Topic: Mitigating Negative Impacts on Host Cities
Delegate Name: Alexander Stillman
In 1896, a host of nations made the incredible decision to revive a forgotten tradition of the Ancient Greeks in Athens, Greece. The 1896 Olympics featured 250 male competitors from mainly fourteen nations, mostly European nations but also the United States, Chile, and Australia. The Olympic games were an outrageous success, bringing in many different spectators from around the world. The games have since been a staple of international friendly competition among nations, and have only been canceled in 1916 due to World War 1, and 1940 and 1944 due to World War 2. They were also delayed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Additionally, these games eventually brought on the creation of the winter olympics, which first took place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Although these games have proven to be spectacles of entertainment, they have also proven to be financial burdens on the host city. For a city to submit a bid to be considered for being a host city of the Olympics, the city has to spend millions of dollars in order to evaluate and prepare bids to the IOC. Even if a city is chosen, the costs only increase rampantly. Many cities are forced to make major investments in their infrastructure to allow for the huge influx of people to their city, especially in the form of transportation such as railroads and airports. Many cities have had to spend billions of dollars in these accommodations, including the Beijing Summer Olympic Games which exceeded $45 billion in costs. Some of these funds go towards buildings that can otherwise serve few purposes besides the sports it is being used for, such as the bobsled. Many of these endeavors have gone over budget, with an average of going 156% over budget. As a result, the amount of cities bidding to be host cities for the Olympics has declined substantially in recent years, going from eleven cities bidding in 2004 to only two cities for the 2024 olympics, those being Paris, France and Los Angeles, United States. Cities are further incentivized to withhold bids to be host cities as most Olympic games have not caused a major increase in economic activity, actually resulting in a total financial loss rather than a profit. Although it could be agreed upon to only host the Olympic Games in cities that already contain the infrastructure for them, this goes against the goals of the IOC to make the Olympic Games universally accessible. As the delegation of Guatemala, we are unable to host an olympic games due to financial constraints on the economy and political issues that currently are apparent in the nation. Due to this, we believe it is necessary not only to find sustainable terms for cities that are willing to bid as host cities for the Olympic Games, but also to make any resolution to this problem on equal terms for both cities wealthy enough to bid for host cities for the Olympic Games and nations that cannot afford to do so.
“Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.” GLICA.org, GLICA, 1 Jan. 2023, https://glica.org/glica-conferences/simun-2023-conference/simun-2023-committees/wellbeing-of-olympic-athletes/.