The Olympic Games first started at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. At that time, the games held were organized into festivals. There was a peace agreement called the scared truce between the city-states of Elis and Pisa. The reasons for hosting the Olympic Games at that time fall into three obvious aspects —— the honour of competing, the opportunity for trade and also, for peace. The reason why cities bid to hold the Olympics now are more complicated than in ancient time. But the main reasons remain the same. Cities may bid to host the Olympics to raise their International status by opening a door to the whole world, boost their economy, and enrich their culture and so on. All in all, cities want to promote the pace of their development by holding such a big event like the Olympics. Cities also have high expectations about the legacy benefits of the Games. Some of the main benefits will be identified later in this article. However, the benefits that are claimed in relation to hosting the Olympic Games are hard to measure. Those main benefits will be evaluated by taking the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games for instance.
The legacy benefits of the Olympic Games can be indentified through four aspects —— political, economical, environmental and as the Olympic Games is a big sporting event, the last one should be sport.
Politics had no place in the ancient games. The event was made possible in part by a truce that allowed visitors and competitors to travel to Olympia safely. During the truce there was no war, no executions, and no military action. However, although it is claimed that the modern Olympics have nothing to do with the political, many countries bid to host the Olympic Games for many political reasons under different circumstance. The best example to examine the relationship between sport and politics was the two German states during the cold war between 1945 and the early 1970s, in which period the two German states competed to host the Olympic Games in order to establish their own political authority. (Hughes, Owen, 2009). The 1972 Munich (Germany) Games was no doubt a good stage to show the rebuild Germany after the war. The Olympic Games are somehow a stage to relief the political conflicts and help the host cities change their International image.
In terms of economy, it is the most important area when talking about the benefits of the Olympic Games. Cities always have high expectations to develop their economy after hosting the Olympics. Although the 1980 Moscow Olympics left a great amount of debt to the host city, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic recovered people’s confidence. Matthewman (2009) indentified the legacy benefits of the Olympics’ economy benefits were included media exposure, employment and education training, infrastructure improving, increased trade, new investment and housing. However, the economic benefits of the Olympic Games are obviously much more than Matthewman described. There is a similar report printed by Price Waterhouse Coopers (2004) claimed that the long-term economy benefits would include: A. Improvement of city productivity (e.g. better transportation) B. Cultivate the city’s management ability to deal with International event. C. Olympic-related trade.
D. Media exposure.
E. New investment and more job opportunities.
F. Training project.
G. Tourism industry
Another benefit of the Olympics could be the improvement of city environment. After the International Olympic Committee (IOC) make the environment the third strand in 1994, cities have made their efforts to deliver cleaner and greener Games. The eco-friendly event made the sustainable development theory spread all over the world. The Olympic Games make a good contribution to arousing the awareness of protecting our environment which could be beneficial to the whole human society.
As the Olympic Games combined different sporting event, it is most closely related to sports in the host cities. Firstly, the sports...
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