Master of Science in Sport Management Online

Olympics Breakdown: What Winning 121 Medals Means for US Sports

An Olympic medal is held in high regard throughout the world. However, many do not fully understand the ripple effect that comes after a medal win and how it affects a country once the Olympics are over. Considering the U.S. won 121 medals in Rio, 46 of which were gold, there has been an undeniable impact on our country’s sports. From national pride to inspiration, an Olympic medal win can mean a lot for a country, its sports industry, and the sport management sector.

Olympics Breakdown: What Winning 121 Medals Means for US Sports

Typically, Olympics Host Countries Thrive

Before discussing the impact of the Olympics on the US, it’s important to note the games’ impact on the country in which they are being held. The countries that host this epic, global sporting event often experience an “Olympic Effect,” according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. After hosting the Olympics, many countries experience a boost in trade – in fact, trade ends up being about 30% greater for host countries following the Olympics. Other effects of sporting events like the Olympics on host cities include greater spending, but greater employment for citizens and helpful additions of new infrastructure.

In the US, Greater Motivation and Pride

Winning an Olympic medal is an inspiring and motivating accomplishment. Whether they participated the Olympics or watched from home, US athletes were undoubtedly moved by the true impact of playing their best on behalf of their country. Just look at the US basketball team’s win in Rio. According to Sports Illustrated, participating (and winning) in the Olympics not only motivated the players and coaches, but it also taught them the importance of “collective responsibility,” pride and teamwork. As Kryzewski said in that same article, “What I’ve loved the most are these guys. It set the example for our younger generation in the United States, to where everybody is proud of USA basketball.”

Inspiring More To Achieve Excellence

Another quote from the Sports Illustrated article about the US basketball team reveals what the Olympics mean to today’s athletes: “Every NBA star wants to play in the Olympics before he is through—even if… he must go from star to backup.” This doesn’t just apply to NBA stars – playing in the Olympics is an ultimate goal, and motivates sports players to be their best at all times. Yhe medals the US Olympic team brought home from Rio both stand as a reflection of sports excellence in America and stand as a benchmark for success for future participants.

Recognition of Excellence Throughout The World

The overall gain of an Olympic win spreads far and wide throughout the world. What could be more flattering than being recognized as one of the best athletes in the entire world? Many athletes returned to the US to parades, national pride, and lucrative endorsement deals.

The New York Times reveals that the 2024 Summer Olympics may be hosted in one of four American cities, bringing the world’s stage to this country and providing today’s athletes with the ultimate opportunity to represent their country, their sport and their accomplishments. Whether they can build the medal count remains to be seen.

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