The money we spend on our Olympic medal count is money well spent
It's been estimated Britain had to invest around £15m for each gold medal won. With similar figures coming from Australia – and presumably other countries too – the question is, is this money well spent? Are we getting a good return on investment or should we put our limited resources elsewhere?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
The Olympics gives athletes a goal and young people a chance to believe in themselves
The Olympics gives young athletes something to look forward to and aim for in life. The satisfaction of competing for your country and competing with the world cannot be a better accomplishment, and winning a gold medal for your country in the Olympics is considered one of the highest honours for anyone. Despite the medal count, the Olympics itself is worth the money. The government and older generations constantly talk of youths in trouble, with no future, and no career paths, but with Olympic funding, they have a path and a goal to achieve. Athletes can compete at all ages and this is money well spent if it gives people something to believe in. Some adolescents leave school not knowing what they would like to do and feel that they cannot excel at anything except from sport, so events such as the Olympics makes them feel as important if competing, as a barrister in a courtroom or an estate agent closing a deal.
Most young people can't hope to be Olympians. While it is true that the Olympics is a great opportunity for an example to be set on what hard work can achieve, it is also a competition which, of course, inherently focuses on the winners: a small percentage of competitors, and an even smaller percentage of the youth population. For many young people today, an Olympic gold (or even a place in any large sports competition) is a distant, irrelevant dream. The government should spend more money on helping young people feel like they themselves are enough to contribute to society.
Every Government has a duty to help its people fulfill their potential.
Britain showed at the Olympics that we have a number of world-class athletes. We brought home 47 medals, 19 of them gold. But this kind of achievement requires a great deal of money, without which, some of the most talented people in the world would go through life without their greatest achievements. Perhaps we should change the way we spend on the Olympics: if it is true that athletes are wined, dined and paid to party, perhaps we should consider paying them to practise instead. But to take away the money spent on their development would be unfair.
This is ridiculous line of argument because there are thousands of professions in which people could ‘fulfill their potential’, why should the government single out people who have an interest in sport? Why not invest the money into nurses and medical researchers, here people can fulfill their potential and play a vital role in society.
Athletes who make it to the Olympic arena have sponsors and they often come from the wealthier walk of life, why should the money not be invested in the poorer segments of society, it is here the money will make the most difference. It may not win Britain a medal, but it will decrease the gap between the rich and the poor.
Money is spent on academia yet not everyone is academic
The investments into sports by governments and corporate giants are beneficial to the society at large. We must appreciate the fact that all of us have varying abilities and interests, and that not everybody is born academically gifted, goes through university education and lands himself or herself a well-paying 9-to-5 job in the city. Some of us are more active physically and sports-inclined. With the right amount of government funding, these people do not have to go through the traditional route of getting a tertiary education which may probably work against them. Instead, they could enrol themselves in sporting institutes and become full time athletes. This will provide them with the right platform to develop their abilities further and excel in their chosen field. Subsequently, they can make a career of out sport by being a private coach, fitness instructor, professional trainer and even a professional footballer who earns £80,000 a week! Just as in academia where governments invest heavily in research and development activities, postgraduate funding and research facilities, governments should do the same to the sporting arena as this would create job opportunities for the people.
its kinda stupid
people who have hopes for being in the olympics useally get put down! vit also costs a lot of money which is one of the many reasons why the U.S is in debt!
People that do not care have to fund the Olympics
Officials in charge of building projects for the 2012 London Olympics have claimed more than £100,000 in expenses on top of their taxpayer-funded salaries. Some of the taxpayers may not even enjoy the Olympics. Some of the general public does not consider the Olympics a worthwhile event that should be funded by the tax-payers money, so should only the people that would watch the Olympics on television aid towards its costs?
Our society funds all kinds of things which not everybody likes.Taxpayers' money is used every day for things which not everybody enjoys. Should the government stop giving funding to universities because less than half of the population will ever enjoy a university education? It's not fair to say that everybody should have to benefit directly from something the government spends money on (although this would be everyone's preferred choice!) because, thankfully, we live in a very diverse society. So long as the beneficiary(ies) is/are honourable, and the spending is transparent, it should not have to be spent exclusively on things that everybody enjoys - for one thing, there is almost nothing which everybody enjoys or needs.
The money is not going towards a good cause
Board members and directors of the Olympic Delivery Authority state that the budget has grown from £2.4 billion to £9.3 billion, but there are rumours in the news that the money has been used to throw lavish parties and to pay for meals at some of London’s top restaurants, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act .
The Olympics is not just about sport; it is an international event that brings prestige upon the host nation. Obviously plenty of funds need to be dedicated to the 'hosting' aspects of the games, as well as to supporting out sportsmen.
British athletes are not paid for their efforts
British athletes have only ever been given their equipment and merchandise by companies to advertise their products and merchandise. British athletes have full-time jobs outside of the Olympics and are not paid to win and be top of the medal table. Perhaps if we paid our athletes and gave more money towards them, which is a good cause, then there would be a higher incentive to win? Or perhaps the fact that the British athlete is so tired from working during the day and training during the evening that athletes feel that they have not been able to practice like in the other countries because they do not have the full support of their country? Why do other countries pay their athletes to compete and treat it as a full-time career while we expect heavyweight champions to work as full-time plumbers and Paula Radcliffe to win the marathon when they feel under trained? Countries such as China value getting a gold medal so highly that they put enormous pressure on their athletes to spend most of their time training in order to achieve it.
The medal count at the Beijing Olympics seems to suggest that Britain's approach is working just fine. We do not treat our athletes like prize racehorses, training them up and isolating them from the real world; they have lives outside of sport and are thus happier, better rounded people. A career in sport is often a short one, and if you cannot get any media work in the aftermath, you don't want to be left without options once you're past your physical peak. Why should we follow the 'hothousing' methods of other nations, when we are achieving very respectable levels of success without putting our athletes under unnatural pressure.
What do you think?