30 Cities That Should Host the Summer Olympics

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIMay 7, 2012

30 Cities That Should Host the Summer Olympics

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    The 2012 Summer Olympics are scheduled for later this summer, when the eyes of the world will be on London.

    But with the games in London for the third time, many think that it's time for the spectacle to go places the Olympics have never been.

    The International Olympic Committee got it right for the 2016 Olympics, taking the Games to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, making it the first Summer Olympics that will be held in South America.

    With that said, and in honor of the 30th Olympiad (although three were never held), here are 30 cities around the world where it would be cool to see the Olympics.

Madrid, Spain

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    Madrid has been on the outside looking in when it comes to hosting the Summer Olympics.

    The city has made bids for the 1972, 2012 and 2016 Games, losing out each time. For both 2012 and 2016, it was eliminated in the third round.

    It is also making a bid for the 2020 Games, with its competition being Istanbul, Tokyo, Baku (Azerbaijani) and Doha Qatar.

    An advantage the city has is that it already has an Olympic-sized stadium in Real Madrid's home soccer field.

    Plus, the city has more cloudless days than any other major European city, which would mean nice weather during the Games.

    Persistence could say something to the IOC, and my hope is that Madrid is awarded the 2020 Games.

Istanbul, Turkey

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    Istanbul has also made multiple Olympic bids over the last 20 years.

    For the 2004 and 2012 games, Istanbul made a bid but was not named a finalist.

    For the 2000 games, it was eliminated in the first round, while it lost out in the second round for the 2008 games.

    The city is also making a bid for the 2020 Games, and this honestly might be the IOC's pick, mainly because it will bring the Games to the Middle East for the first time in history, placing the Games in both Europe and Asia simultaneously.

    An interesting fact about Istanbul is that back in the Middle Ages, Istanbul had over 1,400 public toilets in the city.

    Meanwhile, there weren't any in the palaces of France or other major European cities.

Jakarta, Indonesia

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    One day, the Summer Olympics will go to a nation in Southeast Asia.

    Being the 11th-largest city in the world, Jakarta has the people to attend the Olympics.

    And as the IOC looks to involve more and more nations, Jakarta would be the perfect place to host the Games for an area of the world that is largely forgotten when it comes to the Olympics.

    With 6,000 inhabited islands of the estimated 17,000, there's definitely enough space throughout to host every event.

Karachi, Pakistan

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    Karachi is another interesting possibility.

    The Middle East is an ever-emerging player on the Olympic stage (in some events), and it won't be long before a country in that region hosts a Summer Olympics.

    Although not really known for much outside of the game of cricket, Pakistan could offer an interesting place for the world to see the Olympics.


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    Toronto has twice made bids to host the Summer Olympics.

    For the 1996 Olympics, the city lost out in the third round by eight votes, while the bid for the 2008 Olympics was lost out when Beijing got more than half the votes in the second round.

    Although many wouldn't think of Toronto as being a good host city for the Summer Olympics, one just has to look at how Montreal did in 1976.

    The city showed there can be success for summer Games in a northern climate.

    Add in the fact that more than 100 languages are represented within the city limits, and you truly have a multicultural city.


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    I think Miami makes sense because of it being a huge melting pot for Latin-American cultures.

    What would that say for the IOC if it awarded the Games to a place that was represented by more than one country?

    With 68 percent of the population being Latin American from multiple countries, I think it would be a great way to bring a lot of cultures together in one city for the purpose of the Games.

Cairo, Egypt

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    Cairo made a bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics, but was not named a finalist.

    When you think of the history within the country, Cairo would be an excellent choice to host the Olympics.

    Outside of the Games, tourism would be even bigger during those two weeks, as millions of people are going to want to take time to go see some of the pyramids.

    Also, being in northern Africa would make it a perfect choice for being the first Games to be held on the continent.

Bangalore, India

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    India is the second-largest country in the world.

    It's only natural to think that the Olympics will one day make their debut there.

    Another country that is mainly known for cricket, I could see India building some of the biggest stadiums with the most seats that the Olympics have ever seen.

    And that's something you know the IOC would love to see.


    More money, of course.

Lima, Peru

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    With the Olympics being in Rio de Janiero in 2016, I think it will be a long time before we see the Games in South America again.

    Don't ask me why that is, but until the games go to Africa and the Middle East, South America will have to wait a long time to see the Games again.

    With that said, Lima would be another great place to host the Olympics.

    According to this site, Lima never experiences a hard rain. It does experience drizzle, but umbrellas can be left at home for all those attending the games.

    Of course, if the city chooses to advertise that, you can more than bet that it will rain at least one day during the Olympics.

Bangkok, Thailand

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    Bangkok made a bid for the 2008 Olympics, but wasn't a finalist.

    This city is more of a longshot to host an Olympics, as I don't think it has the infrastructure to support an event of this magnitude.

    But if it did, all attendees need to know two things—don't go outside without any underwear or a shirt on. If you do, you'll land in jail.

Johannesburg, South Africa

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    Johannesburg was one of the successful host cities of the 2010 World Cup.

    I see no reason why it couldn't be successful in hosting the Olympics as well.

    But, the biggest questions that would come up is whether the country could support the infrastructure of the Olympics after the Games are long gone.

    Just two years after the World Cup, many of the stadiums sit empty.

    That could hamper South Africa hosting an Olympics.

Cape Town, South Africa

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    The same argument that was made for Johannesburg could be made for Cape Town as well.

    The stadiums that hosted the World Cup sit empty and unused.

    Don't think the IOC doesn't notice that.

    The last thing it wants to see happen is a city or country eventually go bankrupt years after the Games have left.

    Cape Town did make a bid for the 2004 Olympics, but lost out in the third round.

Nairobi, Kenya

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    I like Nairobi mainly because it's set between Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro.

    This is one of the most perfect settings for an Olympic Games.

    Although a city like Cairo is probably more likely as the first host city in Africa, Nairobi would be the one city that I believe could support the Games before, during and after.

    Having the Olympics in Kenya could improve the country's economy long-term.

Casablanca, Morocco

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    There's no real reason why I would want the Olympics here.

    I think just saying the Olympic Games in Casablanca would be cool to say.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    Buenos Aires made a bid for the 1968 Olympics, but didn't get enough support from the IOC to host the event.

    The city is another one of the South American cities that is large enough to support an event on this scale.

    And with it being one of the more populated cities on the continent, it makes sense for the Olympics to be considered there.

    But like I said earlier, it will be tough to have another Olympics on the continent until Africa and the Middle East have hosted one.

Bogota, Colombia

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    When it comes to sports, Colombian fans can be known for being very crazy...sometimes too crazy.

    But that's not a bad thing when it comes to the Olympics.

    Being the border country between South and Central America, Colombia also produces 12 percent of the world's coffee.

    Although not many Olympic athletes are avid coffee drinkers, it would be a great place for many fans to come and visit, especially those who love Starbucks coffee.

    Imagine a Starbucks lover going to Colombia to see where the beans are grown.

    That's like an Elvis lover visiting Graceland.


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    Oddly enough, Philadelphia has bid to host four Olympics (1920, 1948, 1952 and 1956), but lost out each time.

    Since then, the city hasn't made any bids, and I don't believe it'll ever make a bid again.

    Maybe this city would be better for hosting a Winter Olympics.

    Could you imagine when an athlete disappoints the fans at the Winter Olympics, Philadelphia fans pelting him or her with snowballs?

    How awesome would that be?

San Francisco

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    San Francisco made a bid for the 1956 Olympics, but lost out to Melbourne.

    Using the city of Oakland as well, this would be the perfect place to host the Summer Olympics.

    With San Francisco Bay as a backdrop, there is enough space to be able to build everything needed to host the games.

    My hope is that in the future, the U.S. Olympic Committee will look at a place like San Francisco rather than Chicago or New York.

New York

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    With New York being the largest city in the U.S., this would make another great place for the Olympics to be held at.

    True, it may not be considered a normal warm-weather climate for the Games, but you can't deny the size of the city that can house the whole world.

    The city made a bid for this year's Olympics but was dropped from contention in the second round of voting.

    Could you imagine all those people in Times Square?

    It would make the New Year's Eve party look like nothing.

Frankfurt, Germany

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    Frankfurt has made a bid for the Olympics before, but lost out to another city in its country—Berlin in 1936.

    The Olympics are eventually going to make their return to Germany for the first time since 1972.

    But cities like Madrid will likely get a bid over Frankfurt for Europe's next Olympic hosting site.

Caracas, Venezuela

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    I'm surprised Venezuela hasn't made a bid in the past for the Olympics.

    A sports-crazed nation, Venezuela would be perfect to host the Games.

    One interesting fact about Venezuela is that Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover its coast.

    Maybe they can have a school holiday there since he actually landed on their coast and not the U.S. coast, like many school history books would like for you to believe.

Budapest, Hungary

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    Budapest has made a bid four times for the Olympics (1920, 1936, 1944 and 1960).

    One of the larger cities in Eastern Europe, I could definitely see the Olympics being hosted here.

    The one drawback about Budapest is that it houses one of the oldest train systems in the world and only has three rail lines.

    If the Olympics were ever to come to town, that would certainly have to change.

Hamburg, Germany

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    For all the reasons I gave for Frankfurt in an earlier slide, the same goes for Hamburg.

    Nicknamed "The City of Rivers," Hamburg probably doesn't have the room to create an Olympic atmosphere.

    But, then again, I didn't think Atlanta had the room either, and you see what that city did.

    I wonder how the hamburgers are in Hamburg.

    You would think that they would have to be real good, right?

Brussels, Belgium

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    Brussels made bids for the 1916, 1960 and 1964 Olympics, but lost out on each.

    A city whose highway that can actually be seen from the moon, Brussels has all the infrastructure in place to support an Olympics.

    One concern moving forward with the Olympics is that the IOC might want to stay out of Europe for a while if Madrid gets it in 2020.

    However, if it doesn't, Brussels could be one of the cities considered for the 2024 Games.

Bucharest, Romania

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    Bucharest is another one of those Eastern European cities that could benefit from the Olympics.

    The city is looking to build, and the Olympics would provide that opportunity.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

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    Can you imagine how much beer would be consumed if the Olympics were held in Ireland?

    I know Guinness would like that.

    Belfast would be a great city to host the Olympics for a small country.

    If you think of the history in that country, it would be a perfect backdrop for the Olympics.


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    I think the 2011 NFL playoffs showed that the city's rabid fans could make some serious noise.

    Just imagine having that many fans watching a final in a track and field event, making that same kind of noise that registered on the Richter Scale.

    If you're looking for a city where sports fans would make the most noise, Seattle has to be the place.

    The one drawback is the possibility of rain on any day.

Auckland, New Zealand

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    Auckland might be a little big of a stretch, but if a country like Qatar can make a bid for the Olympics, I don't see any reason why New Zealand couldn't.

    The Olympics have been held in the winter (for us) before when they were in Sydney, and it would be the same in Auckland.

    I could see Olympics in New Zealand looking about the same as they did in Australia.

Tehran, Iran

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    I believe Iran will eventually be looking to host an Olympics.

    In the same way other countries have made their presence known on the world stage, Iran could be looking for the same, using the Olympics as its stage to do so.

    As I've stated earlier, the Middle East will one day host the Olympics, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Tehran make a run at it.

Osaka, Japan

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    Osaka made a bid for the 2008 Olympics, but lost out to Beijing.

    With the Olympics having been hosted in Tokyo once already, I think it would be nice to see the Games held in another city, although the Japanese Olympic Committee seems to only want it to be Tokyo.

    I'm a big advocate of the Games being in a city they've never been before.

    To have them in a city where they've been before (or for a third time, like London) is simply a travesty.

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