Global epidemics, war in Ukraine, inflation ধরে for more than two years, the major international sporting events (GESI) have not escaped the crisis. The Olympic movement shakes their heads without predicting their violence and impact.
Poor alignment of the planet or a more prolonged event? Teachers and students at the School of Sports Management in Paris explored the question. They interviewed experts and actors from the French and international sports ecosystem. Outcome: A White Paper on Stimulus, “The Impact of the Crisis on the Organization of Major International Sports Events.”
David Mignot, Academic Director of the School of Sports Management, answers FrancsJeux’s question.
FrancsJeux: The health crisis is now in the news, but is the impact still being felt in the organization of major sporting events?
David Mignot : Yes. Each event, regardless of size, must deal with COVID. This cannot be done without health protocols. And everything suggests that we live with it. Organizers can’t ignore it, even if the epidemic is no longer a media issue like the last two years. We still have to expect the peak of infection. In France, for example, experts predict them for October or November. For a sports movement like the rest of society, we have to live with the sword of this Democracy.
Is 2022 still marked by the effects of the health crisis?
The calendar is inverted. Some events have been canceled, others have been postponed, but they cannot be indefinitely. It is not excluded that several contests that have already been postponed several times have disappeared from the calendar. The location of China, where all events scheduled for 2022 have been canceled or postponed outside of the Beijing Winter Games, is a serious blow to the international sports movement. He is one of the lungs. By closing its borders, it disrupts the international calendar. The rest promises to be uncertain and difficult, with some brands risking reviewing their partnership strategies and hesitating to be as committed as in the past.
Another crisis, this time political, is the war in Ukraine. Could it lead to an upheaval in the international sports movement and its events?
We have seen this with the last Champions League final at Stade de France: sanctions against Russia have multiple effects, including the cancellation of planned events in the country and the occasional hasty transfer to another country. Russia has already been knocked out of the Olympics because of doping. The war in Ukraine exacerbates the situation. Its consequences are not only felt on the calendar. The impact on athletes is considerable. They may have to leave Russia to continue their career. At the same time, the Russian military offensive is destroying Ukrainian sports, its athletes, competition and practice. With the exception of Russia and Ukraine, the landscape of international sports is not what it used to be.
Your white paper reviews the crises that affect the sports movement and its major events. However, the biggest events in the world calendar are still just as tempting …
That’s true. The main event always attracts candidate countries. But hosting the Olympic Games or the football World Cup could benefit the host country from a media focus that is largely worth the investment. For বা 3 or বিল 4 billion, communication is global and lasts for years. Moreover, these major events are a powerful accelerator in a country, in terms of transportation and urban planning, sports practice, identification and preparation of athletes. GESIs can transform a country or a city into a scale and speed that is otherwise difficult to achieve.
Subsequent editions of the Games – Paris 2024, Milan-Cortina 2026, Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 – express a clear preference by the IOC for guaranteed value, which hurts an opening to emerging countries. Is this an inevitable trend?
Despite Agenda 2020 and its extensions, games are still very expensive. Faced with both economic and political risks, the CIO prefers to play with security and stability. Elsewhere, moving to a new country on the Olympic map means putting yourself in trouble. The IOC does not want this. He prefers to work with tradition and discipline and the revival of the people, rather than taking risks in the host countries. Unless the budget for the games is dramatically reduced, I don’t see this trend reversing in the years to come.
What could be the next crisis, the biggest threat to the sports movement and its major events?
Hard to guess, but it can be a good concern for athletes. Athletes and their health. They want to go further in performance. People expect exploits and records from them. He begs for more. At the same time, brands are waging a technological battle for improved performance. The latest image comes from the Tokyo Games with carbon-soled shoes. With the advancement of medicine, technology and artificial intelligence, the phenomenon is likely to increase. But we should not forget the humane dimensions of our athletes and their discipline.