Should African nations bid to host 2024 Olympics?
InformAfrica – Africa is yet to host any Olympic games which is believed to have started several thousand years ago “776 BC”. However, African nations are being encouraged to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, which can be a heavy burden for any developing nation.
Britain’s Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson on Saturday, encouraged African nations to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, saying the Games should not be the preserve of Western nations and the rich.
The Olympics is a sporting event for many different sports that is every four years. The original Olympic Games were held in the ancient Greek city of Olympia that since the 10th century BC. was a religious and political meeting place.
The first recorded celebration of the Games at Olympia was in 776 BC. It is almost certain that this was not the first time that the Games were held. Then the Games were only local and had only one race, the race of the stadium.
South Africa is the only African nation that has hosted an international sports event – which was the 2012 FIFA world cup, but no African nation has host the Olympics.
“I am a firm believer that the Olympics should not just be restricted to western Europe, to the Americas, to the prosperous nations of the Far East,” Britain’s Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson told Reuters at a National Olympic Committees of Africa event.
“That’s one of the most exciting things about Rio (the 2016 Olympic host city). And I would very much like to see the Olympics in future years go to the continent of Africa.”
No African city is on the shortlist to host 2020, the winner of which is due to be announced in 2013, after the few who proposed making a bid failed to follow through.
But Casablanca, in Morocco; Durban, in South Africa; and Alexandria, in Egypt, are being touted as possible bidders for 2024.
“I very much hope that African nations will bid in 2024,” Robertson said at the Africa Village hospitality and cultural arena, in London’s Hyde Park.
“I think it is really good for the Olympics to be spread out around the world, that the Olympic values should travel as far as possible. I would absolutely like to see that happen on the continent of Africa.”
However, Ethiopian IOC member Dagmawit Girmay Berhane said the Olympics would come to Africa eventually, it was just a matter of when, helped by a bit of extra resources, infrastructure, political commitment and creativity.
“In my local language there is one word which says ‘yechalal’, and it literally means ‘yes, it can be’,” she said, still smiling from Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba’s successful defence of her Olympic 10,000 metre title.
“So no matter how long it takes, I am sure it will happen.
“We have the athletes, we have the passion. We love the sports.”
The only thing lacking was the infrastructure – but the cost of the Games would be outweighed by its value, she said.
“The value is more than monetary value,” she told Reuters.
“We have the will, we have the volunteers, we have the spirit, it is the resources. Resources and infrastructure, we need political commitment and we need the creativity.
“I think there is a generation looking forward to it, and it will touch a generation in terms of a dream come true.”