The 2018 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are only just starting and there’s still a lot to be learned about what it means for the games, their venues, the athletes and the fans.
And the answers are not pretty.
In the weeks before the Games start, many of the most influential figures in Australian sports have been discussing what it will take for Australia to host the Games.
It’s a tough sell to the public, but the fact is there are some serious hurdles to jump, from the financial to the legal to the logistical.
With a total budget of $1.3 billion, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is facing a challenge of making the Games affordable for all of the athletes, fans and sponsors.
The Olympic Games, which will be the largest sporting event in the world, are expected to cost at least $2 billion to host, but that is a steep drop from the $20 billion the IOC spent on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which attracted nearly $3 billion in ticket sales.
The IOC is hoping to make up for the cost of the Games by securing the rights to broadcast the Games on television, radio and digital platforms across the globe.
With so many sports fans around the world watching, the IOC is determined to get their athletes and athletes’ families involved, but how can the IOC guarantee that the games will attract the biggest and best crowds?
And the most important question is: Will the IOC do what is best for the sport, or will they simply do what suits the IOC?
For years, the answer has been simple.
The IOC has never, ever agreed to a guaranteed number of events in the Games, and there is little hope of the IOC changing that.
As the Games approach, a series of changes is coming to the IOC’s operations, starting with the reopening of the 2018 and 2022 Summer Olympic Winter Games, as well as the 2019 Summer Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and 2020 Summer Games at Tokyo.
There is also talk of expanding the Summer Games into a fully integrated winter event.
But it’s not just about the financials.
With an estimated population of 3.7 billion, South Korean and Chinese citizens are the largest Olympic sponsors, with some $5 billion invested in the South Korean Olympic Games.
Chinese fans are expected, along with a growing number of South Koreans, to attend the Summer Olympics.
The Chinese government is also looking to expand the Games beyond its borders, but what exactly is happening in the Chinese media is a mystery.
So what is the IOC thinking?
The IOC has had to make a number of concessions in the past.
In 2012, it accepted a bid from the South African Olympic Committee for the 2022 Summer Games, but South Africa was unable to win the right to host.
The South African bid was rejected in the final round of voting, and the IOC ultimately accepted the South American bid.
As a result, South Africa won’t be participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Rio, which the IOC hopes will draw as many as 10 million spectators.
In 2018, the IAAF rejected a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games from Russia, despite a strong commitment from the Russian government.
And in 2017, the U.S. government rejected a South Korean bid for 2024, despite support from the country’s sports minister.
This year, the USADA was also denied the 2024 bid, which is likely to mean a further cut in the number of sports venues that the Games will take place in.
And as the IOC heads into the Olympics in earnest, there are fears that the IOC will have to make more concessions to secure the Games’ future.
As I mentioned above, the 2022 Olympic Winter Olympics were not able to secure a venue that could accommodate the number and quality of athletes expected to attend them.
But even if there were a stadium that could, the Olympic Games would still have to attract a minimum of 200,000 spectators to be considered a success.
If the Games are to attract as many people as they do in 2022, it is a good bet that the IAC will be able to ensure that their Games are safe, fair and secure.
For years the IOC has said it would make it easier to secure venues, with the Olympic Winter Sports Council (OWSSC) developing a plan to get more venues ready.
But it has failed to deliver on its promises.
According to a 2016 report by the IOC, the most successful IOC Olympic Games have been the Winter Games held in Lillehammer, Norway, and Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
The Winter Games also attracted the best sporting talent from the Americas, with many of them coming from the US.
But the US, Canada and Mexico are still in the Olympic qualifying rounds, and while the IOA has been trying to secure new venues, it’s only a matter of time before they become unavailable.
There are other obstacles to the IOC’s Games, such