The Olympic Games are becoming less sustainable

According to scientists, the Olympic Games have become less sustainable since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. They not only looked at construction and development in the lead up to the Games, but also at the Games themselves.

Swiss researchers have examined sixteen Olympic games, from 1992 to the upcoming Summer Games in Tokyo. They have always looked at how well organized cities are doing in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

On average, cities scored “average”: 48 out of the 100 most achievable points. That average hides a lot: financially, games often score poorly, while in the long-term usability of buildings and infrastructure they do well again.


The 1992 Albertville (69) and 2002 Salt Lake City (71) games had the highest score. From 1992 to 2008, both the Summer and Winter Games achieved significantly higher scores on average. Results have been deteriorating since the 2010 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. search Figured out In the sustainability of nature.

In recent years, the Olympic Games have been portrayed as an example of sustainability. The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver were known as the first sustainable games, and in 2014, sustainability became one of the three pillars of the 2020 Olympic agenda.

Big differences between them

However, the average drop in sustainability masks large differences for each release. The 1994 and 1998 games at Lillehammer and Nagano also scored very poorly, while the 2018 games in South Korea performed relatively well again.

However, much remains to be achieved, according to the researchers, who promptly arrived at a list of recommendations. For example, he would make a big difference if fewer fans were present at matches in person. They also suggest the possibility of rotating the games through a limited number of cities, so that the buildings and infrastructure can be reused. Finally, they recommend the creation of an independent body that sets and implements sustainability standards.

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