Every four years, millions of people turn their attention to one city where Olympic Games take place. Almost all major cities compete for the right to be the host city of the next Olympic Games. It is highly competitive competition as Olympics bring attention and spectators which provide huge revenue to the host city. However, for the host city Olympic Games begin much earlier as it takes years to prepare and organize such project. It is clear that no city in the world can host Olympics next day after being chosen. Further, this essay will observe election procedure of the host city and state main requirements of the IOC for the host city.
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In 1999 the new host city election procedure was confirmed by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). According to this procedure, the cities are checked for the appropriateness of the basic technical requirements. Then the cities which are passed through IOC Executive Board become candidate cities and permitted to pass to bidding process. During this process IOC Evaluation Commission visits and inspects all candidate cities. Eventually at the IOC session the host city will be chosen (John E. Findling: 265). The host city election procedure is complicated due to heavy responsibility which lies down on shoulders of both host city and the IOC. To prevent any kind of mistakes during Olympic Games the IOC has several technical requirements such as:
- Transport concept.
- Environmental conditions.
- Experience from the past sport events.
- Sport venues.
- Finance. (Factsheet. Host city election facts and figures. (www.olympic.org).
Leicester’s transport concept includes transport systems within the city, East Midlands Airport and the Railway station. Special departments regulate the Leicester’s traffic situation. Different IT systems and CCTV cameras provide a real time picture of the traffic situation within the Leicester. Digital Car Park Signs give all the information about available car park spaces throughout the city centre. In addition, there is a “Star Trak” information system which provides “next bus” information via signs at bus stops (Leicester City Council. Transport and streets). All these technologies support efficient traffic flow and ensure safety for both pedestrians and drivers. Visitors will find these facilities useful for them. However, the main problem is that how spectators from every corner of the world will come to the Leicester. The city is served by single railway station and East Midlands Airport which in addition works for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Moreover, East Midlands serves domestic and European destinations with only few flights to holiday resorts (UK Airport Guide. East Midlands Airport). This means that more railway stations and international airport are needed to meet all the quests. In contrast, Beijing spent more than $4bn to build a new airport terminal and extra subway lines (Bristow M. BBC news). Apart from this, nearly £80m will be spent to improve Docklands Light Railway (DLR) network in London. In addition, London will invest more than £900 million to East London Line which will link the Olympic Park with the city. Line will connect with the DLR, Jubilee and District line and the North London Line (London 2012.Transport). In fact, even more developed cities than Leicester are forced to improve their transport systems due to Olympic Games.
The second criterion of the IOC is the environmental condition of the future Olympic city. This requirement can be fully satisfied by Leicester as it became Britain’s first “Environment city” in 1990 and was among twelve cities which took part in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 (Leicester City Council. Environment and planning). Since then Leicester keeps high standards of environmental conditions. For example, Leicester City Council uses the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which helps to conserve environmental standards. As well as the EMAS, Leicester City Council’s Environmental Policy plays vital role in maintaining and improving high environmental conditions in the city. The targets of this policy are reduction of carbon footprint, prevention of pollution, protection of trees and natural environment and promotion of using renewable energy. Throughout this policy Leicester City Council encourages the public to protect environment where possible (Leicester City Council. Environment and planning). Furthermore, Leicester city achieved significant results in recycling of wastes. In partnership with Biffa Leicester the city of Leicester created the “Ball Mill” recycling facility which can recycle more than 70% of household waste from landfill. By this facility Leicester can recycle and compost nearly 33% of all wastes in the city (Leicester City Council. Environment and planning). Taking in consideration all these facts Leicester can be proud of their environmental condition, whereas Beijing invested nearly $20.5bn over the past 10 years to improve environmental situation during the preparations for Olympic Games (Bristow M. BBC News). Further, this essay will observe housing facilities where visitors can reside during Olympics.
It goes without saying that the host city meets thousands of tourists coming for Olympic Games. In 2008, Beijing registered almost 382,000 overseas visitors. Organizers expected to meet 500,000 visitors, but visa controls decreased that number (www.2008gamesbeijing.com). Therefore Leicester should have enough rooms to reside between 300,000 – 400.000 tourists. According to Leicester City Council there are nearly 26 hotels with more than 2000 rooms in Leicester. In addition, partnership with University of Leicester can provide additional 3096 rooms (Leicester City Council. Environment and planning. 2012 Preparation camps). As a result, there are more than 5200 rooms in total available for upcoming visitors. Of course it is not enough to reside more than 300,000 tourists, therefore more accommodation facilities should be build. For example, London offers 100,000 hotel rooms and nearly 30,000 beds in student accommodations to welcome all the visitors during Games (London 2012. accommodation).
Experience of organising sport events is important as well as other technical requirements. Leicester has hosted Special Olympics GB Summer Games two times (Leicester City Council. Sports and fitness). 2700 athletes from 19 UK regions took part in 21 sports during Special Olympics 2009 (Special Olympics 2009). Actually, this is invaluable experience, but organisation of Olympic Games requires the hosting of 26 sports with more than 300,000 participants including athletes and spectators (London 2012. Games).
In previous paragraphs this essay mentioned different features of the Leicester except sport venues which are directly connected with Olympic Games. There are might be hundreds of hotels, railway stations and airports in the host city, but without appropriate sport facilities the city will not host Olympics. Leicester has different sport venues, including Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium, Braunstone Leisure Centre and sport facilities of Leicester Grammar School. These venues contain modern facilities for badminton, tae-kwon-do, swimming, basketball and etc. However all of them have been already offered as pre-gaming training camps for athletes coming to London 2012 Olympic Games (Leicester City Council. 2012 Preparation camps). In comparison, Beijing has built 12 new stadiums which required $1.9bn (Bristow M. BBC News). As well as Beijing, London is building completely new Olympic Park which will contain nine sport venues including Olympic Stadium, the Aquatic Centre, the VeloPark and etc (London 2012. Venues). After all, it is clear that present sport facilities of the Leicester should be improved by financial support.
Financial part of the Olympic project plays significant role in organising Olympic Games. The major cities like Beijing and Athens have spent $40bn and $16bn respectively to host Olympics. Apart from this, London has already invested $22.6bn for 2012 Olympic Games (Bristow M. BBC News). In contrast, according to Leicester City Council budget of Leicester in 2008/09 was £779,788,900. In other words, Leicester should find more funding to host Olympic Games.
Finally, I think that Leicester does not have clear disadvantages in contrast with other cities. However it will take more time and investments to host Olympics in Leicester than in Beijing or London.
Findling J. E. & Pelle D. K. (2004:265). Encyclopedia of modern Olympic movement. Westport: Greenwood Press. Extracted 01/02/2010 from, //books.google.com/books?id=QmXi_-Jujj0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=encyclopedia+of+modern+Olympic+movement&hl=ru&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
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//www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/ep/the-environment/environmental-policy/ Extracted 29/01/2010
//www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/ep/the-environment/recycling/ Extracted 29/01/2010
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//www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/ep/planning/plansandpolicy/hotels-information/ Extracted 29/01/2010
//www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/lc/sports-services/news-update-2007/2012camps/ Extracted 29/01/2010
//www.london2012.com/visiting/accommodation/index.php Extracted 29/01/2010
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//www.london2012.com/games/olympic-sports/index.php Extracted 29/01/2010
//www.london2012.com/games/venues/index.php Extracted 29/01/2010
//www.leicester.gov.uk/accounts/accounts0809.pdf Extracted 29/01/2010