Should the Olympics continue?

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Amel Eric

The positives of the Olympics don’t seem to outweigh the negatives.

Birdie Kwan, Copy Editor

Continuously running billions over budget, abandoning expensive infrastructure, losing interest, lessening tourism, and much more has led to the downfall of interest in the Olympics as a whole and to the question of if it should continue.

Not even 5 years ago, the Olympics were a major event that caught the attention and excitement of billions around the world. Now, the Olympics are something we see for a few seconds as we flip through TV channels. 

This year from February 4 to 20, Beijing will host the Winter Olympics as the last of the three consecutive Olympics in Asia and become the first country to host both the Summer and Winter games. 

While the Olympics are still an entertaining event for some, the harm they bring to the host country proves tremendous. One major issue the host country and its citizens face is having to relocate and remove people from their homes, especially the impoverished, and forcing people to pay the consequent taxes. 720,000 people in Seoul were forcibly moved for the 1988 Olympics, which raises the question about how to reduce the detriments to the host country while maintaining the Olympics’ pride and prestige.

“People have thrown around the idea of using different stadiums,” Woodside sophomore Maddie Danella said. “Like using football stadiums…you just put sand on it and make it [into volleyball] courts.”

This may even be a solution to cutting the abundant costs that are especially high when places don’t have natural snow. According to the Wall Street Journal, building Olympic stadiums is the most costly part, and the resources and space they take up fall to disuse and abandonment which becomes landfill and waste.

“I think it’s a waste of space, and they should start reusing it,” Woodside sophomore Tessa Niu agreed.

This pool from the Rio Olympics was ordered to close and soon became home to standing water and mosquitoes carrying dengue fever and Zika virus. (Buda Mendes)
This swimming pool from the Berlin Olympics in 1936 lies as an abandoned landfill. (John Macdougallafp)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the Olympics continue to hold on to some viewers due to the few anticipated events such as figure skating, bobsledding, and ice hockey.  Many, including Woodside sophomore Keana Velasco, are especially excited for figure skating, especially Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu’s performance.

“Nathan Chen could win… but [Yuzuru Hanyu] is trying to set the record for the first quad,” Velasco said.

However, Velasco also argued that the Olympics are mostly for show, considering that these top-tier athletes have already won their own titles in their respective sports.

“They’re already National Champs,” Velasco said. “This is just another competition; just to be televised.” 

While the Olympics still hold a high level of pride for the athletes and various countries, many still pose the question of whether the Olympics are worth it or not. When looking past the negatives, the games still provide jobs, increase trade, improve transportations systems, and increase tourism (sans COVID).

“I think it’s a good way for international cultures to come together,” Niu said.

In addition to being one of the few times so many countries are represented in an athletic setting, the Olympics are a mainstream event that inspires young and aspiring athletes.

“It’s a good way for the public to see what [athletes are] working on and have them show off their skills and inspire young minds to be like them,” Danella pointed out.