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The Olympic Games Should be Abolished

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In the wake of yet another Olympic Games, the utility of such an event has been put into question once again. It was originally introduced to promote world peace, but substantial evidence from history finds that the Games have not made much of an impact on international harmony. Furthermore, in modern times, the necessity of a ritual that brings nations together seems unnecessary, with widely-available, advanced technology that can do just that. Finally, the financial and social burden caused by the Olympics is a ridiculous price to pay, especially in today’s grave financial situation.

The original intention of the games was to bring world peace; however, I feel that this goal has not been achieved. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Since then, humanity has experienced two world wars, various mass killings, as well as the atomic bomb, making the 20th century the bloodiest in history to date. Though the Olympics were not the cause of the destruction, they did not seem to have much of an impact on harmony around the world.

If a giant sports meet were to bring worldly respect, why does dishonesty and poor sportsmanship still occur so often? Performance-boosting drugs are being used, just to get an edge on competition. This seems to undermine the goal of the Games.

As well, the Olympic Games are outdated and unnecessary. We do not need such a reunion to open our eyes to our world’s diversity and beauty. Commonly available technology enables us to easily communicate with others around the world. In modern times, the average person can own a telephone, a computer with Internet and a webcam, a television, a regular newspaper subscription, travel books and magazines, language software, etc. Ordinary citizens are well-informed and have the opportunity to inform themselves about other cultures, and even learn a new language without attending classes!

In 1896, travel was costly and difficult. Over a century later, the situation has changed drastically, with the advancement of all vehicles and the invention of the airplane. A visit to an “exotic land” is no longer reserved for the elite. Isn't travel and trans-border communication just as enlightening as the Games themselves?

But don't the Games provide great opportunity for athletes? Aren't the Olympics inspiring for spectators, especially for youth, teaching people to reach for the stars? Fear not, high-level sport will not go into extinction if the Games are abolished; there is already international competition available, on top of the Olympics. Neither the athletes nor the spectators lose out.

For an event that fails to achieve its purpose, the cost of the Olympics is higher than acceptable. The host country incurs a huge financial burden as a result of the Games. Unfortunately, the price of Olympic tickets, and food and lodging for guests does not result in a profit. What’s worse is that residents often take the blow. Quebecers spent three decades repaying a $ 1.5 billion Olympic debt through a special tobacco tax, although their mayor in 1976 assured the world that “The Montreal Olympics can no more have a deficit, than a man can have a baby.” Guess he didn’t know much about seahorses. The Vancouver Olympics in 2010 also caused some trouble. In order to repay the 665 million dollars the city borrowed to build the Olympic village, those condominiums were sold. Months later, a lawsuit was filed against the city by the new owners, who claimed that the apartments were poorly built. And how about the Rio games to come in 2016? The city has reportedly been evicting slum residents – the poorest of the poor – to make way for their new stadium.

Why should countries sink themselves in debt, when international sporting competition of equal level already exists, and does not involve as much effort? If all that results from the trials and tribulations of displaced residents is tension due to poor sportsmanship and drug abuse, why must we dedicate two weeks every four years to such a complicated and costly event? Why must we go to such means to celebrate humanity, when eye-opening, international experiences are easily available already? Is it really necessary to watch athletes compete in order to achieve peace and to gain mutual respect?

Works Cited

Macaray, David. "Should We Abolish the Olympics?" The Huffington Post., 10 July 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.

CBSNews. Prod. CBSNews. Perf. Seth Dome. CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 13 Aug. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.

Fournier, Chris, and Christopher Donville. "Debt: How Vancouver Heals an Olympic Hangover." Bloomberg Business Week Magazine., 4 Mar. 2010.

News, CBC. "Quebec's Big Owe Stadium Debt Is over." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 19 Dec. 2006. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.

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Labtopnerd This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm
Although I disagree with this opinion, I thought that it was very well written, and congratulate the author on a job well done.
Kaffeine replied...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm
Wow, thanks so much for this lovely and courteous comment!
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