- Dr Sivaram Hariharan
Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, PSG College of Pharmacy
Lateral Sourcing the Olympic games
The Olympic games as we see it held by a single nation every four years is fast becoming an outdated concept with regards to both the financial and logistic crunch that it imposes on the host nation. This also keeps many small nations out of the possibility of hosting the games ever, Also, the host nation is forced to come up with infrastructure for sports items in which it does not participate or for which it does not have a viable fan base. Example, is building a baseball stadium in cricket crazy Sri Lanka, should ever this small island nation ever host an Olympic games and which looks like a very remote possibility.
The time has come for the Olympics to be a mutli-centre event held every four years. Let there be a central venue that holds all the core Olympic events like track and field and other blue ribbon events. Let other sports and even those that are yet to feature in the Olympics and those that have lost Olympic status like baseball be held in those countries where the sport has a great fan following. For example, the baseball playing nations could get together to hold the Olympic championship and for this they can use their own established infrastructure. So in the event even if the games are being held in Sri Lanka, the absurdity of building a baseball stadium just for the sake of the Olympics does not eventuate. So also other sports like cricket where all the cricketing nations get together for the Olympic cricket games. Moreover, all countries should contribute financially to all the disciplines in which they participate thereby reducing the burden on any one host country.
The advantages of this system are manifold:
All sport gets to hold Olympic level contests. The rule should be that there should be at least 10 nations playing the sport at an elite level.
Fair sharing of financial burden
Less financial, logistic, and above all security nightmares. .
Even the smallest nations can host a particular Olympic sport.
Win Win for all.