Almost No One Wants To Host The Olympics, Because It's A Costly, Corrupt Mess
from the protect-that-brand dept
For many years, we’ve written about questionable activities by the Olympics, usually focusing on the organization’s insanely aggressive approach to intellectual property, which could be summed up as “we own and control everything.” Yes, the Olympics requires countries to pass special laws that protect its trademarks and copyrights beyond what standard laws allow. Of course, this is really much more about control and money. It’s simply shining a light on just how corrupt the whole Olympic setup is. For decades, the Olympics has tried to hide this basic truth, and it has always been able to get various cities and countries to actively compete to suffer through the Olympics requirements, often with promises of big money in tourism and local business as a result. But it looks like jig may be up.
As Dan Wetzel notes, it appears that almost no one has any interest in hosting the 2022 Olympics. The only active attempts are Beijing (which is 120 miles from a mountain suitable for skiing) and Almaty Kazakhstan. All the other credible players have bailed out:
Certainly not Oslo, Norway, not even at the bargain rate of an estimated $5.4 billion in a nation of just five million people. It once wanted desperately to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and its bid was so perfect that it was considered the favorite to win. Then the country held a vote earlier this year and 55.9 percent of Norwegians opposed.
Wednesday the Norwegian government effectively pulled the bid. Norwegians are known for the ability to cross country ski really fast and being so friendly they beg visitors to come experience their picturesque nation. Since this involved the IOC however, they decided against having visitors come experience their picturesque nation to watch them cross country ski really fast.
They aren’t alone. Previous finalist Krakow, Poland, saw 70 percent voter opposition and pulled its application. A majority felt the same way in Germany and Switzerland, killing bids in Munich and St. Moritz respectively. In Sweden the majority party rejected funding the proposed games in Stockholm.
Plenty of other countries didn’t even bother thinking about it. As Wetzel points out, basically the only two countries interested are authoritarian regimes:
Essentially the only places interested in hosting the 2022 games are countries where actual citizens aren’t allowed a real say in things ? communist China and Kazakhstan, a presidential republic that coincidentally has only had one president since it split from the old USSR in 1989.
To sum it up:
Essentially the entire world has told the IOC it’s a corrupt joke.
Don’t hold back:
The IOC has billions of dollars laying around and billions more coming because to most people the Olympics is just a television show and the ratings are so high that the broadcast rights will never go down. The IOC doesn’t pay the athletes. It doesn’t share revenue with host countries. It doesn’t pay for countries to send their athletes. It doesn’t lay out any construction or capital costs. It doesn’t pay taxes.
It basically holds caviar rich meetings in five star hotels in the Alps before calling it a day. That and conduct weak investigations into corruption charges of the bidding process, of course. “No evidence uncovered” is on a win streak.
It’s a heck of a racket.
Except now the racket may be ending. Except for China and Kazakhstan. Wetzel’s conclusion is spot on:
So China or Kazakhstan it is, the last two suckers on earth willing to step up to this carnival barker.
One lucky nation will win. The other will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The Olympics are from another era — one of top down, “we control and own everything while paying none” variety. We’ve seen those types of businesses failing in lots of other arenas — and now it may be happening to the Olympics as well.