Does any country want the 2022 Winter Olympics? Judging by how national Olympic committees have dropped out of the bidding, the answer might jolt the smugness of the International Olympic Committee as one of the 2022 favorites, Norway has said no.
Norwegians told their government not once, not twice but numerous times they were uninterested in providing public support for the 2022 Games and finally the government listened and agreed. They will not provide financial guarantees to the IOC nor will they invest in the Winter Olympics. Part of the reason that the Norwegians soured on the event, which the country hosted twice in 1952 and 1994, was cost. It is estimated the 2014 Sochi, Russia Winter Games cost more than $50 billion to stage and Russia has very little to show for the money after the Games ended. The Olympics may be a grand stage but it is a rotten investment for taxpayers.
Poland, Ukraine and Sweden expressed interest in the 2022 Winter Games but dropped out of the bidding. What is left is Beijing, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan, neither considered a preferred destination.
Whether this has a bearing on the United States is unknown although the United States Olympic Committee plans to go ahead with a 2024 Summer Olympics bid. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington business and political leaders want the Games. The USOC has unofficial global competition for the 2024 Olympics, but that could change. Elected officials may not want to have to explain there really are very few positive benefits that come from holding the two week sporting event when it comes to the taxpayers’ investment and return on the Games.
Norway’s elected officials decided it wasn’t worth the cost following four other countries that made the same conclusion. The Olympics event seeming is a bad investment although getting a real economic impact and a handle on real finances on the events hard to come by because of creative accounting by host cities. Maybe that is on purpose, after all no elected official wants to admit he or she was taken to the cleaners by a group that promised economic gains and then found out that there are decades of the public paying off the Olympics debt.
This article was republished with permission from the author, Evan Weiner. The original article was published on www.sportstalkflorida.com.