When Vancouver won the Winter Olympics they hoped it would be the best games ever. But with the death of a competitor, ticket woes, a string of errors and being blighted by bad weather there has been increased criticism about shortcomings at the games.
Blogger Jay Mariotti writes ‘Canada Shaming Itself at Stormy Olympics’ and tells Vancouver, ‘Between a fatality on the luge track, the incessant rain, the delays on the ski hills and those scary protests in which crazies wear masks and break windows at fancy department stores, you seem unfit to host the Games.’
Managing public relations is difficult at large sporting events as the organises of the World Cup in South Africa are finding out. They recently came under criticism after the attack on the Togo football team during the Africa Cup of Nations despite the fact it wasn’t even in South Africa.
But China’s success at hosting the 2008 Olympic Games is proof that sporting events can be used to improve a countries image.
Reputation aside there is also the question of whether sporting events are economically viable. Here it’s argued that there are many economic advantage to hosting large sporting events. But the games in Greece are remembered for the financial fiasco it created and the Olympic buildings that now stand unused.
The cost of hosting sporting events is high as London, which is hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, is finding out. Whilst organises and supports hope that hosting the games will regenerate East London people doubt is already being cast over the reality of this.
So are hosting large sporting events a good thing for a country? Would you want your country to host the next Olympics? Or the next World Cup?