Why we’re watching the Olympics

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 6
Sunisa Lee of Team USA competes on balance beam during the women's all-around final on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Even with the ups and downs of viewership because of time changes or politics, the Olympic Games are consistently a huge hit, which might explain why Japan spent $12 billion to bring them there. It also explains the $800 million it’s losing in ticket sales but hopes to make up in future tourism. 

There’s a lot at stake for everyone: money, bragging rights and status as a sports icon. So there’s no mystery as to why athletes train a lifetime for a few moments of competition. And why the entire sports-industrial complex joins the cheering crowd. 

Host Angela Davis speaks with a trio of sports reporters about the enduring appeal of the Olympics.

Guests:

  • BBC Reporter Maz Farookhi covers sports.

  • Stefan Fatsis is the author of several books — one about being a place kicker, another about baseball and a third about competitive scrabble. He’s a former Wall Street Journal Reporter, and a regular on All Things Considered.

  • Naila-Jean Meyers is a senior assistant sports editor at the Star Tribune.

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