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The Olympic Games have become the biggest sporting event in the world attracting thousands of athletes from nations all over the world for competition every four years.
Nations and individual athletes take great pride in their participation in the event, and each Olympic victory is a source of pride for the country.
However, these games have come under immense criticism over the last decades. There is a feeling among many people that the Olympics no longer perpetuate the traditional ideals of peace and universal goodwill that they originally embodied.
Rather, the renowned world event has numerous adverse impacts on both the host countries and the athletes. This debate will argue that the Olympics mostly result in negative outcomes for the host country and athletes and this reason, this sporting event should be discontinued.
Arguments against Olympics
The Olympic events act as a security threat by offering a good target for terrorists. The initial intention of the Olympic Games was to promote peace and integration of the world’s nations.
However, the games have taken a different turn that is now threatening the very peace that it initially promoted. Due to the large crowd that the event attracts, it has become an easy target for terrorist if the recent bombing in the Boston marathon is anything to go by.
Such attacks might breed antagonism among nations, and this could hamper good relations hence affecting the harmonious co-existence of humanity.
On the one hand, the Olympic Games wasted a variety of environmental resources and destroyed the environment, like trees, air, and atmosphere. To organize an Olympic event requires enough space to accommodate the expected spectators from all over the world.
To achieve this, the host ends up cutting down trees and clearing bushes around to create enough room to put up a stadium. These actions lead to changes in the climatic conditions and have adverse impacts in the long run.
In addition to that, air pollution is a major challenge and synonymous of the Olympic events (Wilson, 2012).
Due to the increased transportation activities during the Olympics, air pollution caused by fossil fuels is proliferated. The increased amounts of litter due to packaging foodstuffs sold in the event is adding an environmental strain to the host (Wilson, 2012).
The Olympics also a major health challenge to participants. Because of the pressure, participating athletes put in more efforts doing everything they can to win the games. The pressure that comes along for athletes to win in the Olympics causes them to go beyond the limit in preparations.
Sang Lan a Chinese gymnast, for instance, is a good example of athletes who suffer from health complications as a result of the Olympic Games.
In 1998 while doing her warm-up for the vault event final at the goodwill games in New York sang fell and could barely raise herself (Bernard, 2012).
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Taken to the hospital, she was found to have fractured her C6 and C7 vertebrae, and her spinal cord was injured which led to her paralysis (Wilson, 2012).
Athletes subject their musculoskeletal systems to extreme physical activities due to the pressure of the Olympics competition (Wilson, 2012). This escalates the risk of causing injuries to their cervical spine.
The Olympics have direct negative effects on the economy of the hosts, which remain to affect the country for several years. Although organizing such an important event has its economic benefits, there are risks involved that are very crucial (Hunter, 2012).
The prestige of organizing the Olympics comes along with the great expenditure mainly on facilities to be used, transportation, and most importantly safety precautions.
Other expenditures include housing and maintenance of the stadium to meet the standard set by the International Olympics Committee (Hunter, 2012). There is also the aspect of impressing the world with a magnificent stadium which requires a lot of spending.
Such spending, especially in developing countries, can greatly affect the economic environment. With high government spending, the economy ran a risk of the high inflation rate and increased the cost of living.
In London’s case, for instance, the Olympics cost the government approximately £9.325 billion (News.com.au, 2012).
Olympics attract tourists from all over the world hence posing a security challenge. During the Olympics, there is normally an influx of tourists coming to attend the event.
This increases the activities at the airports as well as at the borders and requires an increase in manpower at these points (Oxlade & Ballheimer, 1999).
In most cases, host countries face the challenge of efficiently manning the entry points giving room for the entry of illegal products such as drugs, firearms, as well as illegal immigrants (News.com.au, 2012).
The Olympic Games have recently been marred by violent attacks and the use of drugs by athletes a trend that is raising the question of whether the event still helps to foster peace.
The use of such substance and the violent activities are as a result of the volumes of people coming into the host country in the facade of fans. Long queues at the immigration, therefore, become a challenge and managing the large population is an inconvenience to host security personnel.
The Olympics are no longer a peaceful event since athletes are exposed to danger in countries that have high rates of crime. It is one of the standard procedures that any country bidding to host the event must make public its crime rate.
This is to measure how vulnerable athletes and other innocent fans may be in that country. Going back in history, some countries have concealed their crime rates to win the bid. Atlanta, for instance, lied about their crime rate hence exposing athletes to unnecessary threats.
The city deliberately commenced under- reporting crimes when the site selection for the 1996 Olympic Games had just begun (News.com.au, 2012).
The intention behind this was to improve their chances of hosting the event. This was in spite of the fact that the city was among the leading cities in crimes such as rape and murder.
The Olympics also have some negative social impacts caused by the nature of the event and its magnitude. An event of its magnitude requires a lot of space which is unavailable in most of the modern cities.
This leads to evictions, congestion, rising of land-rent value as well as the rise in food prices (Hunter, 2012). On many occasions, it has been observed that during the Olympics, harassment of sex workers increases (Oxlade & Ballheimer, 1999).
The young and low-income earners are normally displaced to give room for better structures to attract and propitiate the visitors. In London, clearance of settlement firms and sporting arenas was a major blow to the society (Toohey, James, & Veal, 2007).
Four hundred and twenty-five tenants were displaced from the clays lane Peabody estate in London (Oxlade & Ballheimer, 1999).
The destruction of the lower lea valley business site led to the loss of approximately 5000 jobs from that region (Knotts, 2000). Other social implications in the case of London include the diversion of lottery funding towards the Olympics (Middleton, 2007).
The Olympics have lost its spirit of sportsmanship with the athletes and the coaches laying more emphasis on the financial gains. The focus on monetary gain has deprived the Olympic Games the much anticipated competitive nature and fairness.
Unfair completion and rulings in case of disputes have been met with a lot of criticism hence reducing the game’s popularity. With their eyes on the money, athletes have resolved to cheat and using drugs to enhance their chances of winning.
Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottman’s apartments were raided, and unlabeled medicine bottles, syringes, and blood transfusion equipment were found (Anderson, 1996).
The two Australian skiers had already fled to Italy by the time of the raid, but the equipment found in their apartment was proof enough they were using drugs (Potter, 2012).
When celebrated athletes are known to be using drugs, their fans are disillusioned and disappointed which makes the Olympics lose its worth.
The Olympics have several major negative impacts, and they should, therefore, be discontinued. From the arguments provided herein, it is clear that the Olympics pose economic, social, as well as health challenges.
The Olympics no longer promote peace and human understanding as they traditionally did. Instead, the events present a security risk for the host country and the participating athletes.
The Olympics also lead to environmental degradation through carbon emission and the destruction of Mother Nature. Participation in malpractices such as drug use by athletes is also encouraged due to the competitive nature of the Olympics.
It can, therefore, be forcefully asserted that the Olympics should be discontinued to prevent the harms associated with this mega event.
Anderson, D. (1996). The Story of the Olympics. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Bernard, T., M. (2012). Cervical Spine Injuries in Olympic Athletes. Retrieved from: http://www.hughston.com/hha/a_14_1_1.htm
Hunter, N. 2012. Inside the Olympics. Handmills, UK: Raintree.
Knotts, B. (2000). The Summer Olympics. New York, NY: Children’s Press.
Middleton, H. (2007). Crises at the Olympics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Library.
News.com.au: London Olympics have bad impact on UK retail sector. (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.news.com.au/business/markets/london-olympics-have-bad-impact-on-uk-retail-sector/story-e6frfm30-1226478578087
Oxlade, C & Ballheimer, D. (1999). Olympics. New York, NY: Alfred Knopf.
Potter, D. (2012). Cheating is as old as the Olympics. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/29/opinion/potter-olympics-cheating
Toohey, K., James, A., & Veal, J. (2007). The Olympic Games: A Social Science Perspective. Canada. CA: CABI.
Wilson, J. (2012). Olympic soccer player Shannon Boxx’s battle with lupus. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/health/olympic-soccer-boxx-lupus