scroll to top arrow or icon

{{ subpage.title }}

Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Olympic champs of budget overruns

With a current budget of $3.9 billion, the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be relatively cheap by modern standards for the Games. The cost of Tokyo 2020 was almost twice the initial budget, and doesn't even count infrastructure spending. Indeed, cost overruns are a given for the Olympics, which since 1960 have always gone over budget — roughly by 173 percent on average. Given that national governments end up footing most of the bill, it's no surprise that in recent years fewer cities have competed to host the Games, and that Brisbane's 2032 bid was unopposed. We rank the last 16 Olympics by how much their final cost exceeded their initial budget.

Politics, protest & the Olympics: the IOC’s Dick Pound
Politics, Protest & Sports | International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound | GZERO World

Politics, protest & the Olympics: the IOC’s Dick Pound

With COVID rates rising globally, this year's Olympics faced some major hurdles. But the pandemic was only part of the picture. The Tokyo Games played out against a backdrop of mounting global tension surrounding gender equality, racism and human rights, leaving many people to examine the place of politics on the playing field and podium. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer looks at the long history of protest at the Games with Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee and a former Olympic athlete himself. Plus: the US Women's National Soccer Team is the most decorated team in the sport, but are they paid as much as their male counterparts? A look at what equal pay for equal play means.

Dick Pound: Olympics successful despite COVID tensions
Dick Pound: Olympics Successful Despite COVID Tensions | GZERO World

Dick Pound: Olympics successful despite COVID tensions

Before the Olympics, most Japanese people were against the Games due to fear of COVID. As the tournament got on, the International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound says that most resistance vanished, but some resentment still lingers among Tokyo's residents. "There's that tension, that still exists, but it's not interfering with the sport," Pound tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch this episode on US public television - check local listings.

The Graphic Truth: Who's done better than projected at Tokyo?

We expect the usual suspects — US, China, Russia — to dominate the Olympic medal tally. But how should the performances of large, well-resourced countries really be assessed? Drawing on a model first developed by a team of labor economists, the Financial Times looks at a range of factors — including past medal hauls, population size, and GDP per capita — to determine whether nations have surpassed or failed to meet expectations at the Tokyo Games. We take a look at the biggest under-performers and over-performers per the model, and whether people in these countries really care about the Olympics at all.

Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso celebrates with his national flag after winning bronze at Tokyo 2020.

REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Olympics corner: Independence Day bronze

Whenever Burkina Faso is in the news, it's often about how the country - no stranger to crisis - has got caught up in the crosshairs of horrific jihadist violence plaguing the Sahel.

But this week, the nation of 20 million was celebrating because Hugues Fabrice Zango won its first-ever Olympic medal after finishing third in the men's triple jump in Tokyo.

Read moreShow less

Olympics corner: Sumos spook the horses

Equestrian jumpers, and their horses, are disciplined species. They don't appreciate surprises very much.

But many participants were caught off guard during this week's individual jumping qualifiers in Tokyo by a very daunting statue of a sumo wrestler on the hurdle course (which is dotted with statues paying homage to traditional Japanese culture, like geisha kimonos, cherry blossoms, and taiko drums).

Read moreShow less

Boxed meals for South Korean Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games athletes are pictured at a hotel in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Olympics corner: Radioactive food, anyone?

Talk about atomic (spicy Korean) wings.

Read moreShow less

Accreditation card of Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is seen at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Japan August 1, 2021

Olympics corner: Belarusian defection

It was a weird series of events. Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya took to Instagram to lament that her country's Olympic Committee had registered her for the 4x400 relay event at the eleventh hour (because a fellow participant had failed to pass drug screenings) despite not having trained.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily