Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Globalization of Olympics: Sports, Money, Power and Politics

When it comes to globalization of sports, nothing comes close to the appeal of the Summer Olympics. Remember how China rolled out a red carpet for the opportunity to show they could really-really host the games in style. . . and announce to the world they have arrived.

However, what the games really are about is money … and really big money. London Olympics is still a few years away and money is already rolling in (London 2012: Big money rolling in as sponsors line-up for the Olympics). After the big downturn, American economy needs a boost; and what better boost than the Olympics? (even if it is years away) Why do you think the president of America, perhaps the most ‘powerful’ man in the world is throwing his personal weight on this bid?!

I would love for America to host the Olympics in the coming decade. And hopefully get an opportunity to catch the ‘grand’ opening/closing show. . . . But the Globalized part of me thinks we should give others in the world a chance too. Olympics were held in America last in 1996. There are 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). Most countries don’t ever get to host the Olympics and America will get an opportunity in less than 20 years; what gives? Rich get richer? Should we not give others, say a third-world country an opportunity to make a few billion dollars too?

On the other hand, by going all out personally to root to bring Olympics to his hometown, Mr. Obama has a lot more, including his political credibility at stake; and all of us would like to root for the champion of healthcare reform to have a few quick wins; right?!

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