- Over the decades, the Olympic Games organized every four years has acquired such an air of supremacy, awe, following, and popularity that several nations struggling to provide decent basic amenities to their populace unabashedly express wish to play host during the process of bidding. As is known, the Olympics as a quadrennial event attracts a majority of the nations, including the most developed to the least prosperous, to participate in chosen sporting disciplines under a common platform. No denying that lots of pride, honor, and recognition beckon supremely gifted performers who vigorously undergo training to standing apart through unbelievable performances on such an exalted stage. The lure of the Olympics and the accompanying reach is such that none can stay aloof from its overbearing appeal.
- The moot point to ponder over here is whether the event itself can be construed as something superficially overhyped and solidly built around years of spellbinding branding having acquired unparalleled importance in the global scheme of things. Of course, legitimate concerns are being raised from different quarters by worthy commentators equating the Games, which trace their origin back to ancient Greece, to a proverbial white elephant, the cost of whose upkeep is disproportionate to its utility value. It is also known that the rare legendary white elephant revered by many as sacred and extremely expensive to maintain would eventually drive its possessor to penury. Any guesses as to what price the Olympics Games is organized? A heck of a lot is the answer.
- In an irony of sorts, the 2004 Olympics held in Greece led to an economic crisis of monumental proportions which continues to unravel to this day as hosting nations are expected to spend a fortune on creating a suitably impressive backdrop for the event. Even the participating nations are also constrained to often divert and/or spend scarce resources for training sportspersons in the hope of bringing glory to the country. Many a time at the cost of furthering other more desirable social and welfare goals providing relief to the harangued citizens. Despite the humongous expenses involved, why do countries languishing at the bottom of the development scale desperately wish to be associated with the Games in either of the capacity, as participants if not, as hosts?
PC: Lombardi Letter Editorial Desk
- As mentioned above, basking in the glory of the limelight after emerging victorious fighting against all odds produces such a delightful euphoria that it is an indescribable feeling to mention. Just look at how Indians felt delirious with joy when the Javelin star Neeraj Chopra won the gold in the just-concluded Tokyo Olympics. The entire nation went overdrive in soaking in the feel-good factor after the historic win stands testimony to the fact. No wonder, sports per se have inherent power and pull to bring together the nation to celebrate an extraordinary achievement thereby binding the countrymen as one. We have experienced it with such gay abandon. Nonetheless, the Olympics also panders to the nation’s chauvinism irrespective of their economic health. And this will not alter in the coming years as well.