What evidence can be presented to support the argument that holding the Olympic Games brings both economic and social benefits to a country that outweigh the costs?

Topics: 2008 Summer Olympics, Summer Olympic Games, Olympic Games Pages: 5 (1687 words) Published: November 30, 2013

What evidence can be presented to support the argument that holding the Olympic Games brings both economic and social benefits to a country that outweigh the costs?


Introduction --------------------------------------------------------------- 3

Economic benefits (outweigh the costs) ------------------------ 3

Social benefits (outweigh the costs) ------------------------------ 5

Conclusion ----------------------------------------------------------------- 6

References ----------------------------------------------------------------- 8


The Olympic Games are the world’s greatest international sporting ceremony with thousands of athletes participating. In the recent years, the scale of the Olympic Games developed at an alarming pace. By 2012 London Olympic Games, the entrant countries were up to 205(CRL-online, 2008). It can be easily figured that the hosting country must have enormous expenses on holding such a grand event. For example, the investment of 2012 London Olympic Games is £8.77bn, which supported an estimated total contribution of £1 billion to UK GDP (Gross Domestic Product) (McHugh, 2006, p.21). According to a ComRes poll for the BBC (2013), more than two-thirds of the UK public believe the huge expenditure was worth the money and 74% would also welcome the Game back to Britain. In my opinion, except the contribution to the national GDP, Olympic Games also bring varieties of economic benefits against the costs. For instance, the rapidly development of tourism followed by this world’s event brings a plenty of occupation opportunities and saves numerous citizens from unemployment (McHugh, 2006, p.48). In addition, as well as the economy, social benefits come with the Olympic Games, such as tourism, physical environment, mental promotion, which fully exceed the costs.

Economic benefits (outweigh the costs)

First of all, the Olympic ceremony brings a great positive impact on national economy. No one can deny that there are vast sums of money expended on the games. When the Olympics were held in Montreal in 1976, for example, the loss amounted to $2 billion, which was $700 per Montreal resident (Henderson, 2012). And remember that that was in 1976 dollars. The recent case in point is the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games which cost 20bn, including new subway lines, an airport terminal, a light railway, roads and sporting venues (The Guardian, 2008). The Olympic stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest cost £250m (ibid.). Although the Olympics spends a lot of money on hosting and building the constructions and other basic facilities, the government earn back the money from all the tickets sold, souvenirs and transport etc. Additionally, the Olympics also comes with varieties of investment, such as the brand sponsorship, which can relieve part of government’s fund burden. A recent government research (BBC, 2013) suggests that the UK economy received a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment from stating the Games, which has exceeded the cost of £8.77bn in holding London 2012 Olympic Games. For another example, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sponsor Program had attracted over 64 companies, including both Chinese and overseas enterprises (klako Group, 2008). The leading brand of sports --- Adidas --- spent $180 millions and organized a special team to ensure that they can promote their branding value as well as the increased sales (ibid.). So it is a win-win trade that not only the host city obtains the fund support but also the enterprises can deepen their globalization strategy. Furthermore, from the moment the Olympics exists on the schedule of the hosting country, plenty of new employment opportunities occur, such as waiter\waitress, architect, telephone operator, driver and security guard etc. For instance, taxi driver, which was not a welcoming occupation before 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, seemed to be more popular. Also, more telephone...

References: 1. BBC (2012) Olympics ‘boosting’ Scottish tourism. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-16863780 (Accessed: August 27, 2013)
2. BBC (2013) London2012: UK public says £9bn Olympics worth it. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/23434844(Accessed: August 27, 2013)
3. CRL-Online国际在线(2012)奥运会带来的巨大影响. Available at: http://gb.cri.cn/27824/2012/05/25/2625s3700406.htm(Accessed: August 26, 2013)
4. France-24 (2008) True Olympic spirit found in those who come last. Available at: http://gb.cri.cn/27824/2012/05/25/2625s3700406.htm (Accessed: August 25, 2013)
5. Klako Group (2008) Impacts of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing Available at: http://www.klakogroup.com/en/china-invest-monthly-newsletter/impacts-of-the-2008-summer-olympics-on-beijing (Accessed: August 26, 2013)
6. Henderson, D (2012) The Economics of the Olympics [Online] Available at: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/07/the_economics_o_20.html (Accessed: September 02, 2013)
7. McHugh, D. (2006) A Cost-Benefit Analysis of an Olympic Games [Online] Available at: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1097.pdf (Accessed: August 27, 2013)
8. Oxford Economics (2012) The Economic Impact of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games [Online] Available at: http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media/pdfs/lbg/2012/Eco_impact_report.pdf (Accessed: August 27, 2013)
9. The Guardian (2008) The cost of the Beijing Olympics [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2008/jul/28/olympicgames2008.china1 (Accessed: September 02, 2013)
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