After a stellar run, the Olympics have left Asia and it is unclear when they will return. Asia hosted four of the eight Games.
The Summer Games could be back in 2036. And the favourite could not be China as you might think, but India.
India’s population will surpass China’s 1.4billion in the next decade. India is lobbying to have Ahmedabad, west India, host the 2036 event. Other events could be held elsewhere including New Delhi, which is the capital.
Narinder Batra (president of the Indian Olympic Committee) stated that India is in a race to host 2036. He didn’t provide any other details.
The IOC has set the next year’s annual meeting for its full membership in Mumbai, a western Indian metropolis. This is a gesture of support. It is a sign that the courting has started.
Indian IOC member Nita ambani is married to Mukesh Ambani (chairman of India’s multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries). The family fortune is estimated to be $100 billion.
Like China, the IOC can see India as a new frontier, with deep-pocketed sponsors and television rights deals, as well generous government support.
To leave Asia, it means to return to familiar territory: the Summer Games of Paris in 2024, 2026 Winter Games in Milan Cortina and the 2028 Summer Games Los Angeles in 2028. Brisbane has also been scheduled for the 2032 Summer Olympics. This is a 32-year-old return to Australia.
Brisbane will add cricket to its sporting menu. This would also be true for India, which has the most passionate following.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics was the beginning of Asia focus. Many hoped that this grand coming-out party would transform China. China instead used the Games to transform how it was seen.
The Asia run was a lucrative, billion-dollar sponsorship deal for the IOC with Japan’s Toyota and China’s Alibaba. It also saw the IOC establish roots on the continent with the most populous people in the world. South Korea’s return 30 years after the 1988 Seoul Olympics are credited with helping usher in democracy.
The IOC has had to deal with consistently poor public relations in Asia. The IOC has also suffered consistently bad public relations in Asia.
Tsunekazu Takeda , the head of Japan’s Olympic Committee, was forced to resign. A diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games was also ordered by the IOC. It focused on human rights violations that were also a problem in Beijing in 2008.
Add the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Another non-traditional stop was also problematic. The organizing committee was forced to file for bankruptcy. Carlos Nuzman , who was convicted of corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion, was also a part of the proceedings. The appeal is being made by the former member of IOC.
Robert Baade, an economist for sports at Lake Forest College in Chicago, said that the IOC is being viewed as a global villain at this point. He suggested that they need to do something to change that image. “I don’t think that’s going happen anytime soon.”
Baade is the coauthor of “Going for Gold, The Economics of the Olympics”, a study that examines the benefits and costs of the Games.
Baade said, “It’s these small things, the five star hotels, the elitism and the privilege that IOC displays — along with its eurocentrism.”
Christophe Dubi is the Olympic Games’ executive Director. He acknowledged that India had expressed strong interest but declined to name any other countries. Many Chinese cities were mentioned, as well as Jakarta, Indonesia and Seoul.
Dubi stated, “We must respect that some are talking confidentially to us because sometimes the public authorities don’t fully on board or sometimes governments are interest but it’s just not the right time.”
The IOC does not run a wide-open bidding system. Instead, it selects cities that are of interest to it — and vice versa. The IOC leadership is responsible for selecting the host cities, rather than IOC members. It is unlikely that the 2036 host will be chosen until 2025, after which time there will be another IOC presidential election.
Another return to Asia could be the 2030 Winter Olympics. Sapporo in Japan, the 1972 Winter host, is likely to be the favourite.
The mix could also include Vancouver, Salt Lake City, and possibly a Spanish bid from Barcelona.
According to Kyodo Japan, unidentified sources have reported that Sapporo is in talks with the IOC and that a decision could be made before the end the year. According to the city, the cost could be between $2.4 billion and $2.6 billion.
Japan owes the IOC a favor following the two-year delay in the 2020 Olympics, which cost organizers $2 billion more. Dubi did not confirm this, but stated that the IOC was fortunate to have Japan and China organize the Olympics during the pandemic.
Dubi stated, “I believe we were very lucky to have them as our partners.” “I can’t deny that other countries could have done it. If you had to choose two countries that were always possible and would have no doubt that they could pull this off, it would be those two.