1ss

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You also have to consider the legacy it leaves behind if planned correctly. For the London games of 2012 the athletics village was sold off as Apartment buildings. The main stadium is being turned into a Football "Soccer" ground. The Olympic Pool is reopening in three days time as a public swimming facility.

There is other planned re-use including a large public park.

Its also not a one week event but a two week event. One additional benefit is the employment it provides for some four or five years in construction.
 

Michael Goff

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You also have to consider the legacy it leaves behind if planned correctly. For the London games of 2012 the athletics village was sold off as Apartment buildings. The main stadium is being turned into a Football "Soccer" ground. The Olympic Pool is reopening in three days time as a public swimming facility.

There is other planned re-use including a large public park.

Its also not a one week event but a two week event. One additional benefit is the employment it provides for some four or five years in construction.
I was under the impression that a majority of the "Olympic Villages" were pretty much not used afterwards.
 

hallux

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Apr 25, 2012
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In the case of Lake Placid (host of the 1980 Winter Olympics), many of the venues are still used, even the outdoor long-track speed skating rink (I think).

Whiteface Mountain, host of the downhill events in 1980 is now a VERY popular ski resort
Mt. Vanhovenburg, host of the X-C ski events is an X-C ski place
The ski jumps are still used for Olympic training (I believe)
The rink where the "Miracle on Ice" happened is still in use

I'm not sure the "Olympic Village" as it was in 1980 is still identifiable as places where the athletes stayed during the games but the village/city is still a popular tourist destination. Actually, I'm not sure if they ever had as extravagant of an "Olympic Village" as they're building these days.
 

ElectronGuru

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My understanding is that the worlds benefit of the Olympics is as a proxy for war. Provide an outlet for nationalistic fervor and we'll be less likely to engage in the for more expensive alternatives. The more interesting question (that you seem to be asking) is why do countries line up to spend so much cash on hosting it - a short lived demonstration.

For some years, I've been wondering how Putin manages to stay in power. The assumption is that he does it through fear and oppression. But during Sochi, someone in one of the side features mentioned his emphasis on national pride. To the extent that is true, national pride seems to a valuable commodity: feeling good about your county and it's accomplishments.
 

Michael Goff

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My understanding is that the worlds benefit of the Olympics is as a proxy for war. Provide an outlet for nationalistic fervor and we'll be less likely to engage in the for more expensive alternatives. The more interesting question (that you seem to be asking) is why do countries line up to spend so much cash on hosting it - a short lived demonstration.

For some years, I've been wondering how Putin manages to stay in power. The assumption is that he does it through fear and oppression. But during Sochi, someone in one of the side features mentioned his emphasis on national pride. To the extent that is true, national pride seems to a valuable commodity: feeling good about your county and it's accomplishments.
I hadn't thought of the proxy for war idea, nor the national pride issue being something that helps Putin stay in power.
 

MacNut

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Some cities probably should not be allowed to host the Olympics as they don't have the room, money, or infrastructure to handle them. I believe Atlanta was rebuilt because of the games and it helped the city. While other cities are still paying off the debt and in ruin.
 

ElectronGuru

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I hadn't thought of the proxy for war idea, nor the national pride issue being something that helps Putin stay in power.
Beside the peoples view of themselves, there's also the publicity - others view of them. We learned a lot about Russia from the coverage (above being only one example).

Before it started, coverage was heavy about the crappy conditions shown in cell phone pics, reinforcing our ideas of what it's like there. Journalists are always lined up to tour athlete accommodations and I would be surprised if impressions are not now better.
 

zioxide

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Dec 11, 2006
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Just thinking, maybe the focus on a one week event might be the wrong place for roughly 58 billion dollars of spending. Couldn't they have spent that money to, I don't know, help their people?
They're definitely expensive no doubt. Slight problem with your first chart though. You can't really compare the "per-event" costs between the Summer and Winter games because the Summer games have way more events and athletes. Shared facilities and more events drive the "per-event" cost down.

It would be interesting to see the "per-event" comparison between Beijing/London and Vancouver/Sochi.


As for the benefits, it's hard to predict this soon. Some places have done really well after the Olympics, and others have struggled. If these Olympics put Sochi on the map and it becomes a major resort destination for Eastern Europe/Western Asia, it will be worth it, but it's way too soon to measure the long-term economic impacts obviously.


Now, if you ask the athletes or the fans, they'll tell you it's definitely worth it.
 

tshrimp

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Mar 30, 2012
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The child in me still quietly laughs when I hear the name Putin.

I personally would for us to go to Mars or else ware. Just wondering what the benefit would be in spending so much money for the trip?
 

Michael Goff

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The child in me still quietly laughs when I hear the name Putin.

I personally would for us to go to Mars or else ware. Just wondering what the benefit would be in spending so much money for the trip?
Martian Colonization?
 

vipergts2207

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Martian Colonization?
We're a long ways off from any sort of Martian colonization. We haven't even colonized the moon yet, and that's far more feasible. I however, support Mars and other planetary exploration just for the science. I'd really like to see a mission to Europa to see if there's extraterrestrial life in the subsurface ocean.
 

MacNut

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We're a long ways off from any sort of Martian colonization. We haven't even colonized the moon yet, and that's far more feasible. I however, support Mars and other planetary exploration just for the science. I'd really like to see a mission to Europa to see if there's extraterrestrial life in the subsurface ocean.
Not to take this thread down a rat hole, but arn't we sending a probe to Titan?
 

Technarchy

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May 21, 2012
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The Utah games gave the city a massive infrastructure boost. Highways, malls, apartments. All built for the games and still are being used

And the olympic event structures are still used as well.

It wasn't money just thrown into the wind.
 

Ugg

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Apr 7, 2003
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The Utah games gave the city a massive infrastructure boost. Highways, malls, apartments. All built for the games and still are being used

And the olympic event structures are still used as well.

It wasn't money just thrown into the wind.
Have you forgotten how the corruption took down the city government ? And that a former Mass. Governor was called in to pick up the pieces? Has SL ever really recovered from its Mormon games fiasco?
 

rdowns

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Jul 11, 2003
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Have you forgotten how the corruption took down the city government ? And that a former Mass. Governor was called in to pick up the pieces? Has SL ever really recovered from its Mormon games fiasco?

Let's not forget the federal government had to bailout the SLC games. Estimates range as high as $1.2 billion.