The Olympic Games often describes itself as a competition that promotes global excellence through sport. It’s also an opportunity for host countries to elevate their international image - but at what cost?
A growing movement of anti-Olympic activists want the games abolished. They say the world’s most iconic sporting event, which operates under the authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), isn't about celebrating sport or athletes, but generating corporate profits and financial gains for the elite.
Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games has mostly been a money-losing venture for cities. For 30 days of sport, the Japanese government is estimated to have spent more than $20 billion on new venues, infrastructure, and hospitality costs.
Activists in both Tokyo and Paris (the site of the next summer games in 2024) have criticised their governments for wasting public funds that could be spent on pandemic response. They argue that hosting the games displaces the poor, encourages corruption, and promotes the militarisation of police, all while driving up public debt.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll ask: Can the Olympics evolve, or do they need to go for good?
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