Making mega sporting events viable - the Singapore way (Comment)October 1st, 2010 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS
By Anand Philar
A majority of contingents from across the globe have given the thumbs-up to the facilities, the environment and of course the security at the 9th Commonwealth Games here, yet it is a moot point whether these are comparable to the best elsewhere or are, at least, of the highest class.
India has certainly gone the distance to put on a show that would project a positive image of a country that has the wherewithal to host a Games of this size and magnitude, the 2008 Beijing Olympics being a reference point.
Two summers ago, China’s mighty political machinery ensured that the Olympics in Beijing raised the efficiency bar and set standards for facilities and hospitality that would be difficult to match, leave alone better, as London, the venue of the 2012 OLympic Games, is discovering.
The Commonwealth Games suffer in comparison to the Olympics in terms of its relevance, significance and importance, but yet, big enough to attract leading sportspersons.
The Delhi Games have lost some of the gloss following the pull-out of several high-profile sportspersons and the situation does raise a pertinent question, even if it may be too late to debate it - whether the effort to host such an extravaganza was worth the enormous expense.
At first glance, the facilities for the Delhi Games, though completed way behind schedule, are comparable to some of those in Beijing that unveiled the stunning Bird’s Nest Stadium and the Aqua centre for the swimming competition.
For all that, such quality facilities tend to become a financial burden over a period of time, as in the case of Montreal, Canada, that took decades to clear its debts incurred on staging the 1976 Olympics.
In this context, last month’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore perhaps provided a sneak peek into the future trends of hosting mega sporting spectacles.
The YOG was compact in terms of number of participants, disciplines (in relation to summer Olympics) and duration, while budgets were kept on a leash through a moratorium on new construction. The existing facilities were either upgraded or renovated.
Further, each participating country was allowed to enter only one team in a sport of its choice while basketball witnessed an innovative three-a-side, single hoop matches held at a venue with a circus top.
Although the YOG evoked only lukewarm interest among the international media and spectators, the event threw up interesting possibilities with regard to future multi-discipline Games.
With the Olympics and other multi-sport regional competitions like Asian and Commonwealth Games becoming prohibitively expensive, perhaps, the YOG template could be the way forward.
Like recycling, optimum use of existing infrastructure rather than constructing costly stadia, and limiting the number of participants would make hosting such mega ventures a pleasure rather than a pain.
(Anand Philar can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Pondering over facilities as Games excitement builds up - Oct 01, 2010
- British Olympic Association backs Glasgow as 2018 Youth Olympics host - Feb 23, 2012
- With the clouds gone, CWG competitions set to begin Monday - Oct 03, 2010
- Abhinav Bindra takes athletes' oath at CWG opening ceremony - Oct 03, 2010
- Commonwealth Games is more nostalgia, less sports - Sep 28, 2010
- Let the Games begin, says India (CWG Curtainraiser) - Oct 02, 2010
- Hockey will be the best at CWG: Baskaran - Sep 28, 2010
- DD left with permanent legacy after CWG - Oct 27, 2010
- Glasgow is Britain's lone potential candidate for 2018 Youth Olympics - Jan 31, 2012
- Indian sportspersons have gone to London thinking of gold - Jul 25, 2012
- Indian Grand Prix a job well done (Comment) - Oct 30, 2011
- Indian wrestlers train in Sonepat for upcoming Asian Games - Oct 29, 2010
- Delhi CWG must go on, says Dame Kelly - Oct 03, 2010
- Centre allots Rs 687.06 crore for Commonwealth Games venue overlays - Mar 19, 2010
- Hosting Commonwealth Games, a stepping-stone to host Olympics: Kalmadi - Mar 30, 2010
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