Hosting the Olympic Games is a phenomenal opportunity to announce to the international community that a country is prepared for increased participation on a global scale as well as the scrutiny that accompanies it. Asia, interpreted by many to be a continent on the rise for the past few decades, may see this reflected in its increased participation in hosting the games. Until 2018, Asia had only hosted three games; beginning in 2018, it won the right to host three in a row.
For the current biddings, an Asian country is involved for each one.
This follows increasing public respect for various Asian countries as a whole including admiration for several countries successful COVID-19 responses. While the games, COVID-19, and economic policies are not all neatly tied together, hosting the games “serves as a credible signal that a country is committing itself to trade liberalization” and general international openness.
Furthermore, in 2018, it was announced that for the first time an African nation would host an Olympic event. While not the official games, Senegal is to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, the first country to host an Olympic event on the continent.
For so many years, the Olympic Games signified an example of Western elitism, with Eastern and African nations largely resigned to competitors or visitors. The increased participation and egality on a global scale not only emphasize the International Olympic Committee’s increasing commitment to inclusivity and diversity, but also emphasize that to underestimate these flourishing countries would be a mistake.