The End of the World Equestrian Games. Are the Olympics next?

I was in the media contingent at the  World Equestrian Games(WEG) in Tryon last September. I did not know it at the time but it looks like that will be the last WEG.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has announced that there will not be a World Equestrian Games, hosting all seven disciplines, in 2022. This means that the FEI World WEG Tryon 2018 could be the last time a WEG takes place. The FEI has called for bids to host individual championships. For the equestrian disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing it is crucial to have championships as they will serve as qualifiers for the Olympics in Paris 2024. 

So why did this happen? Several reasons: the exorbitant cost, the  problems of weather potentially causing cancellation of some events, and immense difficulty of organizing such a multifaceted set of competitions. 

No country or venue has offered a  realistic bid to host the 2022 WEG. 

I feel certain that there will be championships in 2022 that will be held for the seven disciplines and some will be combined. Dressage and para-dressage can easily combine . Perhaps jumping and eventing can also combine. I think that individual championships or championships with two or three disciplines that can compete in the same venue is more realistic and bids to host them will come in. 

But is there a reluctance to put in bids for the big championships?  Just recently the city of Calgary held a vote and the citizens  rejected a proposal to host the winter Olympics in 2026. The cost is too high was the main reason given. The IOC has recently seen eight cities  all drop out of the  bid process due to referendum. So they were not surprised to see Calgary’s decision.They know that cost overruns and the perception that the IOC is corrupt loom large in the minds of the voters who view the IOC as a somewhat  dubious organization. Toronto, after the success hosting the Pan American Games still decided not to put in a bid for a summer Olympics.

Canada’s Andre De Grasse races in his 200m heat at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday August 16, 2016. COC Photo/Mark Blinch

What does this mean for the future of the Olympics? The Olympics are very popular the world over and millions of people watch and read and listen to the competitions. Popularity is not the problem. The cost of building venues, organizing and running the Olympics is huge. There seems to be a perception that the cost outweighs the benefits.

  

I would be very sad to see the end of the Olympics and I would hope that the problems of cost, corruption, and doping scandals that have plagued the Olympics can be set right. Perhaps countries could hold events at different locations and not all in one city.In 2008 the Beijing Olympics did not have the facilities for the equestrian events so they were held in Hong Kong where the racetrack had air conditioned stabling and an equine veterinary hospital. 

For all athletes it is the dream to compete for your nation in the Olympics. I think it is important to keep those dreams alive. What do you think? How do you think the Olympic future can be guaranteed? Let me know in comments below. 

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Avery says:

    Wow. I had heard about the possibility of not having another WEG. Thought provoking to think about the future of the Olympics. What a shame if it were to go the same way given the rich and long history of the Olympics. I have seen though an interesting collection of photos of abandoned and unused past Olympic locations and it does make one wonder why. Surely there can be a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hope so Avery. The Gamea have survived since ancient Greece,admittedly with some interruptions but I hope some solutions can be found.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    It’s such a shame that the WEG don’t have a home for the next championship. The Olympics will continue somewhere in some form, I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still remember when the Olympics was a once every 4 years, all sports winter and summer, event. It was so much more special. If it were to split even more into different locations I believe it would ruin the spirit.

    As far as WEG goes, the disciplines are so different that it is a huge undertaking. I think the issues in Tryon highlighted how difficult finding the resources for such a vast array of disciplines can be. It doesn’t surprise me that nobody else wants to do it though I do hope that countries step up to do championships of some variety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think there will be individual championships with perhaps some combined. With regard to the Olympics i have mentioned in a previous comment that the winter games are difficult as there are not that many parts of the world that can host them due to climate. The summer games is less of a problem in that regard but still presents issues of cost overruns. I hope something can be worked out.

      Like

  4. dprastka says:

    So sad to heart about WEG, but completely understand. I hope the Olympics fate is not in jeopardy, and pray a solution to the issues at hand can be resolved in everyone’s favor. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree Diana it is sad but realistically WEG was such a huge task. The summer Olympics will keep going I think but perhaps in shared locations not just in one city. The winter Olympics are much harder because there are fewer places that could offer them due to climate.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Lys says:

    Hello Anne

    It is perfectly understandable, when money is in short supply, for countries to step back from hosting events such as WEG.

    So, an alternative arrangement might be to start holding Global Olympics. Countries with good facilities for each of the individual sports, eg England for the equestrian sports, could host just one sport during the Olympic year. The cost would be spread more fairly and it would give spectators a greater chance of being able to attend at least one world class event.

    The problems of drug misuse and misappropriation of money also needs to be addressed in order to regain both competitors’ and the public’S trust and respect.

    I love reading your emails, they are always very thoughtful.

    Kindest regards

    Liked by 4 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. I think that for the Olympics there will be some sort of compromise. I certainly hope so!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Irene says:

    Cannot even imagine not having the Olympics without feeling so sad! I’ll have to think on this one since I had ever considered them ending. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I feel the same Irene. I think that they will continue but there may be a sharing of locations and not have all the events in one city.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irene says:

        That makes sense to spread the cost around.

        Liked by 1 person

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