A question that many sports lovers in India often ask is ‘when will the country host the Olympics?’ A recent remark by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach brings hope. He said that India was among the countries interested in hosting the Games in 2036, 2040 and beyond. The next three Olympics are due in Paris (2024), Los Angeles (2028) and Brisbane (2032).
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bach mentioned India, Indonesia, Germany and Qatar as countries interested in hosting the Games in 2036 and beyond. “And this is just the ones which come to my mind. So we are really in a very good long-term position,” he added, reports The Indian Express.
IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta has confirmed they are keen on holding the games. There is a general impression that the Games might be coming to India in 2048 as part of the centenary celebrations of India’s independence.
Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said that the AAP government would upgrade sports facilities and the city infrastructure to ensure it can host the event in 27 years. Technically, cities host Olympics and not the countries, so Delhi needs to pitch for the Games.
But is the country prepared for such a mega event that involves huge expenditure and a massive spruce-up?
Looking at the recent Tokyo Olympics, one needs to be prepared for mega expenses. The original budget for the Tokyo Olympics was overshot several times, and the ban on spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic at almost all venues hit the revenue as well.
Even bidding for the Olympics and lobbying is not an easy task. And for a developing country like India, building infrastructure and venues will demand a huge cost. The economic burden arising from the Olympics cannot be ignored. To cap the prohibitive costs, the IOC is toying with the idea of capping the number of events and participants at the Olympics to control costs.
The biggest sports event India has ever held so far is probably the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The country struggled to meet deadlines and was plagued by corruption charges in the games expenditure for months after the event.