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Cost effective alternative to the Olympic games

By Shireesh
Thu Feb 7 2013 7:04 pm

The olympic games have been accompanied by pomp, splendor, ceremony - and a huge waste of money by the nation hosting them. The (often newly built) grand stadiums, and venues have almost zero return on investment (ROI) once the games are over. The burden is especially hard on poor and developing countries where the money could be better spent on much needed social and poverty alleviating programs.

I propose that the olympic games be discontinued as a centralized, once every (x) years occuring, grand event. Instead, I propose that any existing facilities (stadia, venue) already built in any country be accredited (just as academic institutions are accredited) for their ability to accurately measure the "highest", "strongest" and "fastest"; the classic objective metrics of excellence in the Olympic games. Where the judging standards are subjective, for example in events such as diving, gymnastics, synchronized swimming etc., an accredited body of judges can travel to the venue/stadium where the applicant or team wishes to demonstrate their acumen.

Such a policy will allow anyone anywhere in the world to "compete" at any time in any event of his/her or the team's choice - subject to their passing the minimum qualification standards. For example, if a person in Sao Paolo, Brazil wished to run a 100 m event tomorrow, he could show up at any accredited stadium in the country, procure an appointment to run, and run on the prescribed day. If he is timed at less than the prevailing time for this event, he is designated the "Olympic champion" in that event.

In this scenario, the title of Olympic champion is not held for a particular length of time (as is now) but can be overturned as soon as someone "beats" that record in any accredited stadium/venue at any time. The proposed paradigm allows for much more "democratization" of sporting ability and a much more egalitarian way to measure success in a particular event without lowering standards

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