The Olympics need no introduction.

It is the largest sporting event in the world, hosting over 200 countries’ greatest athletes and all of their supporters. This significant event usually takes some ample preparation. For the city lucky enough to host, they have to make sure that they can handle the large number of events and viewers that will flock to the city for the games. One concern over the years has been the logistics behind the games. Many extravagant stadiums and venues were created in the past, but after the games, these large stadiums go to waste and find themselves with no function or practicality. As the concern for global warming rises, the Olympics also have seen a lot of backlash regarding their practices. The 2024 Summer Games, hosted in Paris, France, hope to be the first giant step in the opposite direction. The organizers of the games plan for this to be the most sustainable and environmentally conscious Olympics ever.

To understand why a new path for the Olympics is needed, we must look into the past to see the cause of raised concerns. Looking back on the 2008 games, China spent around 43 billion dollars on their stadiums. This is above the average since 2000, which is 21.2 billion. With these funds, China built some of the world’s most outstanding venues, including the “Bird’s Nest,” a state-of-the-art, 91,000-capacity stadium. The stadium hosted the opening and closing events, soccer games, and track and field events. While this event space has continued to boast thousands of visitors daily, it is the only one to remain in use since its creation.

Many other venues have lost their purpose and have gone unused since the games. This is known as an “Olympic hangover.” Single cities trying to accommodate a large influx of tourists and then trying to repurpose the venues after the fact has caused struggles that are hard to overcome. Beijing isn’t the only city that has dealt with this. The greatest economic example can be found in Montreal, Canada. After the 1976 Winter Games, Montreal was left with a bill of 1.4 billion dollars, much higher than the expected costs of 250 million. It took the city 30 years to pay off all of the debt. Like Beijing, it was also left with a large stadium needing new functions. These trends happen at every Olympics. Paris 2024 looks to change the status quo. 

The Paris Olympics plans to use fewer resources and be more environmentally friendly than any Olympics before. The goal is to keep the emissions lower than half of what was recorded at the London games in 2012. One way to reach this goal is to work on the energy supply. Diesel fuel is the most typical fuel supply for sporting events. Working with companies like EDF, Paris plans to offer 100% renewable electric energy to power the games. Another way to combat the emissions has been to repurpose older structures rather than build new stand-alone structures. The pool from the 1924 Olympics is being repurposed and will be used for the games. 95% of the buildings used are either already built or temporary structures. The city has planted many trees for the past few years to offset more environmental impact. They also plan to buy carbon credits to offset all the emissions that they produce. Check out my other blog for more information on how carbon credit works.

Another big thing that Paris is looking to change is transportation during the Olympics. Another global edge blog, Paris’s Parking Price Surge by Paris Carter, details how they are trying to push the public closer to sustainable transportation. In partnership with Toyota and TMH France, they have also promoted using electric vehicles when it comes to working vehicles. Toyota supplies forklifts, and TMH sponsors the use of battery-powered pallet trucks.

Overall, this could be a massive step in legitimizing the process of significant sporting events. These international or domestic events are some of the most critical times of the year for marketing, revenue, and brand awareness. If the Paris Olympics can show an excellent example of sustainable practices, it would be a significant first step towards a new norm.

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