The epic anticipation leading up to the Olympics is currently building as the world waits for Aug. 5, when Rio will kick off its long awaited and excruciatingly executed games. Then it's three weeks of fierce and frenzied competition and celebration, and before we know it, the closing ceremonies are on TV, and the cycle starts over again. The good news is that the next Olympics will be here sooner than you think.
Two years from now, the ski resort town of Pyeongchang will host the first Winter Olympics in South Korea. The preparations are well underway, with costs expected to exceed $10 billion, including $1.5 billion already spent for the main ski venue. However, there is already some controversy surrounding the games — a Change.org petition to boycott the games over the country's dog meat industry has garnered over 150,000 signatures since its publication four years ago. It's unlikely to affect the games significantly, but as media coverage increases over the next 18 months, it may become the topic of hot debate closer to the games.
Next is 2020 in Tokyo, returning the Olympics to the city for the first time since 1964. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is incorporating sustainability and minimal impact as a key feature in the planning process. "We have incorporated several Japanese values into our plans including the concept of Mottainai, or the sense of avoiding waste," Takeo Tanaka, Senior Director of the Tokyo 2020 Sustainability Department, said in a press statement earlier this year. The committee's High-Level Sustainability Plan includes contingencies for low-carbon management and recycling goals to make the games more eco-friendly than ever before.
Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, a choice that was essentially made for the IOC. Oslo, Stockholm, and Krakow, Poland, all pulled bids to host the games in 2014, leaving only the Chinese capital and Almaty, Kazakhstan in the running. Due to its existing infrastructure remaining from the 2008 games, which reportedly cost over $40 billion to put together, the games are expected to be a hit that will create a new tourism industry of winter sports in China.
The location of the 2024 Olympics will be decided in September 2017, and could come back to the United States for the first time since 2002. Los Angeles is in consideration to host, along with Rome, Paris, Budapest, Hungary, and Hamburg, Germany. Rome hasn't hosted the Olympics since 1960, and Paris hasn't since 1924. If either of the other choices are selected, it will be the first time hosting for Hamburg and the first time ever anywhere in Hungary. The European migrant crisis may play a role in the selection process, but there's no way to determine that before the selection is made.
The upcoming Olympics are going to highlight some amazing Asian cities and should bring a huge tourism boost to the three host nations. Of course, don't get ahead of yourself too much hoping for a U.S. Olympics — there's still Rio to enjoy in the meantime.