The debate on whether the Olympic Games are a useful event or merely an extravagant waste of money can be split up into two parts: whether it is worth having Olympics in general and whether it is worth it for an individual country or city to host them. Most experts agree that the Olympics are worth having but that they exert excessive costs on their host cities.Know More
Generally, the worth of the Olympics is not measured in economic terms; rather, the Olympic Games are said to produce intangible benefits, according to Journalist's Resource. For example, holding the Olympics is said to help foster peace and understanding between nations through friendly competition. It also puts an international spotlight on the world's best athletes, which encourages them to push the limits of the human body's capabilities. It is hard to measure these intangible qualities against the economic costs of holding the Olympic Games, but experts and laymen alike tend to believe that the Olympics are worth having on principle.
On the other hand, the economic reality of hosting the Olympics often takes its toll on host cities as the Olympic Games become more extravagant. For example, the Guardian notes that the costs of hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi ballooned to $51 billion dollars. Often, the buildings constructed as venues for the Olympic Games are only used for the Olympics themselves, and they soon fall into disrepair. However, the Olympic Games do boost tourism to an area, and one economic study even concluded that hosting a "mega-event" like the Olympics can boost a country's exports by as much as 20 percent. In light of these facts, most experts agree that the Olympics, in their current form, are a wasteful event; however, if they were made less extravagant, their key cultural and economic benefits could be retained without the excessive costs typical today.Learn more about Olympics
The modern summer and winter Olympic Games stretch across 16 or 17 consecutive days of competition. The summer games generally feature more countries competing in more events, because countries with a lack of cold weather often do not participate in the winter games.Full Answer >
The modern Olympic Games began in 1896, while the ancient Olympic Games were played between 776 B.C. and 393 A.D. The ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles, according to legend. The games were abolished by Roman emperor, Theodosius I, due to perceived Pagan influences.Full Answer >
The five rings on the Olympic flag signify the five inhabited regions that participate in the Olympics. These include Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America as one region.Full Answer >
American Olympic swimmer Michael Fred Phelps II has won 18 gold medals for Olympic swimming events between 2004 and 2012, and a combination of 61 gold medals between the Olympics, World, and Pan-Pacific Championships. He won his first Olympic gold medal in 2004 for the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay.Full Answer >