The Tokyo Olympics 2020 finally kicked off today with tons of controversy and protests against the games being held right outside the stadium during the opening ceremony. After being postponed a year due to the pandemic the Opening Ceremony seemed very simple and somber. The ceremonies lacked the glamour and excitement of other years. However, most athletes and sports fans are glad they are finally happening.
Greek Gold Medalists, Anna Korakaki and Eleftherios Petrounias, of Greece, carried the Greece flag and entered first in the parade of nations as always since the Olympics were created in Greece in 776 BC. During the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan protests were taking place outside with many Japanese local that oppose the games as Japan has an increase in Coronavirus cases and a very low vaccination rate.
Many things were missing from these odd opening ceremonies. There was no Greek National Anthem like all other Olympics pay respect to Greece and the ideals she gave the world. Moreover, there was no Greek flag raising during the flag ceremony as there was just a Japanese and Olympic flag at the opening ceremony. Every host country ALWAYS pays respect to Greece. Not this time. Maybe it’s time the Olympics return to their birthplace? A great idea is different host countries could fund them, but always have them take place in Greece.
The Olympics belong back in Greece. Hosting the games in a different country every four years invites chaos, corruption, and redundant infrastructure. The Salzburg Music Festival or the Rose Bowl would not be held in Akron or Burkina Faso. Why would you host the Olympics someplace other than the birthplace of the games? As the kids say, doing anything else is cultural appropriation. (Set aside the fact that Ancient Greece is already responsible for three-quarters of Western civilization.)
The Olympics were invented in Greece and express Greek ideals about the beauty and grace of strong physical skills. These ideals are universally acknowledged, which is why countries from all over the world participate. They’d be just as eager to take part if the Olympics stayed put, in Greece.
The fundamental justification for bringing the Olympics back to Greece, however, is not cultural, but practical. Moving this travelling performance from country to country is an expensive waste. The Olympics are almost always run badly, if only because hosting them necessitates learning specialised skills in a field that the host city has never done before, or at least not in recent memory.
The competitiveness to be chosen as the host country invites financial corruption. It’s also a near-tragic exercise in redundancy to build the facilities where they’ll be staged. Is there a limit to how many former Olympic villages the world needs?
The Greeks, of course, would have to be consulted on the subject. Greece is not a wealthy country. It shouldn’t have to bear the entire cost of infrastructure construction on its own (or updating the infrastructure that Athens built to host the Olympics in 2004). Perhaps the IOC might be able to split some broadcast income, which would provide a strong incentive for the Greeks to conduct the event properly. All participating countries should contribute, with perhaps the European Union contributing the most.