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  • Experts Doubt Beijing Olympics Will Boost Economy -- Media Watch


    08/25/15

    (ATR) On Monday, a record drop in Chinese stocks and plummeting global markets had government leaders, investors, companies, and stockholders frantically tracking numbers.  

    A U.S. news ticker depicts the drop in Chinese stocks that caused a stir among stockholders on Monday. (Getty Images)
    "Some said it was too soon to panic, however, and cited a range of economic measures that could rebuild confidence in the world's second-largest economy," International Business Times reporter Elizabeth Whitman says. 

    "One of them? The 2022 Olympics."

    In its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing leaders touted the economical benefits that China would reap from hosting the Games.

    Despite bid promises, Whitman says, "By most measures, the Olympics are not as much of an economic boon for host countries as proponents of the Games argue."

    In 2022, Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

    "After the 2008 Summer Olympics were held in China, bilateral trade between China and South Africa, Saudi Arabia and South Korea increased significantly," Whitman says.

    She adds, "The 2022 Games could have a similar effect, Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, an analyst of Chinese business in Africa, told Al Jazeera America, as long as the Winter Olympics generate similar levels of interest - which, so far, it does not appear to be doing.

    "After Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the response was muted, if apathetic compared to the 2008 Summer Games."

    Bidding for the 2024 Olympics

    U.S. singer Lionel Richie performs during the closing ceremony of the 1984 L.A. Olympics (Getty Images)
    Mary Moore, a reporter for the Boston Business Journal, weighs in on "why the Olympics work in L.A."

    U.S. Olympic Committee leaders have said they hope to strike a deal soon with Los Angeles to host the 2024 Games. The USOC is scrambling to fill the void left with the withdrawal of Boston as the U.S. nominee last month. 

    Since being chosen in January as the U.S. bidder for 2024, Boston struggled to win public support and pledges from city and state government to back the Games.

    The USOC must submit a letter of intent to bid for the 2024 Games to the IOC by September 15.

    Moore says, "I spent the better part of last week in Los Angeles and here's my impression: People who live there could not care less whether the city hosts the 2024 Olympics.

    "I've got to hand it to Boston: Whether they were for hosting the Games or against the idea, people here were focused on it and had opinions."

    She adds, "LA has hosted the Olympics twice, so the nonchalance could stem from a 'Been there, done that' mentality.

    "The Olympics doesn't register that sort of blip on the radar. It's just another potential big event in a city that thrives on the here-and-now and the larger-than-life."

    Athletes on Road to Rio

    Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (center) at the 2015 World Athletics Championships (Getty Images)
    Time reporter Sean Gregory says that Usain Bolt's victory of Justin Gatlin at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday foreshadows an exciting performance at Rio 2016.

    "A photo finish victory over American Justin Gatlin proves that Bolt is far from finished," Gregory says.

    "Mark it on your calendars now: August 14, 2016, Sunday night in Rio, the date of the 100-meter final of the Olympic Games.

    "If this Sunday's world championship is any kind of teaser, it could be one of the most riveting ten seconds in the history of sports."

    The 2015 World Championships in athletics are underway in Beijing this week. Athletes from around 59 countries will compete at the worlds next week. Competition ends on Aug. 30. 

    India wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt tells English-language Indian daily newspaper The Hindu he is confident that he will secure an Olympic quota place for India at the 2015 Wrestling World Championships next month.

    The world championship, taking place in the U.S. city of Las Vegas, will double as the first wrestling qualification event for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    "I am extremely hopeful and confident of winning a gold medal this time," Yogeshwar says. "This is the only major tournament where the yellow metal has eluded me so far.

    "Although in every tournament, things have to fall in place but from my side, I am determined to give 100 per cent, and more so because this event serves as the first qualification for the Olympics."

    Burundi in Crisis Ahead of All-Africa Games

    Police and residents vote during parliamentary elections in Burundi last June (Getty Images)
    The African country of Burundi is in the midst of a political crisis. The decision last spring of the incumbent president, Pierre Nkurunziza, to run for a third term tipped the country into civil turmoil.

    Franc Jeux speaks with Tharcisse Harerimana, the director of the National Olympic Committee of Burundi programs, about how this crisis may affect the 2015 All-Africa Games in Brazzaville.

    The event is set to open in the Congo capital on Sept. 4.

    "It is obviously very difficult. Athletes still in Burundi face daily difficulties to train," Harerimana says.

    The sports leader also says that a solidarity program, established by the IOC, is providing financial assistance to athletes who are now preparing for the All-Africa Games in cities like Kigali and Kampala.

    In Other News

    Amy Williams at the 2010 Winter Olympics (Getty Images)
    The Daily Mail reports that Olympic gold medalist Amy Williams has "tied the knot with her partner Craig Ham just 18 months after the pair met on the online dating app, Tinder."

    Williams won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in the skeleton bob event. She told the Daily Mail that she had "given up hope of finding love and had resigned herself to being single."

    In an interview with British tabloid Hello!, Williams says that as soon as she saw Ham's picture on Tinder, she knew she had found her soulmate. "I swear, we felt we had known each other forever.

    "I really believe in soulmates, and instantly, it was like, I know this guy. It's as if he has always been there."

    Compiled by Nicole Bennett

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

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