By: Jack Vaughan

When cities place their bid to host the Olympic Games, they promise to provide sports venues, city-wide transportation, lodging and the acceptance of hundreds of thousands of international visitors into their city. With your country’s athletes in the spotlight for the whole world to see, it’s hard not to feel pride for your country or your favorite athletes. For the hosting country, it has even more meaning.

   It was decided that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would be the host city of the 2016 Olympic Games on October 2, 2009. It was estimated that the games would have a total cost of $3 billion. That cost has now risen to $4.6 billion. The unexpected $1.6 billion overrun is not ideal for Brazil right now since the country faces its second straight year of economic downturn. With Brazil already facing widespread urban poverty and the Zika virus, Rio’s Olympic Games could be a recipe for disaster.

   Brazil is not the first nation to bring a multi-billion dollar mega-event into their country while facing large scale problems itself. One prime example is Greece’s 2004 Summer Olympics. Held in Athens, the games were brought back to where they began. Before the Athens Games, Greece had not been hit as hard economically as Brazil has this year. However, the years after the 2004 Olympics were not as forgiving. The 2008 recession sparked the rapid decline of Greece’s economy. The turmoil of the recession led to the Greek government debt crisis. With Greece’s poor post-Olympic economic bounce as an example, some fear Rio’s Olympics could have the same effect on Brazil.

   Even though Athens had economic turmoil post-Olympics, this is not always the The 2002 Winter Olympics were held in the United States six years after Atlanta held their Olympics. The 2002 Olympics brought the spotlight on the United States less than a year following the 9/11 terrorist Attacks. Unlike many host cities, Salt Lake still uses the buildings and stadiums built for the games. The University of Utah uses the buildings used to house athletes for dorms, and the downtown transportation system still serves the University. The commuter rail system that connected the 80-mile Salt Lake Valley corridor from Provo to Ogden is also still in use and is used by over 67,000 people daily.

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