Here's How to Fix the Olympics
It's time to 'decentralize,' says columnist
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2016 1:58 PM CDT
An aerial view thousands of people wearing colorful ponchos have formed the Olympic rings to support Hamburg's bid for the Olympics 2024, in a park in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday Nov. 8, 2015. At the...   (Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – The Rio Olympics have gotten a lot of bad press thanks to Zika's proliferation in Brazil, but it's not just this year's Olympics that are in trouble, writes Paul Christesen in The Conversation. Other host cities have faced problems from funding to environmental impacts. "It seems as though the Olympics have become too big, too costly, and too complicated to be hosted by a single city," he writes. That's why the International Olympic Committee should, instead, have different cities host each different sport. There are quite a few benefits, including the fact that each city could host something that's already popular there—meaning infrastructure would already be in place.

Yes, the Olympics traditionally celebrate "the history and accomplishments" of one single city, but times have changed since the first games—even just since 1980, the number of summer events has jumped 50%, the number of athletes and countries taking part has almost doubled, and the number of people needed to run the whole show has tripled. The total bill for this year's games will probably be more than $20 billion. "The number of cities in the world that are willing and able to host the Olympics in their current form is small," and "a 'decentered' games is one of the only ways to ensure local populations in democratic countries will support a bid to host the Olympics." Plus, this idea would make the Olympics "for the first time, a truly global event." Click for the full column.