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15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Olympic Games

16 July 2021

All Sports Enthusiasts Love Olympic Games. Here Are a Few Important Facts about the Olympic Games 2021.

The Olympic Games are steeped in history. They began in 776 BCE as a tribute to Zeus, although some argue it was in honour of their deceased. The first modern-day Olympics Sports took place in Athens in 1896. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Olympic Games.

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1

Tokyo Doctors Call For Cancellation of Olympic Games

Since the first modern-day Olympic Games, the Olympics have only been cancelled twice. The first time was during WWI and the second during WWII.

Fast-forward a few decades and it seems that the cancelling of a 3rd Olympic Games may be on the cards.

The 2020 Olympic Games are due to start on the 23rd of July 2021, but with a surge of Corona Virus infections and doctors in Tokyo are calling for the event to be cancelled.

According to Business Live, a top medical organisation is saying that “hospitals are already overwhelmed as the country battles a spike in coronavirus infections…”

Graphics Reuters states that around 20% of the population is currently vaccinated.

2

What Do Japanese Citizens Want?

You’ve heard what the doctors say about cancelling the event – and it seems that Japanese citizens want the same thing.

A survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun confirmed that over 80% of Japanese are opposed to hosting the event and want it cancelled. A mere 14% felt the Games should go ahead as planned.

A separate Kyodo poll brought forward similar results with almost 90% of respondents concerned that an influx of athletes and staff would spread the virus unnecessarily.

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3

An Olympics without Fans, What’s the Point?

Being a part of the Olympic Games is the ultimate goal for any athlete. Racing your heart out and listening to the crowds cheering you on.

Can you just imagine what a let down it will be running around, jumping, or paddling to the sounds of… nothing?

Already International fans are not allowed to witness the spectacle, and the last update posted on The Guardian website was that the opening ceremony would only be watched by those connected to sponsors, and special guests.   

There’s a 10,000-cap limit on local spectators or 50% capacity, but the Guardian reports that the cap could be lowered if… “Tokyo is still covered by quasi-emergency virus measures by the time the Games open.”

4

IOC Welcomed Pfizer and BioNTech’s Donated Vaccines to Olympic Teams

Pfizer and BioNTech have donated vaccines to all the athletes heading to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

IOC President Thomas Bach said, “This donation of the vaccine is another tool in our toolbox of measures to help make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 safe and secure for all participants, and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts.”

5

Full-Blown Boycott Pushed For Beijing Olympics

The Winter Olympics is not far off, set to take place in Beijing in February 2022. It’s possible that Covid may be under control by then, but the challenges facing the Winter Olympics are the boycotts happening right now.

Several groups are accusing China of human-rights abuses against minorities. The Uyghurs, Tibetans, and residents of Hong Kong have come together to ensure that the games do not go ahead in China.

A key figure leading these demonstrations is Zumretay Arkin of the World Uyghur Congress who said, “If the games go ahead, then Beijing gets the international seal of approval for what they are doing.”

According to Reuters, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called for the US to boycott the Winter Olympics sports accusing the country of human rights abuses, and stating that any global leader who attends would lose their moral authority.

There are many crazy things about China, find out more in 15 Crazy Things You Only See in China.

What do the sponsors have to say about this? Let’s find out.

6

Olympics Sponsors Duck Questions over Beijing 2022

Aluxers, it seems like for most of the sponsors, it’s a case of “no comment.”

California News Times confirms that a letter was sent to 13 companies who are major sponsors, asking about their agreements and plans with the 2022 Olympics. Of the 13 letters sent, 11 went unanswered.

The following companies declined to comment – Coca-Cola in the US, Airbnb, Visa, Toyota and Panasonic in Japan, Samsung in South Korea, and Alibaba.

The only two that did respond were Allianz, who said they were defending their position in countries with “different views on human rights” saying that it contributed to “prosperity and security,” and Omega who said their focus was purely on the athletes and they were maintaining their role as official timekeepers of the Games.

7

How Sustainable Are the Olympics Games?

The Olympic Games should be at the forefront of sustainability, but they come last in the race. Researchers have been gathering data on both the Winter and Summer Olympics sports since 1992 to see how sustainable the events were. They used three indicators for the assessment: ecological dimension, social dimension and economic dimension.

For the first, they took into account how many new venues were built. For the second, how many people were displaced for the event or building and third, how much did the country go over their budget.

Each category received a score out of 100, 100 being the most sustainable.

Researchers confirmed that “There are no Olympics that score highly in all or even the majority of the indicators of our model.”

If you’re keen to know who scored the highest and the lowest on the sustainability front, best you stick with us till the end.

8

The First Recorded Case of Doping

Like any major sporting event, there are always scandals and The Olympics sports are no different. The first ever recorded case of doping was in 1904!

Doping was a little different in 1904. Marathon winner, Thomas Hicks, won the race using a crazy mixture of rat poison and brandy.

Since that incident, there have been hundreds of athletes disqualified for consuming illegal or banned substances.

9

How Does the Olympic Games Make Money?

The IOC is officially a non-profit organisation.

According to Olympics.com, “90 per cent of the revenues from the Games go straight back into sport and athlete development.”

$500 million is invested into athletes from countries that are not able to shoulder the financial burden of sponsoring their athletes. Called Olympic Solidarity, the support system assisted 20,000 athletes in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

The taxpayers of a host country also foot a lot of the bill, despite each host country being given a certain amount of money from the IOC.

Each country is given between $1.5 and $2.5 billion. Brazil spent roughly $13.1 billion on the Rio Olympics in 2016, London spent $14.8 billion in 2012 and China spent $45 billion on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

With no cost spared, that can be detrimental to a country as you’ll find out next.

10

Many Countries Go Into Debt When They’re Chosen to Host the Olympic Games

Aluxers, many cities go into debt due to hosting the Olympics.

Let’s use Rio as an example. When they hosted the games in 2016, Brazil was in the midst of the worst recession the country had seen since the 1930s! Initially, Rio budgeted $2.8 billion when they bid, but ended up spending $13.1 billion, with costs overrun by 368%!

Throughout Olympic history, there are very few countries that have profited by hosting the Olympic Games.

Places that have profited include Los Angeles in 1988 and that’s because they used a lot of existing infrastructure, and Barcelona in 1992.

Places that have gone into debt because of the Olympics sports are Montreal, Athens, Sydney and Rio.

And often these cities leave behind infrastructure built especially for the games, never to be used again…

11

Olympic White Elephants Left Behind

Business Insider published an article last year with images of what abandoned Olympic buildings look like today.

Suffice to say, they look terrible.

Some of the buildings they included were Olympic Park in Rio, the Media building that has been demolished but the debris still lies where the building used to be, Maracana Stadium is empty, the aquatic facilities are in disrepair, and thousands of apartments remain empty after being occupied for the short period of time.

It’s much the same in Pyeongchang. The speed-skating venue is not in use, the downhill skiing site is not useable, and many buildings lie empty and abandoned.

The baseball stadium from the 2008 Beijing Olympics is derelict, the BMX park is overgrown and people use the parking at the cycling stadium for driving lessons.

Which brings us to our next point.

12

Are the Olympic Games Still Relevant in the 21st Century?

It’s argued that with all the waste that these events bring, they’re nowhere near sustainable and relevant in the 21st century.

In a time where our focus is not rejuvenation, reusing, recycling and saving our planet, these big events are a drain on our environment and the money could be utilized to assist so many more athletes globally, without the allure of a shiny gold medal.

Currently, around $15 billion has been invested into the Tokyo games. Considering there is a huge pandemic affecting so many people, many critics believe that it’s time for the glorified games to be put to rest. As reported by the Irish Times, “… the global pandemic has underlined just how incongruous such a lumbering behemoth is.”

We’ll get your opinion on this soon.

13

Where Will the Next Olympic Games Be Held?

We’ve mentioned the Beijing Olympics sports coming up in 2022. They hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008 and this time they’ll be hosting the Winter Olympics. Whether it does go ahead, only time will tell.

The 2024 Summer Games has been awarded to Paris, followed by the Winter Olympics in 2026 which will take place in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Thereafter, it’s back to LA for the Summer Olympics in 2028.

If you’d like to learn more about the ancient Olympics, we’d recommend you listen to “The Ancient Olympic Games: The History and Legacy of Ancient Greece’s Most Famous Sports Event by Charles River Editors. Remember to get your free download by going tov alux.com/freebook.

14

COVID and the Olympics

Covid certainly presents challenges to this years Olympics sports that nobody would have dreamed of. Organizers state that athletes will be tested for Covid every day.

Initially, athletes would have been tested every fourth day, but that rule has now been changed to daily.

According to Inside the Games, organizers have said “the daily saliva testing for athletes and all those with close proximity to competitors will “minimise the risk of undetected positive cases that could transmit the virus.”

Over and above that, athletes must take 2 Covid tests within 96 hours before flying to Japan. All officials, coaches and media will be tested daily for 3 days after landing.

Any athlete testing positive may not take part and non-compliance results in being stripped of accreditations.

15

The First-Ever Olympic Virtual Series Will Take Place This Year

According to the Olympic website, this is the first time there will be a virtual series available.

It will include International Federations and Game Publishers in Baseball, Cycling, Rowing, Sailing and Motor Sport.

Called the OVS or Olympic Virtual Series, this virtual series began on the 13th of May and will run until the 23rd of June.

Motorsport, baseball and sailing will be esports.

Cycling will be done on the Zwift platform, sailing will use the Virtual Regatta online simulator, and baseball will go through Konami Digital Entertainment’s game eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020.

Considering these options now available, perhaps it’s time to move on from the real deal?

Question:

Aluxers, do you believe the Olympic Games is still relevant in the 21st century? We’d love to hear from you.