Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog 2: Risks of hosting a successful Olympics

This article is about the risk of Olympic hosting areas and was written by Simon Anholt, a well-known independent policy advisor. The article begins by explaining the misconception that many foreign governments have regarding the opportunity to host a major event such as the Olympics. They believe that if they were to be given the chance to successfully host the Olympic games it would propel their nation into a state of international celebrity; however this is not the case. Studies done by the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, which is a major annual study according to the article, have proven this to be otherwise. One set of studies focused on South Africa’s 2010 world cup showed that although the event was a success the countries standing actually decline as a result. This is because the broadcasting of this event not only covered the games but also showed a number of images involving poverty and inequality. This view and these images were not as popular as Great Britain’s seemingly picturesque broadcast displayed to the viewers at home. The same effect was shown in Rio de Janeiro’s 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. It is explained that although the country attempted to maintain an image of prosperity; however the attention and wide open broadcast shown to the rest of the world unveiled that there was just as much poverty and inequality as the amount shown in South America. The article explains that although there is no written rule saying that countries are judged by their past achievements the judgment is still there.

            I can completely agree with what this article is pointing out. Having the opportunity to host major world events does help a lot of countries out as far as gaining international popularity and the perks that come with it. However a number of countries do not have that same opportunity to gain these benefits. The nations that can successfully paint a picture of prosperity and opportunity as the media broadcasts these games gain the perks. On the other hand the countries in which the level of poverty and inequality are too great to be swept under the rug tend to have a reverse effect and suffer from the experience. The reason is quite obvious, people want to turn on their television to view these games and see a picturesque and superficial view of the host country. Most people don’t want to turn on their televisions and be horrified by the extreme poverty and suffering around the world. Due to this these countries don’t have an equal opportunity as compared to other nations to gain international poverty and lift themselves up on the ladder of development.

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