Five rings, five continents, five Olympic host cities

The Olympics are an extremely expensive endeavor, that drain resources from cities for what? A three week party and sports extravaganza. Now that the Olympics are over, Rio has to deal with the hangover. Do they regret hosting? Will they regret it when the bill comes due?

The five rings of the Olympic flag represent the five continents. (I was taught there were seven, but this is sports math.)

People have suggested there be one permanent host of the Summer Olympics, Athens is often suggested. But that misses an opportunity to learn about other parts of the world, and leaves the event vulnerable to local events..

IOlympic_rings_without_rims.svg propose instead a rotating system across five cities and the five continents. Imagine we start in 2028. The city that hosts in 2028 would be guaranteed the Olympics 20 and 40 years hence as well. At some point (in say 2070) it could be put up for rebid, but not until the facilities are at least fairly intensively used. That is, the stadia and arenas and Olympic Village and so on would see at least three Olympics. By the third Olympics they might be oldish, nearing the end-of-life presumably there would be some refurbishment along the way. But the costs (along with other transportation infrastructure as well hotels and so on)  would at least get amortized over more events than a single Olympics. The cities and sequence are suggestive, but reflect some of the financially more successful games, along with representation for Africa, which is due a turn.

  • 2028, 2048, 2068 … African city (Johannesburg)
  • 2032, 2052, 2072 … American city (Los Angeles)
  • 2036, 2056, 2076 …  Australian city (Sydney)
  • 2040, 2060, 2080 … European City (Athens)
  • 2044, 2064, 2084 … Asian city (Beijing)

This of course takes out some of the bidding excitement and corruption traditionally associated with the Olympics, that is the price of progress.