Two Cities Left In Running


Though 2024 is still a bit far away, the bid is already for the next city who will be hosting the next Olympics. With a just six months left before the International Olympic Committee choose the next host, only two cities are left to vie for the position.

As for those who are tuning to news concerning the Olympics, they probably already know that Budapest has already backed out from the bidding. Now, only Los Angeles and Paris are left for the battle for the next host city for the 2024 Olympics.

Previously, bidding for and hosting the Olympic games were considered business opportunities. However, at present, the IOC now faces the burden of costs and certain disappoints surrounding the Olympics.

Some people recognize that the current era is facing major challenges that should be addressed by the Olympic movement.

In relation to this, as it bids for the Olympics, Los Angeles is pitching proposal about some innovations that it want to implement should it host the games.

Meanwhile, a letter from the IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, indicated that the committee realizes the political struggles faced by the world today and the need for the Olympics to make the necessary adjustments.

In the past bidding cycles, most candidates cities backed from the bidding process duet to pressure from people who are against hosting the Olympics or from lack of political support.

With the recent action of Budapest in backing out of the bid for the Games, some speculators think that it is not impossible that the IOC will award the hosting of Olympics to the two remaining contenders.

On the other hand, either of the two cities may be disappointed if any one of them gets turned down from hosting the Olympics as both are major markets for Olympic sports.

The IOC previously faced challenges regarding the games, but their problem now mainly concerns the inflated costs even though they can say that they have plenty of money to go around.

From 1968 to 2012, the money spent for the Olympics had always exceeded the allocated budget by 150%.

With such results, potential host cities realized that hosting the Olympics actually drains them of money.

Meanwhile, some cities, including Krawkow and Hamburg, withdrew from bidding for the 2022 and 2024 Olympics, respectively, due to loss by popular votes, whereas other cities, such as Boston, failed to gain the necessary political support.

Economists argue that people should not think of the Olympic as an investment; it’s just a three-week event that necessitates construction of infrastructures that are considered 50-year investments.

Moreover, just participating in the bidding process already costs cities at least $50 million.

Likewise, others think that awarding the next Olympics to the remaining two bidding cities actually have its benefits.

This action will enable IOC to take a step back and contemplate regarding the bidding process that they should implement for the upcoming Olympics.

Some experts think that the IOC should apply several political ideas and conduct a listening tour to improve its bidding process and to consider other applicable models.

In addition, selecting both Los Angeles and Paris as host cities may decrease the costs for the Olympics through coordination of services.

However, implementing such ideas is not without challenges, for instance, changes may be implemented with regard to chartering the awards to cities simultaneously.

On the other hand, some IOC members and other bidding cities may be against such practices.

However, if the awarding will be conducted for a longer period before the Olympics, danger lies in the changing economy that may pose dangerous risks with just a matter of several years.

In the end, there is still a long way to go before the any decisions can be made regarding the proposed changes in the management of the Olympics and awarding of host cities.

At present, officials from Los Angeles and Paris are more focused on the 2024 Olympics. Yet, the IOC should consider implementing new standards that focus on sustainability.

However, should two cities be awarded as hosts, some problems may still occur. For instance, in 1921, the 1924 Games was awarded to Paris in honor of the then retiring Pierre de Coubertin, but the IOC also awarded the 1928 Olympics to Amsterdam.

This resulted in a protest by Los Angeles, which eventually was selected as host city for the 1932 Games.

Thus, in the end, before the IOC make any decisions, it should consider the possible protests against their actions.

2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

Last August 6, 2016, the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics was held in the Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the event, a number of speakers made speeches, flags were hoisted, and athletes joined the parade.
The International Olympic Committee also showed a presentation showing the culture and history of Brazil. The presentation features landscapes and forests, the history of the Portuguese people, music, and samba. Some aspects of the ceremony focused on topics of environmental conservation and climate change.
Though the budget was considerably lower compared with past Olympic events, the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics received praises for including a number of entertaining performances and tackling issues of multiculturalism and climate change.
The preparations for the ceremony were headed by the creative directors Fernando Meirelles, Daniela Thomas, and Andrucha Waddington. Six thousand volunteers performed the dance choreographed by Deborah Colker.
Meirelles supported the fact that a smaller budget was allotted for the opening ceremony and just focused on compensating low budget with creativity.
To reflect the best in Brazilian music, Anitta, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil were invited to perform during the ceremony.
The 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony started with a music video featuring the song “Aquele Abraco” by Luiz Melodia and showing images of Rio de Janeiro. Then some performers clad in silver suits with giant silver sheet performed to the tune of “Samba de Verao.” Afterward, the IOC president Thomas Back was introduced, and the Brazilian National Anthem was led by Paulinho da Viola. Brazil’s flag was raised, and Brazilian athletes carried another 60 flags.
Then, some artistic performances were shown, including the homages paid to the spirit of gambiarra and to the Amazon rainforest. The presentations also showed how the Portuguese people arrived at Brazil, followed by numbers portraying the arrival of Europeans, Africans, and immigration of Arab and Japanese people.
Contemporary Brazil was represented by performance of a parkour group who crossed the stage and jumped on projections of building roofs.
Afterward, the favelas were represented using samba and funk carioca music. Elza Soares and Ludmilla sang also performed. Meanwhile, the rapper Marcelo D2 and singer Zeca Pagodinho performed together, followed by Karol Conka and MC Sofia. Some of the performances were used to portray conflicts, including maracatu and the bumba-meu-boi.
One of the major segments of the ceremony include showing a short video on anthropogenic climate change. The video was narrated by the Brazilian Award-nominee actress Fernanda Montenegro and British Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench.
After the performances and presentations, the athletes marched into the stadium during the Parade of Nations. Some countries were greatly applauded, especially the team of Refugee Athletes.
The parade of nations was followed by mass parade of the 12 samba schools of Rio Carnival’s Special Group. Then, a song was performed by Anitta, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil as tribute to Rio Carnival.
Afterward, the first Olympic Laurel Award was given to the Kenyan runner and two-time Olympic champion Kipchoge Keino. He was accompanied by children flying dove-shaped white kites.

Budapest Drops Bid 2024

It seems that there are now only two remaining contenders to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics: Los Angeles and Paris. This is the result of Budapest pulling out of the back as a consequence of the lack of political support for the events. It turns that activists played a great part by collecting signature from Hungarians who were not in favor of the Olympics.

The primary reason for the loss of support is the significant amount of budget required for hosting the Olympics.

Some of the organizers of the petition against bidding for the Olympics claimed that citizens fear that the cost for hosting the event will reach incredible amounts.

The same concern for budget also prompted other cities, including Rome and Hamburg, to bailed on the 2024 Olympics. On the other hand, Stockholm and Krakow stopped bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which now will be hosted Beijing.

When hosting the Olympics, the host city will be in charge of planning and funding the construction of all the sporting venues and other infrastructure projects that will be needed. In addition, the host city will have to take care of the security costs for all participants. Hotels will also be forced to construct additional rooms just to accommodate the number of guest athletes and tourists.

The bulk of these expenses will be shouldered by taxpayers.

Though some government leaders claim that the costs will be compensated by tickets sales, construction jobs, and promotion of tourism, economists comment that actual profits for hosting the Olympics is not that much.

For instance, during the 1976 Summer Games, though the mayor of Montreal declared that it is impossible for the Olympics to result in loss of income, the city was left with $1.5 billion debt that was not paid in full until 2006.

The Montreal’s case was considered an extreme one, cost overrun is constantly true for all Games.

The case of Montreal caused hesitation in some cities to bid for the 1984 Olympics. However, Los Angeles considered an alternative approach by relying heavily on private financing and also utilized existing stadiums as venues.

As for the more recent host cities of the Olympics, Russia supposedly spent $50 billion in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, whereas China shows no concern for expenses for the Beijing Olympics. Meanwhile, the 2016 host, Rio de Janeiro, is currently in ruins as a result of the extreme expenses for the Rio Olympics.

Obviously, the International Olympics Committee should address the problem in funding and develops measures that can minimize the costs for hosting these international sports events.

What Are The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games or Olympics refer to one of the most popular international sporting everts that comprise both summer and winter competitions. With over 200 participating nations, these events are attended by thousands of athletes from various parts of the world. The Olympics happens every four years.

The inspiration for the creation of the Olympic Games stemmed from the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece in the 8th century BC to 4th century AD. The International Olympic Committee was first founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894. Afterward, the IOC started service as the committee for all Olympic events.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, a number of changes occurred in the Olympic Movement and subsequently in the Olympic Games. For instance, Winter Olympic Games was developed for ice and winter sports, Paralympic Games for those with disability, and Youth Olympic Games for young athletes. In addition, the Olympics now allow the participation of professional athletes and mass media in terms of corporate sponsorship and commercialization. Meanwhile, the Olympics were not held during times of war, including the years 1916, 1940, and 1944.

On the other hand, the Olympic Movement includes international sports federations, National Olympic Committees, and organizing committees. The IOC plays the part of selecting the host for each Games and planning the games as per the Olympic Charter. The IOC is also in charge of choosing the sports to be featured during the Games. Meanwhile, Olympic rituals and symbols, including the Olympic flag and torch, are used during both opening and closing ceremonies.

The modern Olympic Games has its origins from the Ancient Olympics. These past events were the religious and athletic events held at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Participants of such events included city-states or kingdoms in Ancient Greece. Some of the most common events held in Ancient Olympics included combat sports and horse and chariot racing. Some historical evidence indicated that city-states overlook their conflicts first just to wait for the games to finish. However, this assumption was already disproven. In fact, there never was any suspension in Greek law, though some religious pilgrims did manage to pass through warring territories unharmed.

Until the present, the true origins of Olympics remain uncertain. Some myths imply that Heracles and Zeus were the minds behind the creation of the Olympics. Some rumors also tell that Heracles coined the term “Olympic” and constructed the Olympic Stadium to honor his father, Zeus.

However, the most accepted date of the start of Olympics was in 776 BC, based on the inscriptions discovered in Olympia. The inscriptions showed lists of names of supposedly winders of a footrace that was held every four years starting from 776.

As mentioned, the origins of Olympics were laced with religion. Some of the sports events that were held then were paralleled by ritual sacrifices for Greeks gods, including Zeus and Pelops. The winners received honor and were glorified by poems and construction of their own statues. The Olympic Games were part of the Panhellenic Games, a cycle of games including the Pythian Games, Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games.

Olympic Symbols

The Olympic symbols comprise icons, flags, and symbols utilized by the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games.

The Olympic motto is Citius, Aitius, Fortius, which in Latin, means Faster, Higher, Stronger. This motto was first introduced during the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894.

The Olympic games is also known for its symbol consisting of five interlocking rings. The rings come in five colors: blue, yellow, black, green, and red with a white background. The original design was made by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1912; the rings were assumed to represent the five continents: Africa, Asia, America, Australia, and Europe.

The first official of debut of the rings happened at the Games of the VII Olympiad in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920. From then on, the symbol became more popular during the lead-up to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. During the 1936 Summer Olympics, the president of the Organizing Committee, Carl Diem ordered the construction of a milestone with engravements of the five Olympic ring symbol. This structure started the myth that the Olympic rings have Greek origins.

In 1914, the Olympic flag was created by Pierre de Coubertin. Meanwhile, cities hosting the next Olympic games display their own specific Olympic flags. During the Olympic closing or Antwerp ceremony, the Olympic flag is passed from the mayor of the host city to that of the next. The flags passed on during closing ceremonies differ from the larger ones designed for specific games.

The first Olympic flag is called the Antwerp flag, which was first used at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. The flag was found missing after that event. Thus, another one was made for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. The second flag was still called the Antwerp flag though it was created in Paris. It was passed to different host cities until the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, when a specific flag was used for the Winter Olympics. The second Antwerp flag was retired in 1988 in Seoul, Korea.

Interestingly, the original flag was returned by Hal Haig Prieste, who stole the flag at the end of the Antwerp Olympics.

The Oslo flag was first used in the 1952 Winter Olympics and was subsequently passed on to host cities for the Winter Olympics.

On the other hand, the Seoul flag succeeded the Antwerp Flag in 1988. The Seoul Flag was succeeded by the Rio flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Olympics is also known for its flame-and-torch-relay ceremony. The modern tradition was first introduced in the Berlin Games in 1936. After flaming the torch using the sun rays concentrated by a parabolic reflector, it is taken out of Greece and taken around where the Olympic games are held. The torch has been carried by a number of people, including athletes, leaders, and celebrities, and other unusual conditions.

Olympic Ring History

In 1894, a congress was held in Paris regarding the possible revival of the ancient Olympic Games. Proposals were put forward and accepted, and the International Olympic Committee was then established to oversee the planning of the 1896 Athens Games.

After the 1912 Stockholm Games, Pierre de Fredy, Baron Coubertin, sent to his colleague a letter containing the famous five interlocking Olympic rings. Coubertin also used the symbol as emblem during the IOC’s 20th anniversary in 1914. The five-ringed symbol then became the famous emblem of the Olympic games.

The rings were supposed to be used during the 1916 Games but did not make it to the flags as a result of the ongoing World Ward. The Olympic rings were then introduced at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

One myth that surrounds the origins of the rings is that they were inspired by a stone that can be found at Delphi, Greece. However, not all people know that such stone was just constructed as prop.

The story of this myth can be traced back in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, when Carl Diem wanted the games to be more dramatic by ordering the construction of the faux-ancient, 3-foot-tall stone altar.

After the Games in Berlin, the stone was left and was found twenty years later by British researchers who were currently visiting Delphi. Then, the story started that the Olympics basically started in ancient Greece.

Meanwhile, before Coubertin became a part of the Olympic congress, he served as president of the Union des Sociétés Francaises de Sports Athletiques (USFSA). The Union was first formed prior the revival of the modern Olympics, and its symbol included two interlocking rings colored in red and blue.

According to the historian Robert Barney, the connection between USFSA’s logo and that the Olympics can be obviously attributed to Coubertin, who was a member in both organizations.

The International Olympics Committee implements strict regulations regarding the use of the Olympic rings. For instance, the Olympic should be used a whole and not in part and cannot be modified in any way. Regulations should also be followed regarding the colors that may be used in reproduction of solid version or interlocking versions of the ring.

Olympic Rings

The five interlocking rings of the Olympic symbols are assumed to represent five continents: the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Meanwhile, the colors were decided by its creator, Pierre de Coubertin, in 1912. The colors supposedly represented the nations who were part of the Olympic games at that time.

However, Pierre did not want to combine the colors of the rings as he believed that the colors cannot truly represent each competing continent.

Yet, in this modern time, some people would argue that such principle does not apply anymore. For instance, some countries whose flags bear some of the colors indicated in the Olympic symbol are not really represented during the games. Thus, the interlocking feature of the rings and its colors cannot be considered an international symbol.

However, in the end, the Olympic symbol stands for the inspirations that led to the revival of the modern Olympic games.