Ever since I was young, I had a deep love for the Olympics. I would wake up in the middle of the night so I could watch the games in whatever part of the world it was broadcasting in. Olympic athletes were my idols. I once became so obsessed with speed-skaing because I loved watching Apollo Anton Ohno during the Winter Olympics. The Olympics carried my soul throughout my childhood.
Four years ago I was studying Sport Management, and when the opportunity presented itself to travel back to London for the games, I didn’t think twice about booking a flight. Most of my time during the 2012 Games was spent in sports conferences, meeting with other people covering the Olympics and officials who worked for the International Olympic Committee while discussing the future of the games. Nonetheless, it was worth every second I spent in the city, watching matches in sports I never got to see in the States, seeing the city flooded with tourists from all over the world.
Is going to the Olympics expensive? Yes. Is it crowded? Yes. Is it overrated? Absolutely not. And if you haven’t attended the Olympic Games, here’s seven reasons you need to .
1. The whole world is in one spot
If you’ve ever wanted to meet people from all over the world at once, this is your chance. People from everywhere in the world travel to see the games. It’s like visiting one hundred countries at the same time. Everyone that attends the games is interested in meeting the rest of the world as well.
2. There are no politics
While there are a lot of politics behind the making of the games, there isn’t really this discussion between people. The people that attend the Olympics are there to attend the Olympics, not to press their views of politics on everyone else. It’s the one time I can think of traveling where I didn’t hear hatred about being from the United States.
3. It’s relatively safe
If a city is going to host the world, it’s going to have some intense security. Anyone who thinks that attending the Olympics Games is unsafe hasn’t seen the extensive work that goes behind securing the games. I have never felt safer in a crowded place in my entire life, and I’ve been to some pretty shady places in the world by myself.
4. You can watch sports you don’t see in your home country
The point of the Olympics games is to accurately represent the top sports in the world. While I was in London, I attended random sporting events I never got to see in the United States, and it was way more interesting than the ones that I could watch at home. If you’re going to pay money to see something, you better go all out.
5. It’s an easy way to travel around a city
For a city to be chosen for the Olympics, they have to have adequate transportation and accommodation in place. Those are two, out of many, factors that make a city an Olympic city. Because of this, it is easy to see not only the main city, but any smaller cities in which the games are played.
6. Athletes are everywhere
If you’ve ever wanted to meet an Olympic athlete, this is the place to be. And they will be tourists just like you. There are almost more athletes than there are tourists, and they flood everything. From the nightclubs, to the bars, to random McDonalds, athletes are there. Some of the best times I had were the times I went out with Olympics athletes.
7. It’s the most unique travel experience
The Olympics (usually) only happen once in a city. The city typically tends to go full out with showing it’s Olympics pride, and even if you’ve visited the city before, there’s a different wave of happiness and excitement that pours over the entire city. I can’t think of any city I’ve visited that has had that amount of happiness in such a short amount of time.
So attend the Olympics. Spend your money and go. Cheer along live with the rest of the world.
This piece has been published on Mogul. You can view the published piece here.