The IOC Needs A Political Consultant Or Two

Time for the charm offensive.




The International Olympic Committee should consider hiring some political consultants for their endless campaign of finding cities and countries who are willing to lose billions of dollars, euros, rubles or whatever other currency that the IOC uses. The IOC plans to go on a charm offensive to convince voters in cities interested in holding the Olympics that there are benefits in having an Olympics and there is a legacy. No one knows how much money China lost on the 2008 Summer Games and there does not seem to be a proper accounting of the finances of the Vancouver 2010 event and the 2012 London Summer Games. Russia may have sunk $51 billion into the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. No one wants to know the real cost of the 2016 Rio Summer Games and this year’s event in South Korea figures to be a major money loser. The IOC has been losing referendums asking local residents for money for an Olympics. St. Moritz has said no twice, Munich, Krakow, Hamburg and Innsbruck voters decided it wasn’t worth investing in the Olympics. Boston was selected as the United States choice for the 2024 Summer Olympics but Boston residents wanted no part of the event and the city along with the local Olympic committee pulled the bid before it had a chance to go to voters. The same thing happened in Rome and Budapest.

Voters see no real benefit from hosting an Olympics but the IOC knows they are wrong.  The IOC thinks better messaging will do the trick. The IOC will need to first explain to news organizations that they should not show pictures of abandoned Olympic venues in Greece or that the Beijing Olympic stadium is gone and ignore that this year’s Olympic stadium in South Korea will be used a grand total of four times before its demise. Olympic ruins don’t sell.

Thomas Bach

Bach needs some fresh ideas.