Following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to award both the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games simultaneously this year, with 2024 likely going to Paris and 2028 to Los Angeles, informal bidding for the rights to host the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games has begun.
Earlier this summer the Indian Olympic Association requested the Indian government to allow it to begin putting together a bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. In an attempt to follow neighboring China as a host of major international sporting events, India would also like the opportunity to showcase its growing economy through the spectacle of sport.
China, host of the 2008 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games, 2011 FINA World Aquatics Championships, and upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games, has been flaunting its ability to create new infrastructure and host the world’s best athletes and their fans in fantastic venues for years. However, not even China has proven immune to the Olympic hangover that befalls most hosts; though the Water Cube still sees action now and then, other 2008 Olympic venues within the city of Beijing have fallen into disrepair.
Rio remains fresh in the minds both of fans and critics of the Games as a shining example of what happens when a country seemingly on-the-cusp of full-fledged industrialization takes on the monumental task of hosting an Olympic Games. Touted as a fantastic leap towards “A much better Rio” by the IOC, the 2016 Games were advertised as a modernizing gale to push Rio into the future. Alas, the predictions were overly-optimistic, if not straight-up baloney. Not even Montreal could escape the economic hangover prone to follow a bout of Keynesian spending on infrastructure, championed by members of the host organizing committee and contractors eager for a major payday. With these things in mind, one must question India’s ability to host the Games, even if they are 15 years away.
While the Zika virus threatened the very constitution of the Rio Games, with some calling for a postponement or re-allocation of the Games for fear of the largely-mosquito-borne illness, Dengue Fever has been a very real obstacle for India. If this seems at all contrived, it is certainly not mere conjecture: Dehli, India, played host to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which were nearly derailed by an outbreak of Dengue Fever due to water-logging of areas surrounding the Athletes Village.
On the other side of the world, meanwhile, Germany has unveiled a 13-city plan for the 2032 Summer Games. Though events would be spread throughout the country, Düsseldorf and Köln would host the majority of the sports. Four aquatic disciplines, including swimming, synchronized (artistic) swimming, diving, and water polo, would take place in Gelsenkirchen, per the preliminary plan.
Germany’s plan, while not as “compact” as the single-city approach historically taken by Olympic hosts, ought to reduce costs and potentially eliminate the need for new infrastructure. This strategy was utilized by Los Angeles and Paris as they put together their bids for the 2024 Games.
Though Germany and India seem to have the most interest right now in hosting the 2032 Summer Games, Brisbane, Australia, has also entered the conversation. Brisbane, which currently lacks the infrastructure to host an Olympic Games, chose not to involve itself with a bid for 2028.
The 2032 Olympic Games are set to be awarded by the IOC in 2025, so hosts have plenty of time to put together astute bids that might wow the IOC with their ingenuity and conformity to the Olympic Agenda 2020.