What Event Trumps the Olympics?


When you think of world countries competing at an international level, you probably think of the Olympics. The Olympics are exciting of course, but Chase and I are here to change your mind. We believe that the World Cup is the best sporting event out there, and hopefully our points are enough to sway you.

Many see the Olympics as the pinnacle of world sporting events, but are they really all that? The Olympics are in a downward spiral: viewing dropped from 4 billion people in 2008 to 3.6 billion spectating the most recent events in Rio. At this rate, there will be approximately 0 people watching the Olympics in 72 years, meaning that some of us could still be alive to see the downfall of one of the world’s most renowned gatherings. However, the World Cup could easily replace the Olympics due to the fact that soccer is played around the world and the tournament itself is already wildly popular. Rumor has it that the World Cup has even been seen in Antarctica, making it the most widespread sporting competition ever televised, as the Olympics is only available on 6 continents. In total, the World Cup grew from 715 million total viewers in 2006 to 3.2 billion viewers in 2014. The fact that the World Cup gained almost 2.5 billion followers while the Olympics lost 400 million viewers is simply a sign of the times. But instead of just talking numbers, let’s get into the real reasons why the World Cup is better than the Olympics.

The Olympics is critical to watch if you’re a ping-pong fiend or a rhythmic gymnastics specialist, but let’s face it, there aren’t many of those. Whether or not you like soccer, it IS undoubtedly the world’s #1 sport, as 4% of the world population or 265 million people actively play the game. So, even if you don’t play soccer (like me), you can watch and respect the sport as the uncontested #1. So, let’s cut to the chase. The World Cup unites nations more than any other sporting event can. Though I don’t have statistical evidence, one can assume pretty much all 3.5 million Bosnia & Herzegovina citizens will be watching their underdog team take on the world power of Argentina. That game actually happened during this past World Cup, and Bosnia was left heartbroken after an impressive debut, losing 2-1. Anyway, my point is that every country will want to watch their nation’s team on the spotlight, especially considering all games are televised. The odds that Eritrean natives can watch their country’s marathoners on their one television station are minimal (that wasn’t exaggeration, Eri-TV1 is the single television station). So why do YOU have reason to watch the World Cup? The US is a serious underdog, and it’s always fun to be the underdog. However, our country of 323 million did not qualify for this upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia, being humiliatingly beat out by countries such as Panama and Iceland. Hopefully that will give you a slight incentive to support our young team. My last argument for the World Cup over the Olympics is that every country fielding a league is eligible to advance in their respective continent’s qualifier. Liechtenstein, with only 33,000 citizens to choose from, technically has equal opportunity to win the World Cup as Brazil, though that probably would never happen. In the Olympics, Liechtenstein’s 3 participants from the 2016 Summer Olympics had absolutely no statistical chance at accruing a higher medal count than the 554 Americans athletes unless something prevented the Americans from getting there.