15 Countries Who Failed At Hosting The Olympic Games
The Olympics is the most coveted sporting event in the world. Started by the ancient Greeks, men and women from all over the world have been competing in all type of sports for centuries. One of the best things about the Olympics is that it’s never in the same place twice. Countries are constantly putting their bid in to be the host of the next Olympic Games. There are a lot of things the International Olympic Committee must consider before picking a city. Things like, infrastructure, social climate, political climate, and if the country has athletes that can participate. Another vital factor to hosting the Olympics is being able to cover the cost. Here are some countries that failed to at hosting the Olympics due to financial set backs, horrible living conditions and more.
Sochi 2014 The last Winter Olympics were in 2014 in Sochi, Russi. On television things seemed to go well and was a successful Olympics. Not according to the people that were actually there. Journalist, spectators and athletes had pretty much a horrible time at the Winter Olympic in Sochi. There were constant complaints about the conditions of the hotels and other facilities. Spontaneous power outages, no doors or dividers in the bathrooms, exposed wiring, water main breaks, and unfinished construction are only some of the things that made the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi a fail.
Greece 1896 The first Olympic Games in the modern era took place In April 1896. They were held in Athens, Greece which only made sense being that’s where the whole Olympic concept started. Being that this was the first Olympics in the modern era, things were bound to be a little rocky. Financially, Greece nearly lost everything in the process. The country was already bankrupt when it took on the competition, but the relatively new royal family believed the games would boost its popularity. They underestimated the cost of hosting the games. Fortunately, a 1 million drachma donation from a rich businessman helped underwrite the costs. Bustling sales of souvenir stamps and medals brought in additional revenue. The first Olympic crisis was barely averted.
France 1924 After what could be deemed several decades of false starts, the Olympics Games finally demonstrated a strong showing in 1924. Paris, France, welcomed 44 participating nations to the global competition and spectators flocked to the event, averaging about 60,000 each day With all those people there, financial warning signs were still prevalent. The 1924 Olympics Games were a financial flop only bringing in half the revenue that was expected. Leaving France with a debt instead of a profit.
Canada 1976 “The Olympics can no more have a financial deficit than a man can have a baby,” declared the mayor of Montreal before opening of the games in 1976. He was completely wrong. The Montreal Olympics went down in history as a notorious money-loser, making it one of the most unsuccessful Olympics ever. It scared off many cities from bidding for the games in the future. The budget was severely miscalculated leaving Montreal, Canada with a huge deficit that took 30 years for them to pay back. The stadium that was built is now referred to as the “Big Owe”, because of the amount of money borrowed to build it. Many countries were barred from playing due to their support of apartheid in South Africa. To make matters worst, this was the only Olympics where the host country did not win any gold medals.
United States 1980 The 1980 Winter Olympics took place in the United States. Lake Placid, New York was where it all happened. During this time the U.S. and the Soviet Union had a tense relationship. Many Americans were in agreement to boycott the Olympics. Other than a little bit of social uneasiness, everything seemed to be fine. The Olympic budget went from $80 million to an outstanding $150 million. With a budget like that, how could you go over? Unfortunately, Lake Placid was in a $6 million hole. The federal government could not help them as they already gave $90 million. The state of New York bailed them out for several of their Olympic sized assets. This saved the 3,000 residents of Lake Placid from crazy tax increases.
Japan 1998 The 2020 Olympics Games will return to Japan. Tokyo will be the city that everyone will flock to. The last time the Olympic were in Japan, the games were held in the city of Nagano. The city of 378,000 residents, spent a whopping $10.5 billion in preparation for the games. They even bullet the famous bullet train for the games. That’s were things went wrong. The bullet train took passengers to and from Nagano and Tokyo in 90 mins, half the typical time. That encouraged tourists to book hotel rooms in the more popular Tokyo as opposed to Nagano. This earned the 1998 event the nickname, “The Commuter Olympics.” As the games neared, the Nagano Organizing Committee had to cancel a quarter of the 16,000 Nagano hotel rooms it had reserved due to low demand. Nearby ski villages reported that instead of being at 80 percent occupancy, the normal level, they were at a mere 60 percent occupancy. It was pretty embarrassing failure for the city of Nagano. So embarrassing that a member of the bid committee ordered the records, all 90 volumes of them, to be burned.
Australia 2000 In 2000 Australia was picked to host the Olympic Games. Although most Australians knew hosting the 2000 Summer Olympic Games was an expensive proposition, most thought the benefits such as, a long-term boost in tourism, would outweigh the financial risk. $3.8 billion dollars was used for the preparation of the Olympics. Lagging visitor numbers during the Olympics, countered the optimistic vision of increased tourism. It was another Olympic financial failure.
Greece 2004 Over a century later Athens played host to the 2004 Summer Olympics. This time it experienced with a much more disastrous financial result. While the official cost was $4.6 billion, the actual price tag may have been as high as $15 billion for specialized athletic complexes that included the Olympic Beach Volleyball Center and Olympic Tennis Center. After the last spectators left, many of the venues were never used again. The facilities were decaying and may people believe that these Olympic Games helped fuel Greece’s economic crisis, an overall failure for the country.
Italy 2006 The 2006 Winter Games were a failure from the start. In the months leading up to the Games, the organizing committee in Turin, Italy, struggled with some tough choices. Faced with funds falling $95 million short and threatened with bankruptcy, the organizers of the world’s largest athletic competition started canceling Olympic parties, and cutting travel and promotional budgets. To relieve some of the cost they sold the rights of the Paralympics, which is held after the Olympics, to a private-public company for $40 million. It still fell short even when they launched a lottery game to gain additional funds. They were left with a $49 million debt. Many people protested, hard against the Olympics coming to Italy in fear of the financial burden.
Canada 2010 The Winter Olympics returned to Canada in 2010. This time Vancouver was the central location for everything Olympics related. The city government had to step in with financing after the Olympic Village’s developer ran out of credit. $1 billion was the amount of debt Vancouver was left with. Vancouver began to market the Olympic Village as an environment friendly residential neighborhood. No one really wanted to move there. Eventually Ernest and Young took over.
Turkey 2020 Istanbul, Turkey was in the running for the 2020 Olympic bidding. Unfortunately, they were not chosen. There are a couple of reasons why Istanbul was dismissed as a candidate to host the 2020 Olympics. Turkey would have been the first Muslim country to host the Olympics. Some people speculate that the fact that it is a Muslim country is the reason why it wasn’t picked, but we’ll just stick to the facts. Istanbul is a city that is currently over crowed. Their urban development is an example of “how not build a city.” Another strike against them is the rampant corruption in the construction industry that destroyed Istanbul’s historic silhouette. The construction of ugly buildings ate away green spaces and parks, narrowed highways and pavements. The other factor that attributes Istanbul not being picked is the amount of Turkish athletes that have tested positive for doping. Nearly 30 Turkish athletes tested positive for banned substances in the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin.
Azerbaijan 2020 Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan. Baku submitted a bid to host the 2016 Olympics and lost to Rio de Janerio. Baku also bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics but again failed to become a candidate. Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov claimed that Baku would be ready to stage the 2020 Olympics by 2016 citing that many sports facilities would have been built. Baku is already building an Olympic Stadium as well as an Olympic complex which will include a pool. Baku still failed to become a candidate city again due to their venue proposals receiving low scores and the lack of sufficient sports facilities.
Italy 2020 Rome was picked over Venice to be Italy’s bidding city for the 2020 Olympic Games. Rome previously hosted the Summer Olympics in 1960 and was chosen to host the 1908 Summer Olympics, but was relocated to London due to the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It bid to host the 2004 Games but lost to Athens in the final round of voting. The Italian government has since withdrew its support of the bid the day before the delivery of the application files. Their reason is that it would not be a responsible use of money in “Italy’s current condition.” Rome is currently bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Prague 2020 Prague, Czech Republic cancelled its bid because of the global financial crisis. The Prague City Hall paid Kc 25 million($1.016,177.50) to develop a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games after it failed to to become a candidate for the 2016 Olympic Games. The political climate in Prague also played a part in the cancellation of their bid. The Prime Minister did not support the bid and that made the International Olympic Committee uninterested in Prague. So to cut their losses and focus on getting in sync, Prague cancelled their bid.
Canada 2020 How much failure can one country handle. Canada can handle a lot, being this is the third time the are on this list. Ottawa, Canada had long considered a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, especially after Toronto’s successful bid for the 2015 Pan American Games. The idea of the 2020 Olympics coming back to Canada seemed nice, but the idea was dropped due to budgetary restrictions. Canada is now expected to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.