The quest for "Cheaper, simpler" Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is already thinking about the actions it could take for the postcoronavirus future.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Poster

With the new reality during the pandemic, the Olympics have had to adapt to the future in order to survive. / Photos: tokyo2020.org, Wikimedia - Ralf Roletschek

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: "Más baratos, más simples, más prioritarios", así serán los Juegos Olímpicos

The Olympic Games will have to reinvent themselves to survive and be viable in the future, the coronavirus has forced the organizers of Tokyo 2020 to move the games to 2021, however, the greatest changes will begin to be seen from Paris 2024, which has announced early a limit of 10,500 athletes, according to information from the IOC.


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"Cheaper, simpler"

This motto paraphrases the one pronounced in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin: "Faster, Higher, Stronger", now the games will seek to be cheaper and simpler. The coronavirus has forced the International Olympic Committee to reinvent the Olympic joust, the objective will be to make them viable for the immediate future. The Tokyo 2020 experience, postponed to 2021, will add to 200 other measures that the IOC plans to implement in the future, according to Digital Sports.

These 200 initiatives stemmed from feedback obtained from athletes, national Olympic committees, sports federations, and Paris 2024 organizers towards the Olympic Program Commission, which issued several recommendations:

  • Limit the number of athletes to 10,500 participants. As a reference, 11 thousand 238 athletes participated in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, according to Diario Digital, being the event with the most athletes.
  • Ensure that the participation of athletes is under conditions of gender equality in as many competitions and sports as possible.
  • Give priority to new events if locations allow them, which would give space to new athletes from different disciplines.

The IOC has not yet released information on the 200 specific measures, they consider that the number will be reduced to have the final list of initiatives. For now, Tokyo 2020 has already set out to reduce the costs of its games, among the measures that could be taken are: reducing the relay of the Olympic torch, combining the ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and other measures that will take place as long as they are not seen affected sports competitions, or spectators, according to TUDN .


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You can also read: Do you know how Covid-19 affects your soccer team?

The costs of organizing the Olympic Games

Myths have been created about the organization of the Olympic Games , for example, according to the newspaper Vanguardia, in Mexico it is thought that a special tax was created to finance the 1968 Olympiad. Or it is also thought that the 2004 Athens Games led to Greece to ruin, when the reality is that this occurred thanks to the mismanagement of their finances, which even led them to make up figures before the European Union. However, although these two stories are a myth, the reality is not so far away, that is, it is not so simple or cheap to host the world's largest sporting event.


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If we take Tokyo 2020 as an example, the budget was estimated at $ 7.3 billion according to Infobae , however, the final figure ranged from $ 13.954 to $ 28 billion, depending on whether the source is the government or the Japanese media respectively. Also, changing the date of the event will surely add other important expenses. The same newspaper indicates that the budgets for Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 were $ 45,000, $ 18,000 and $ 20,000 million, respectively.


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The costs come from investments in everything the IOC requests from the candidate cities to host: efficient means of communication, construction or remodeling of venues for each competition according to its standards, opening and closing ceremonies, food, security, medals, Olympic village, telecommunications, press center, the mandatory organization of the Paralympic Games , among other expenses. Unlike the World Cup, the Olympic Games are destined for a city and not for a country, so all the infrastructure and organization are concentrated in one place, although investments are in many cases made at the national level.

It is this situation that has concentrated the Olympic venues in the same countries and on the same continents, which is why summer games have never been held in Africa or the Middle East; in Asia only China, Japan and Korea have hosted them and Latin America has only hosted them in 1968 and 2016. The other venues take turns between the United States and Europe mainly. The IOC seeks with the new initiatives to reduce the requirements so that the costs are reduced, making them, therefore, cheaper, more efficient, more friendly to the environment, and giving priority to those who really matter in the event: athletes.