Ever wonder why the olympics is so important even when compared to other world events such as Expos.
Its now almost two weeks since the beginning of the 30th Olympiad that opened on July 27, 2012 in London. As expected the olympics has gotten the most media attention during these weeks. The most the most focused among events of all the athletic events in the olympics are Swimming and Gymnastics. With Gabby Douglas being the first African American gymnast to win the gold medal in the individual all around gymnastics. Also Michael Phelps officially becoming the worlds greatest olympian after encountering game starting hiccups yet in the end totaling more medals than Russian Gymnast Larissa Latynina with 18 golds and twenty two total medals. As always the olympics had been a very monumental event that countries spend an astronomical sum of investment usually equal to countless billions of US dollars. The 2008 olympic games in Beijing which was officially known as the games of the XXIX olympiad happens to be the most expensive olympic games in the history of the olympics. The games costed about an estimated of $46 billion US dollars which is many times that of other olympic games in the history of olympiads. The central government of China and the municipality of Beijing built 31 venues just for the olympics in addition to completing terminal 3 in Beijing airport which was rated the worlds largest airport terminal and costed 3.5 billion. The in addition to building venues there is also the cost to run the event particularly to through off a spectacular opening ceremony with many stage effects and fireworks. The Beijing opening ceremony alone costed $100 million. These figures are quite hefty for a place like China where the per capita income was about $6000 as of 2008 and the country was very poor before it flourished in the 2000s.
The importance of the olympics extends to matters far beyond the costs. The media attention of the olympics. How many people in the world would turn their attention to it. Also many changes had to be made to the hosts cities. In Beijing for example many older hutong neighborhoods had to be razed. Driving was limited to the day that is odd or even depending on the day of the month and the car plate number. Many older trucks were forced to be removed from service. Though what is truly amazing is that while Chinese drivers are always known for flouting the rules in traffic getting away with everything from driving on the shoulder or other prohibited lanes, driving on sidewalks bicycle lanes, flouting registration and exhaust emission rules, driving wrong way, and a long list. The boom in factories around Beijing create unimaginable pollution the urban area. In addition to driving Chinese often have many bad habits such as spitting in public and littering. However the mention of the olympics made great changes to people's pride in public decency. Making the new rules is actually the easy part having the population comply with it is the most difficult part even in a central communist style government in China. In the past most of the population would cheat official rules whenever the officials aren't paying attention. I was surprised that the Chinese did the impossible for 2008 olympics. I thought they would need to put concrete and steel barriers around all the olympic lanes to prevent cheaters and a bunch of red guards let olympic vehicles into and out of it but it seems unnecessary as people learned to respect them just like carpool lanes in North America. For the first time ever Chinese actually observed the rules without continuous intervention from the police or the guards. It seems like when Chinese or other people take pride in something mission impossible can be done.
In conclusion people would say that the olympics is a chance for many countries to come together to compete their athletic achievements, it seems even countries that are usually hostile to each other leave their hostilities in the lockers in the olympics. The olympic event seems like a red cross hospital in the warfield where it is not to be attacked by any side as it contains your own people even if it contains enemies. While there are other major events such as the world expos. None of them can match the olympics in media attention they receive and the changes that cities need to host the event. Also unlike other events even those who are not normally fans of sports or athletic events would still be glued to the media during the olympics. For countries like China it seems like a great chance to for the Chinese show the world that "they can."