From World Cup to the Olympics

South African President Jacob Zuma is riding the high of the World Cup, and has come out with a public statement that South Africa is capable of hosting the Olympic Games.  In this article, it is noted that not only is Durban considered a candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games, IOC President Jacques Rogge says he would support having “a credible African candidate” to host the games.  One big question is whether South Africa is really a good candidate for the Summer Games, as this World Cup has proved to be rather cold, and I’m not sure that some of the events will go down very well being held in the South African winter.

While South Africa has posted improved tourist numbers into the country, the question of whether this is providing a big economic boost is debatable.   I noticed this opinion piece in the Global Times of China, which had a pretty decent breakdown of the World Cup’s potential economic impact.  They noted that the effect of hosting the World Cup will boost the national economy of South Africa by about half a percent.  Considering the breakdown of this article and other journalistic pieces which have looked directly to economists to discuss the potential impact of the World Cup, it seems that the games will really do very little for South Africa’s economy.  When looking at the massive unemployment rate, the number of social issues, and the high costs of hosting an Olympics, I’m not sure if South Africa is really ready to host the Olympic Games.  Hopefully, there will be some more thought and examination of the feasibility of hosting the events in a country where over 50% of the residents live in poverty…

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2 Responses to From World Cup to the Olympics

  1. Ross Tucker says:

    Are you being serious about having a “big concern” over the weather in South Africa for the Summer Olympics? You do realise, of course, that the SUMMER games would be held in SUMMER, most likely September, which is when the seasons, well, they usually affect temperatures…and if you’re going to challenge the dates, refer to the last Olympic Games held in the Southern Hemisphere – Sydney 2000, from 16 Sep to 1 Oct.

    So while it may be cold now, holding games in September would change this, just slightly…

    Is that a serious concern or are you being deliberately obtuse?

  2. nickwatanabe says:

    Ross, good point about the time of year and weather. I had been reading complaints about hosting the world cup during this time of year, that I figured they would do the same in regards to the Olympics.

    In some sense, I was being unconciously obtuse. I’ll need to look at some weather tables of South Africa to look at seasonal averages.

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