Every two years, multitudes of cities around the world bid for the right to host the Winter Olympics. They vacuum up massive sums of money in taxes to host the event, all the while hoping the International Olympic Commission(IOC) takes notice. Why encumber the added stress, both politically and financially? In order to land the ultimate prize: hosting the biggest athletic powwow on Earth in their own backyard(which so happens to be filled with piles of frozen water). Thousands of screaming fans and a bunch of sweaty people may not help the Russian cause directly, but the economic riches that follow make the struggle worthwhile.
This year’s host, Sochi, beat out Pyeongchang, South Korea in a 51-47 vote taken back in 2007. The Russian city was graded on various criteria before it was chosen. Infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, and security were scrutinized to ensure a smooth tournament. Having passed those tests, Russia will now reap the renowned rewards of hosting the 2014 games. “Organizing the 2014 Olympic Games has allowed Russia to create the first world-class winter sports center in the country and has drawn the attention of tourists and athletes from around the world to Sochi.” IOC President Jacques Rogge acknowledged. Between the promotions, tourist and viewership interest, and national publicity, Russian leaders will be waltz-jumping in jubilation over the added wealth.
If the past is any indicator, Sochi will thrive off of Olympic revenue. Last year, the UK Trade and Investment Department released a report regarding financial statistics from the 2012 Olympic Games. The government estimated that the games cost 8.9 billion pounds to host. In revenue, the nation made 2.5 billion pounds of “additional inward investment,” which is when money is spent in a region to purchase capital goods. The country gained 5.9 billion pounds from Olympic sales and promotions, a feat worthy of high fives all around. Lastly, the United Kingdom earned 1.5 billion pounds in overseas construction contracts, with English companies asked to help build and prepare future host venues. A large portion of Sochi’s Olympic facilities were “designed and built by British businesses”, Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
If Russia can host an event half as sharp as the UK, the nation will undoubtedly reap the desired benefits. “We are determined to organize a real celebration in 2014,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. If things pan out, Putin will be the one celebrating with “the gold.”