Getting the Olympics Right
All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Athletes from all over the world will compete, all in hopes of capturing the gold. But the road to these games have been littered with problems and concerns.
July 28, 2016
By: Global Journalist
All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Athletes from all over the world will compete, all in hopes of capturing the gold.
But the road to these games have been littered with problems and concerns. The threat of the Zika virus has seemingly every athlete and visitor worried. There have been reports of rampant crime and uninhabitable dormitories. And then there are multiple reports that say the water that will be home to sailing, rowing and other water sports is still teeming with raw sewage.
Furthermore, for the people of Rio there’s the question of whether hosting the games will be worth it. Many people of course, make money selling souvenirs, renting hotel rooms and building stadiums. But are hosting the games worth the billions of dollars governments spend putting on a show for the rest of the world?
On this edition of Global Journalist we examine the preparations for the Rio games and what Los Angeles, Rome and other cities bidding for the 2024 games can learn from Rio's challenges.
Our guests this week:
- Jules Boykoff, a professor of politics and government at Pacific University and the author of multiple books about the politics of the Olympics.
- Eva Kassens-Noor, an associate professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Michigan State University.
- Valerie Viehoff, an author and research fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany who studies mega-events and a member of Germany's silver medal winning rowing team at the 2000 Sydney Games.
- Rick Burton, a professor of sports management at Syracuse University and a former chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
[Kassens-Noor was interviewed about "what's...the best way for cities that are bidding on the games [Olympics] to...develop without building these white elephants that are essentially worthless after two weeks?" Listen to her response at 20:00-22:50.]