Paris Olympics 24: How France is Destroying Sports Essence For Its Soft Image?

When there is a talk about image building one cannot deny the saying of Aesop about perception: “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.” In the modern era, every nation runs to build its strong image regardless of the means they take to get there. In this context, a recent debate has arisen with controversy about an upcoming sports event called “Paris Olympics 2024” which will be held in France. One of the major concerns of critics is that France is prioritizing its soft image over primary essence and fundamental values of sports. While it is true that France is trying to boost its international repute, stimulate tourism, display its culture through Sports, critics are of the view that these intentions may result in overshadowing the nature of the Games, especially the Olympics.

Overwhelming Commercialization

Firstly, the overwhelming commercialization of the event has raised eyebrows, as the participating multinational companies with dubious records in terms of social responsibility are investing in the event. This overpowering influence of corporations can lead to spoiling the integrity and the custom of fair competition in sports and sportsmanship. In recent years, the Olympics have gained massive attention from the corporate sector which has resulted in prominent focus on branding and revenue generation. Primarily, France has shown their commitment to host an athlete-centered event in a sustainable manner but doubts on the other side are still there. 

Irregular Investments

Secondly, hosting the Olympics or any other international game is a massive project which requires enormous infrastructural investments, facilities, and accommodations. While these kinds of projects are beneficial in the long run, concerns have arisen as it seems that Paris is prioritizing short-term gains over lasting legacies. France is putting its emphasis on constructing new venues and beautifying particular areas of the city while neglecting the broader needs of the residing community. Critics argue that funds are diverted from rather investing in public services than creating aesthetic picture of the country for the sake of its soft image. This approach is resulting in a major shift of economic resources from essential social projects to socioeconomic inequalities within the region. 

Racism in Sport

Thirdly, it is important that diversity and equality should be promoted for all participants, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or physical attributes. Likewise, it is a cornerstone of any kind of sports spirit, yet it is being feared that certain groups might be sidelined in the pursuit of soft image by France. Ultimately, there is an imminent risk that in this quest for soft power, France might neglect inclusivity, and pollute fundamental message of unity and harmony rendered by the Games. Furthermore, the accessibility of the Games to local residents is another issue, as the ticket prices for the Olympic events are set to be too high. The exclusive focus on generating massive revenue from international spectators may result in excluding local participants to enjoy this wonderful game. 

While France is busy in promoting its soft image and advancing tourism via Paris Olympics 2024, the critics are of the view that in the process the true essence of sports might be compromised. The larger scale commercialization, neglecting long-term benefits, and lack of inclusivity are the sign of abandoning the core values of the Olympics and prioritizing image building. As the days of the event are coming closer, it is pivotal for France to reconsider its strategy and address the concerns of critics to ensure fair competition in this international event. 



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