Should different Olympic events be held in different cities?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am

Each week our two teenagers debate a hot topic. This week ...

Jeffrey Wong, 19, Diocesan Boys' School

Sportsmen compete for medals, while cities bid to host the Olympic Games. These things have always made headlines.

This year, the spotlight is on the Beijing Olympics. Yet, some of the Games events will take place in other cities like Hong Kong and Qinhuangdao in Shandong province . Do such arrangements make sense?

Large-scale sports competitions can cause serious disruptions to a city. There will be thousands of visitors, sparking traffic jams and transport problems.

By holding all events in one city, the problems can be confined to that particular place. Therefore, the adverse effects on daily life can be reduced to a minimum by using the resources in a more efficient and effective manner. With different host cities, travelling can disrupt athletes' preparation.

Also, we have to consider the importance of the Olympic Games. According to the International Olympic Committee, the competition helps to bring together people from around the world and promote peace and harmony.

For example, people from many nationalities get together in the athletes' village, helping to enhance understanding about different cultures. This wonderful atmosphere can be disrupted if there is more than one host city.

We should consider all these drawbacks and make a wise decision.

Claudia Yip, 17, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School

The Olympic craze is sweeping the world, especially our country. This year, the Games will be held mainly in Beijing. But isn't it strange for such a high-profile international event to be confined to a single city?

Squeezing all athletes, spectators, the press and volunteers into one place poses a huge challenge to local infrastructure. For example, Beijing is constructing a new airport terminal to accommodate the flood of visitors for the upcoming Games.

Moreover, 12 venues are being built in the mainland capital. What would happen to them after the Games? Would the new hotels be able to attract enough visitors?

If more cities are involved, new infrastructure - such as highways, sports complexes and parks - can be put to better use. There would be no big demand for a single facility. And there would be less environmental problems and no need to re-settle residents away from the city to reduce overcrowding.

Athletes are professionals, so they wouldn't mind having events in different cities. As for sports fans, very few of them are lucky enough to purchase tickets for Olympic events. Even if they miss the live action, there's always television. With the advanced technology now available, the press shouldn't have any problems.

Therefore, why don't we share the cheerful and exciting atmosphere of the Olympics in various cities?