Topic: Mitigating Negative Impacts on Host Cities
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra
International Olympic Committee
Mitigating Negative Impacts on Host Cities
The Commonwealth of Australia
Aanya Dogra, Forest Hills Northern High School
The Olympics can trace its roots back to the Peloponnese in Ancient Greece. While those games had an important legacy, corruption and bribery were key factors during this time. Similarly, the Olympic Games today have benefits and drawbacks. The Olympics is an event everyone watches worldwide. The 2004 Athens Olympics pulled in 3.9 billion viewers and the 2008 Beijing Olympics reached 4.7 Billion viewers. Although enjoyed by the general public, hosting the Olympic games can become quite harmful. Hosting can mean debt and financial strain due to the new infrastructure and buildings needed for the games that often are not used again. In particular, Montreal did not pay off its debt from the 1976 games until 2006 and Greece’s billions in Olympic debt assisted in bankrupting the country.
Australia has hosted two summer Olympic games, one in Melbourne of 1956 and the other in Sydney of 2000, and is planning to host one in 2032. Unlike other Olympic Games, the Sydney Olympics was a success for Australia. The total cost of the Olympic Games, according to NSW Treasurer Micheal Egan, was $6.5 billion. However, this money was made up for. Sydney utilized 47,00 volunteers who saved $140 million from the cost of the event. The money needed to host was split between the Federal Government, the private sector, and the NSW State government. Around $6.1 billion was made in tourist revenue on top of other income. Not only did Sydney evade debt, but it also prospered from this great opportunity. This has a lasting effect on Australia increasing economic activity by over .12% over a 12-year period. Australia recognizes the potential damage hosting the Olympics has for a country’s economy, however, if done effectively this can be a great help in boosting the economy. As Mr. Michael Payne, IOC Director of Marketing, stated, “Australia is the first Olympic host nation to take full advantage of the Games to vigorously pursue tourism for the benefit of the whole country. It’s something we’ve never seen take place to this level before, and it’s a model that we would like to see carried forward to future Olympic Games in Athens and beyond.”
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has 14 objectives set to provide clarity of role and mission, approved by the IOC. One of which states the AOC has the “exclusive authority to select and designate the city or cities which may apply to organize Olympic Games in Australia” allowing for cities with a proper infrastructure to host the games. This does not discriminate against the games being universally accessible but ensures the Olympic games do not cause harm to Australia’s economy; Australia recommends of other countries take similar actions. To further mitigate the high cost and environmental impact on host countries, 84% of the games in the Brisbane 2032 Olympics will be held in already existing venues. The IOC wants to find host cities that already have an infrastructure in place, and Australia supports this idea. Australia would like to be an example for future games in order to guarantee the reduction of the negative impacts of hosting the Olympics. Australia takes note of all problems in this situation and looks forward to creating a solution in collaboration with other delegations.