In long term, radical change needed to reduce Olympic host burden

In long term, radical change needed to reduce Olympic host burden

If the International Olympic Committee thought the bidding process changes in its Agenda 2020 reforms would end the negativity about being a host of the Summer or Winter Games, it has been sadly mistaken.

The frightening new financial projections about the cost of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and Rome’s withdrawal from the 2024 race on financial grounds make it clear the IOC still has a long way to go in convincing citizens of democracies that being a host of the ever-more-bloated Olympic Games is worth the time, money and hassle.

 The italicized passage above was the opening of my Friday column, which dealt with short- and long-term solutions to a mess so bad that six of the 10 official candidates to be host of the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Games withdrew after formalizing candidatures – and another, Boston, dropped out before filing its paperwork.

In the short term – for the 2024 vote coming next September – I borrowed an idea from my colleague Alan Abrahamson, who posited that the IOC should award the next two Summer Games at the same time, with Los Angeles getting 2024 and Paris 2028.

I suggested that the order makes no difference (click here for that column).  The important thing is doubling down will give the IOC more time to sort out its future.

The long-term answer?  Dramatic changes should be considered.

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