Growing up in a Brazilian Neighborhood. I always loved the people, they are beautiful people inside and out. But I often heard tales of government corruption with a relaxed, almost expected air of “É assim que as coisas são.” For years as the Olympics approached, my friends Joanna and Paolo would wonder if the Olympics would even come to pass.
But they did and suddenly Brazil and its wonderful country were on a national stage. The world got to see Brazil at its best but, but the Olympics left it much worse than it found it.
Brazil has been in the cusp of joining the economically strong countries for several decades now. The late 1990’s and the early 2000’s had been especially fruitful, 2004 to 2008 were among its best years, but the “onset of the global financial crisis hit Brazil in 2008. Brazil experienced two quarters of recession, as global demand for Brazil’s commodity-based exports dwindled and external credit dried up.” (Central Intelligence Agency -The World Factbook, 2017)
Brazil gave us a simple but environmentally conscious Olympics, stepping up to the front of countries that are leading the fight on climate change. This occurred right around the time when the United States made a 180 and started electing climate change deniers to office. Setting Brazil up to take advantage of the incredible business opportunities to be found in the emerging green technology.
The Olympics are just bad business, and no country should want to host them ever. As a matter of fact, now that there are plenty of stadiums and Olympic cities around the worl, we should only be hosting them in those countries already equipped to do so, and should be hosted there.
I call this the ABC channel Academy Awards Plan. Where the Academy Awards, another international entertainment event, has channels bid for their airing and they find a home for ten years. The Olympics, to be financially feasible for a country should be held in countries long term, creating a economic eco system.
But right now they are not, and not only are they not, the International Olympic Committee requires a taxpayer guarantee. That means that tax payers have to pick up the cost of financial over runs. In the case of Brazil, a set of corrupt construction deals bankrupted the country.
Secondly, the IOC franchises much of itself, except for the games. They are now a huge international brand and should franchise themselves in their entirety, paying a country to come and play in their home turf is an actual boon for the country. Imagine if this had been the business model, then Brazil would have gained financially, which would have gone a long way in restructuring their educational, health care and security systems and lifting the city towards the modern age of business leaders.
The fact is that as entertaining as the Olympics are I find them to be a scam and so do many others;
Chris Dempsey, one of the businessmen that protested until he put an end to the Boston Olympics 2024 bid, explains it this way; “What the IOC does best and where it creates the most value is in creating really compelling content that people around the world want to consume. And I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t be able to do that at a permanent location. You’d be able to climb the experience curve by repeating these activities on a regular basis. That’s one of the key challenges with the Olympic model today: You’re asking a city to host the world’s biggest, most extravagant, most complicated event, but to do it only once.” (Nickisch, 2016)
Brazil is not the only country that’s been ruined by the Olympics, Greece blames it’s 2005 financial crisis on the fact that they hosted the games in 2004. Russia will never recover from hosting the Winter Games of 2014, and now has many abandoned stadiums.
Brazil, was an upcoming country, it should have not fallen for the Olympic con, and set itself back years of progress for the ego boost of having hosted the most expensive sporting event in the world.
Central Intelligence Agency -The World Factbook. (2017, March 11). Retrieved from CIA.gov: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html
Nickisch, C. (2016, August 05). The Olympics Needs a New Business Model. Harvard Business REview. Retrieved from HarvardBusin: https://hbr.org/2016/08/the-olympics-needs-a-new-business-model