by Amy Lignor
After watching the Olympics held in the United Kingdom – the pomp, the circumstance, the beauty of the creations they made there to support and salute the athletes from around the globe, it seemed as if it was actually the most expensive Olympic Games on record. However…when we talk about the Olympics happening in Sochi, the cash that was needed in Russia far outweighs what we assumed was the ‘most money that could be spent’ for this particular pomp and circumstance.
Yes, on every news station there were talks and debates about how sidewalks were not completed; how hotel rooms were not done and ready to receive guests and tourists, and more. There were barbs thrown and pictures posted of yellow water coming out of pipes, signs that told people not to use certain things, such as toilets, in hotel rooms…and the rules and regulations were a bit caveman when it came to real life in 2014. There was more than a bit of ‘agony of defeat’ when it came to the press and how Sochi was running. But, believe it or not, the money that was poured into the size and scale of the Sochi Olympics has actually outweighed all that have come before.
There will forever be a debate (most likely) about how President Vladimir Putin actually used the Olympics in a way to create a huge cosmetic overhaul to the Black Sea region. This is a place that is a resort for one and all, and the brand spanking new buildings that have been created because of the Olympics will long stand; this new beauty, of course, will call out to more tourists who wish to spend their vacation time at a place that has true beauty and, is basically, right off the shelf. Water issues will be fixed. Hotels will be fixed. Everything that is a negative on the news now will be fixed and completed, allowing Russia to bring in some much-needed bankroll from the resort/vacation community. So, in essence, the cost was well worth it.
An A+ has to be given for security. One of the most frightening Olympics, with threats coming from everywhere, Russia’s security teams (up until now) have done a perfect job keeping athletes and guests safe from harm. In other words, no matter where the Olympics happen in the future, the security teams hired and used will have to be right on the money in order to NOT become the ones that let ‘something bad happen.’
The question has to be asked now whether or not countries that originally seemed to be a ‘chance’ for people to visit SHOULD be a part of the Winter Olympics one day? Or…would it be much more correct and keeping with history to host the Winter Olympics where there is actual winter? Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland…the countries that basically know everything there is to know about winter and can provide everything accordingly.
In a recent report, the International Olympic Committee IS talking things over. They are thinking about broadening their minds when it comes to the countries that could be seen as viable bidders and hosts for the Games. They are also looking into change regarding the actual bidding process that could help cut costs for cities, instead of the monumental cost Russia put into the deal: $51 billion, to be exact.
To catch up, when it comes to the 2022 Winter Olympics, bids were going to ‘turn’ from Munich to St. Moritz-Davos, but that idea was cut out of the picture because of financial AND environmental concerns. Stockholm has already pulled their country out of contention for the Games because the price was way too high. And, let’s be honest here, the United States wouldn’t be wanting a billions-of-dollars price tag for anything right at the moment.
Again, debate. Most of the price tag does go to roads, hotels and more, which the U.S. actually has in place in most areas, so perhaps the price would be lessened a great deal.
In 2018, Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be the host of the Games. A new country for many guests to visit, South Korea (like America, and others) already has most everything in place, so their price tag will be only $7 billion. But the chance to be host – a developing country that truly will be helped with the Olympic Games being a part of their new history, is a definite good thing.
So…2022 is up for grabs, and it will be interesting to see who pulls out the win, so to speak: Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Ukraine; and Norway, are entered into the race. Based on security, logistics, and a wealth of other analytics, it seems that Oslo, Norway will be the one to beat. After all, it has already been home to the Winter Olympics in 1952, and Lillehammer hosted in 1994.
No matter what occurs, the end result is this: Countries that were not seen as viable before, have become so. Sochi can enjoy their new resort area for a good, long time and perhaps bring in extra cash to help their country; and the Games may once again find themselves ‘at home’ in Norway.
Too bad the Olympics can’t go to their real home every session. Because no matter who hosts or how well it’s done, it will always be more amazing to watch the Games played where they all began.