Causes and Effects of the Olympic Games Over the Past 100 Years

The modern Olympics have been held every four years since 1896. The number of nations participating has increased considerably since then. As a result, the cost and revenue of hosting these games has risen significantly. Despite the benefits of global exposure, a growing number of economists claim that the benefits are exaggerated, and many host cities have enormous debts and maintenance liabilities. Ideally, the selection and bidding processes should be revamped to promote more sustainable investments and less expensive venues.

National leaders use the Olympics to advance their political agenda

The Olympics have also had negative social effects, often being used by national leaders to push their political agendas. For instance, in 1980, Jimmy Carter boycotted the Moscow Summer Games in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As a result, 65 countries did not attend the games. In 1984, the Soviet Union pulled out of the Summer Games in Los Angeles, blaming the boycott on hostile anti-Soviet propaganda. A number of politically motivated terrorists have used the Olympics as a platform to attack and destroy innocent people.

The Olympics have become increasingly political

The Olympics have become increasingly politicized, with a decline in their popularity and audience. In fact, the first Summer Games in Moscow were boycotted by President Jimmy Carter to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response, 65 countries withdrew. In 1984, the Soviet Union pulled out after it was humiliated by the American boycott. Its withdrawal was blamed on the presence of hostile anti-Soviet propaganda. Even today, politically motivated terrorists still use the Olympic occasion to attack victims of their own communities.

The growing popularity of the Olympics is increasing competition among developing countries

A growing number of cities and nations began to bid for the Olympic Games. The number of cities and countries competing increased from two to twelve for the 2004 games. The IOC then chose the best and most ambitious bids. However, the number of bids from developing nations doubled after the 1988 games. The growing popularity of the Olympics led to an increase in the number of competitions among developing nations, who wanted to prove their progress on the world stage. Several winners of the games built statues to worship themselves and be idolized. Ultimately, the Roman emperor Theodosius I ended the games because he considered the Games to have pagan connotations.


The causes and effects of the Olympic Games are complicated, and the political overtones of these events are never far from the surface. Throughout the past century, many host cities and countries have been forced to build new infrastructure before hosting the Olympics, and the costs of hosting the Games have been immense. In addition to the costs, the Olympic Games are also known to have environmental impacts. Whether or not they are good for the environment, the Olympics have adverse consequences

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