Hosting the Olympic Games: Benefits for the Host Country (Part 3)

In order to determine the improvement of a host country over the last eight Olympic Games, the results will be shown in a common base of an equivalent of 100 participating countries. And to ensure a comprehensible view of the overall position ranking, the results will be presented focusing only on the first 20 positions. It’s obvious that in the same pattern, every country, except Great Britain, got its best position when it hosted the Games.

When Greece organized the Games of 2004, it ranked higher than its average position, an improvement of 12,5%, Brazil had the second highest proportion improvement of 7,9%, in the Olympic Games of 2016. Spain, with the 6th position it achieved in the Games of 1992, got an improvement percentage of 7%. The smallest improvement percentage was observed for the USA of only 0.35%.

A general conclusion is that countries that are not usually ranked in the top performing countries benefit more by hosting the event. Nations such as Greece, Brazil and Spain increased more positions when they organized the Games than those which are usually in the top performing nations, such as USA, China and Australia. But though every nation that hosted the Games improved its overall position, the reasons for that vary with the most common are the following:

  • Every host country has the advantage of allowing more athletes to participate than any other country in the respective hosted Olympic Games (for instance, at Rio 2016, Brazil participated with almost 460 athletes in 28 sports whereas in the Olympic Games at London in 2012, Brazil only had 260 athletes, participating in 24 sports.)
  • Athletes of the host country have the advantages of being more familiar with the home venues the environmental as well as climatic conditions, because they have competed, trained and lived most of their lives there.