The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games: A Global Stage for Environmental Activism and Progress

By Michael Hozik

1. Olympics and the Environment

The 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway were the first Olympic Games to “explicitly” include environmental considerations while preparing for and hosting of the Olympic Games.[1] Since then, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has updated its charter “to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly”.[2] Host cities have adopted unique solutions to accommodating an environmentally friendly Olympics.[3] However, recent environmental promises by hosting cities have been broken. Without strict enforcement of promises made by bidding cities, the environment will continue to be a second thought, only deemed important if there is spare time and money available. The IOC must strengthen its ability to ensure host cities adhere to their environmental promises because “we are the first generation facing the evidence of global change. It therefore falls upon us to change our relationship with the planet, in order to tip the scales towards a sustainable world for future generations”.[4]

2. Bringing Environmental Issues to the Forefront

In 1972 environmental concerns became a main topic of concern during the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, in which one attendee stated, “Man has a special responsibility to safeguard and wisely manage the heritage of wildlife and its habitat, which are now gravely imperiled by a combination of adverse factors. Nature conservation, including wildlife, must therefore receive importance in planning for economic development”[5]. Following the 1972 conference 100 governments around the world established environmental ministries and agencies.[6] Unfortunately, it was not until 1992 at the Earth Summit, in Rio De Janeiro, where global environmental issues were addressed and closer to adoption by the IOC[7]. At the Earth Summit, 172 countries and over 20,000 non-governmental organizations, including the IOC, met to discuss environmental issues.[8] That same year at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, “all International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees signed Earth Pledge”, which committed global organizations to making the Earth a safer place, fulfilling the Olympic Charter’s 1894 goal “to place everywhere sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view of encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity”.[9] Although the original Olympic Charter did not explicitly identify the environment, the Charter was updated in 1994 “to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly”.[10]

The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was a turning point in global environmental concerns but it wasn’t until 1992 that Earth Pledge was signed at the Barcelona Games[11]. It was also in 1992 that the UN adopted Agenda 21, which “addresses current environmental problems and aims to promote sustainable development”.[12] Following this adoption, the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics became the first to include environmental considerations as part of the Olympic Games.[13] That same year, the IOC and United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) entered into a “cooperative agreement”[14]. At a meeting of the Olympic Congress in Paris following 100 years of Olympic games, the Olympic Congress announced the environment was an “essential component of Olympism”[15] and stated “respect for the environment to be one of the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter and calls for the Olympic Movement and environmental organizations to cooperate and contribute to the education of the sporting world and young people in ecological sustainability”.[16] Following the Lillehammer Games, the IOC put environmental issues at the forefront of the Olympics and increased demands for environmental progress on host cities.

In 1995, the IOC began hosting World Conferences on Sport and the Environment and formed the Sports and Environment Commission, which was designed to oversee and advise on “progress in environmental governance and sustainable development”.[17] The IOC formally amended the Olympic Charter in 1996 to reflect the Centennial Congress’s statements to adopt “the environment as the third pillar of Olympism”.[18] The following year it published the Manual on Sport and the Environment aiming “to underline the importance of a clean environment and sustainable development, enabling constituents to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations”.[19] It was then in 1999, one year before the Sydney Summer Olympics, that the IOC published its own Agenda 21: Sport for Sustainable Development, reflecting the UN’s Agenda 21,[20] reassuring that global environmental issues were dual effort between the UN and IOC. Simply put, the IOC’s Agenda 21 recognizes the need for a healthy environment for the public and sporting events[21]. Following the adoption of Agenda 21, Olympic organizers in Sydney included potential environmental impact in all decision-making.[22]

3. Sustainable Development and Minimizing Environmental Impact

Since the implementation of environmental consciousness in the 1994 Winter Olympics, there have been two main environmental measures: preventative and corrective.[23] Each puts pressure on hosting cities to practice environmental stewardship. The IOC is the tip of the spear in setting guidelines, providing guidance, and aiding various organizations in promoting environmental issues regarding the Olympics; however, in doing so, it does not impose strict standards on host cities.[24] When taking into account “varying levels or environmental needs, awareness, protection, legislation and capacity across nations”, the IOC simply promotes environmental protection, it does not require it.[25] This weakens the IOCs ability to hold hosting cities to the promises they made during the bidding process.[26]

While the IOC’s Agenda 21 involves bidding and hosting cities to fulfill several requirements for the Olympics, the requirements are designed to be fulfilled by cities that may not have expertise in the area or environmental protection.[27] Because every host city is a “steward of the Olympic Movement”, the IOC provides aid and guidance on all areas of environmental protections.[28] As the implementation of environmental conservatism and Agenda 21 have matured, the IOC has gained a vast body of environmental knowledge from hosting Summer and Winter Games around the world.[29] Because improving upon environmental habits at each Olympics is important, the IOC established the Olympic Games Knowledge Management program (OGKM) as a means to learn from games past and pass that knowledge on to the next Olympic host.[30] The creation of the OGKM led to the implementation of Olympic Games Impact (OGI) studies which encompass a twelve-year timeframe. This includes monitoring the two years before the host city’s selection and ending three years after completion of the Games and focusing on the Games impact on a local and global scale.[31] This fulfills the IOC’s moto to “Think globally, Act locally”, which stresses the importance of implementing environmental initiates at the “grassroots” level.[32] The IOC expects hosting cities not only to benefit from knowledge gained from past games, but contribute new knowledge to future games, making legacy and knowledge exchange an important part of each Olympics.[33]

“With the environment serving as one of the three Olympic canons alongside sport and culture, cities bidding to host the games must now devise complex proposals for environmental protection during the events along with plans for future sustainability”.[34] Before the IOC selects a city to host the Olympics, bidding cities must first complete a “candidate file” detailing its “master plan” for the Games, which is key to ensuring the hosting city meets the IOCs environmental protection demands.[35] During the application phase, cities interested in hosting the Games must completed questionnaires asking about current environmental conditions, impact the Games may have on the local environment, ongoing environmental projects, and results from any environmental studies conducted at potential venues. [36] The IOC requires assessments on bidding cities, which span eleven years for the city selected to host the Games.[37] The studies begin two years before the IOC selects the host city, the seven years leading up to the Games, and two years following the Games; continuously measuring environmental impacts from the Games.[38] Candidate cities must also guarantee that work completed in preparation for the games complies with local laws, national laws, and international agreements regarding the environment.[39] Interestingly, the IOC does not ask host cities to change its laws to comply with IOC environmental standards nor does the IOC request or require cities to change legislation generally “to better protect the environment”.[40] As discussed later in the article, this could have identified the concerns of Brazil’s toxic water much earlier.

The 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia saw a giant leap in planning for an environmentally friendly Olympics.[41] Using the moto “we all share the same sun, the same dream, the same earth, the same air”, Sydney’s Olympic Organizing Committee raised the bar on implementing environmentally friendly programs, stating “we weren’t just about minimizing environmental losses, rather, we set out to see how we could benefit the environment in the future”. [42] Not only did Sydney plan for a “green” Olympics but implemented a long-term vision for the use of the new Olympics infrastructure into the future.[43] For example, following the Games, the Olympic village, the largest solar powered suburb in the world at that time, became housing units for more than 5,000 individuals and Olympic venues were turned into schools, childcare, and community centers. [44] Sydney also took the initiative to guarantee no polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a pollutant formally used in electronics and other products,[45] would be used during the Game, which were banned by the UN four years later. [46]

The 2002 Olympic Games were held in Salt Lake City, Utah.[47] As part of the push to promote the “environmental” pillar of Olympism, Salt Lake created “Plant it Green: The Global Trees Race”, which planted 100,000 trees in Utah and over two million trees world-wide, contributing to the Olympics “green” mindset while improving air quality, water quality, soil protection, and watershed protection.[48] Before construction of the Olympic venues the organizing committee met with government agencies, private developers and conservative groups to select venues minimally destructive to the environment and use environmentally efficient construction methods.[49] Buildings were placed in areas receiving optimal sunlight to reduce heating costs, preserve vegetation, and follow natural contours of the land to reduce destruction of the landscape.[50] Some venues were later donating to the University of Utah for student housing, while other venues continued use as training facilities, thus fulfilling the goal of long-term sustainability.[51] Critics of the environmental friendliness at the 2002 Games cite the Governments temporary suspension of the Endangered Species Act to obtain and build facilities upon protected land.[52] Of the $2 billion Salt Lake City spent on the 2002 Olympics, $6 million was budgeted for environmental tasks, however, that amount was later cut to $1.5 million, significantly less than the $17 million spent on expanding parking lots.[53] The Salt Lake Organizing Committee explained that “when budgets are being tightened, environmental programs will appear as luxuries rather than as integral components of a successful event”.[54]

Four years later, the Athens Organizing Committee adopted the motto “The Environment is Us” while planning and carrying-out the games.[55] Together the city and its citizens cleaned mountains and beaches.[56] The Athens Organizing Committee used Olympic sponsors such as, Coco-Cola to promote recycling initiative, Hyundai to promote hybrid vehicles, and Panasonic to promote wind and solar powered lighting, Kodak for battery recycling programs, and Heineken for use of recyclable cups. [57] It was the partnership between city organizers, sponsors, and citizens that made the green initiatives successful in Athens.

The 2006 Torino Games strove “to deliver a net improvement to the area’s environment as part of its legacy”. [58] Turin’s Organizing Committee created the HECTOR (HEritage Climate TORino) project, and paired with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) to ensure environmental protection was going to last past the Games[59]. Together these organizations focused on efficient infrastructure and water management, with management projects receiving ISO 14001 environmental management certification for the first time in Olympic history.[60]

The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw some of the heaviest environmental criticism among modern day Olympic Games.[61] Upon selecting Beijing to host the Games, the IOC stated “Beijing currently faces a number of environmental pressures and issues, particularly air pollution”.[62] However, through a detailed and ambitious action plan, Beijing took major steps to reduce pollution.[63] The Beijing Organizing Committee, Chinese government, more than twenty non-governmental organizations, and UNEP saw the Olympics as an opportunity to fundamentally change the city’s negative environmental impact and benefit future generations. [64] Beijing primarily focused on water and air quality.[65] All major rivers in Beijing received an environmental boost from the addition of “aquatic plants and animals to carry-out natural purification”.[66] The city also added 10 water recycling facilities.[67] Beijing’s obvious environmental issue was its air quality.[68] In response to such concerns, the city removed 300,000 “high-emitting vehicles” and moved factories outside the city. [69] Between 2001 and 2008, concentrations of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter had decreased by 12-33% and contributed to the absorption of 16.4 million tons of carbon dioxide leading up to the Games.[70] These numbers continued to improve following the 2008 Games contributing to the IOC’s goal of implementing an environmental legacy.[71] Using new ecological standards, “eco-friendly and energy-saving technologies and material, and promoting the development of environment related industries”, Beijing constructed a more “livable city” for current and future residents. [72]

Two years later in for the Winter Olympics, Vancouver sought to be the first Olympics where all Olympic infrastructure was LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.[73] Not only were buildings constructed using environmentally friendly methods but some rooftops were used to house 60,000 bees and 400,000 plants with the hope of attracting indigenous birds and insects.[74] Apart from green buildings, Vancouver’s Organizing Committee had a zero-solid waste initiative, which accounted for actions from contractors, suppliers, and sponsors.[75] Although it missed its goal, 77% of all solid waste was diverted from landfills.[76] Furthermore, Vancouver pursued a “zero net carbon dioxide emissions”, which inspired the use of hydro-power, biodiesel generators and recycling heat energy from refrigeration plants.[77] By adding contractors, suppliers, and sponsors to its calculation, the Organizing Committee calculated the Games, from first breaking ground through completion of the Games, created 128,000 tons of carbon emissions, missing its zero-emissions goal.[78] Vancouver should be praised for being the first to include all players, from contractors to sponsors, in its calculation of total emission caused by the Olympics. After it missed its zero emissions target, Vancouver embarked on environmentally friendly projects in each of the five continents participating in the Games, including construction of “wind farms in New Zealand and Turkey, the distribution of efficient and clean burning stoves in Uganda, a run-of-river hydro project in China and biogas power generation project in India”.[79]

London’s 2012 hosting of the Summer Olympics focused on environmental issues concerning the industrial worlds overuse of resources and embracing the principle that the Olympics is a “growing voice in the global debate on sustainable development”.[80] London sought to reduce city emissions by 50% before commencement of the Games by introducing low-carbon measures and reducing landfill waste by 90%.[81] Following the Games, the 617 acre Olympic Park went from being an area with a negative environmental impact to being one of the largest parks in Western Europe, containing wildlife habitat and new residential housing.[82]

The 2014 Games in Sochi led to an outbreak of environmental concerns. In its application to host the Games Sochi pledged it would have a zero-waste and carbon-neutral event.[83] Prior to the Games the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) identified Sochi’s as an eco-system with global significance,[84] making new construction a delicate, and potentially devastating, operation. However, a lack of transparency made it hard to monitor environmental effects.[85] However, the Associated Press uncovered that a Russian owned rail monopoly was dumping construction waste into an illegal landfill, causing fear that local water had been contaminated, while also breaking its zero-waste pledge.[86] Furthermore, the Mzymta River was flowing with toxic waste, protected areas of Sochi National Park had been mined, and deforestation threatened Sochi’s one-of-a-kind biodiversity.[87] A Russian non-profit group called Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC) alerted the IOC that Russia was not in compliance with the guarantees it had made in its agreement to host the Olympics.[88]

4. Rio 2016

The environmental damage caused by the Sochi Games left the IOC needing an environmental win in Rio De Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Games, however, it seems unlikely the public will walk away from the Games with the impression that Rio’s environment was sustainably enhanced for the long-term benefit Rio. It does not reflect positively on the IOC or Rio when news articles read that “Olympians risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete” due to the “high levels or viruses and bacteria from human sewage”, rotting fish, and putrid sludge.[89] This is not uncommon in Rio where “most sewage is not treated” and runs directly into rivers and streams, causing virus levels to be 1.7 million times “what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach”.[90] One reason the water quality was so poor only weeks before the opening ceremony is Brazilian officials were using Brazilian regulations while testing water quality, which tests only bacteria levels and ignores virus levels.[91] As previously stated, the IOC does not require host cities to adopt new laws but simply follow the hosts city’s own existing legislation, and ensure international agreements are followed.[92] Of 10,000 athletes competing in the Games, 1,400 will be exposed to the water, and a US expert estimates a 99% infection rate for athletes who ingest 3 teaspoons of Rio’s open water.[93] A California water expert stated, “If I were going to the Olympics I would probably go early and get exposed and build up my immune system to these viruses before I had to compete, because I don’t see how they’re going to solve this sewage problem”.[94] Like the Sochi Organizing Committee, in its 2009 bid to host the Games, the Rio Committee promised to have the sewage cleaned up, stating it would build eight water treatment facilities, treat 80% of the sewage flowing into the bay used for Olympic events and “regenerate Rio’s magnificent waterways”.[95] In spite of this, only one water treatment facility was built and local authorities say it’s not possible to improve the water quality by the start of the Games.[96] Despite this environmental travesty, it has sparked cleanup efforts that will hopefully fulfill the IOC’s goal of providing a positive environmental legacy in Rio.[97] However, after the Olympic hype passes, it is unlikely cleanup efforts will carry any momentum into the future. Rio’s mayor confessed “the Games are proving ‘a wasted opportunity’ as far as the waterways are concerned” and the city won’t be able to make good on the environmental promises it made during its bid for the Olympics.[98] Furthermore, instead of using one of its two existing golf courses, the Rio organizers decided to built a new course, which encroaches on protected land home to plant and animal species unique to that area.[99] Rallying for protection of the environment at the Olympics may not be a good idea because Brazil has the highest death toll of environmental activists.[100]

5. PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020

Critics worry the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea will continue the recent environmental “dynamic of overpromising and under delivering”.[101] The PyeongChang Organizing Committee has made significant promises regarding environmental protection but has come under criticism for clearing 57 acres of 500 year-old trees atop a protected mountain for a ski slope, sparking environmental activists to petition to the IOC and South Korean government.[102] Activists argue there are alternative locations that can be used for the ski slope.[103] The PyeongChang Organizing Committee cites the International Ski Federation rules why the protected forest was the only viable option.[104] The rule states slopes must be at least 800 meters high, but 750 meters in acceptable under “exceptional circumstances”.[105] If the demolition of 500-year old tress is an “exception circumstance”, then the nearby Yongpyong Ski Resort, standing at 750 meters, would have been a viable option[106].

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee has taken into account its pledge to host a sustainable Olympics and made the decision to reduce the number of ski slopes from two to one. [107] In an effort for a more sustainable Olympics, the IOC recommended PyeongChang “relocate some of the events to existing venues in other countries to save costs” and encourage renovating existing venues in nearby cities and prevent unneeded environmental damages.[108] Instead, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee elected to build six new venues for the Games.[109] Some argue the Korean central government should take control of the planning of the games and make it a Korean-wide event not just organized by the PyeongChang region, likely allowing for use of existing venues instead of constructing venues that will lay vacant after the Games.[110] With critics currently comparing the environmental devastation to that seen in Sochi, many blame the lack of accountability for the degradation to the environment.[111]

The 2020 Summer Games will take place in Tokyo, Japan, which faces an uncertain economic future.[112] The Tokyo Organizing Committee does not yet know the total estimated cost of the Games but Tokyo does know it will cost more than the $3.4 billion dollars it estimated when making its bid.[113] If the economy is struggling it can be expected the budget for the games will be cut and if the planning committee react like Salt Lake City in 2002, environmental and sustainability programs may be the first slashed. However, Tokyo is currently fulfilling the promise of an environmentally friendly Olympics.[114] It has established the Tokyo 2020 High-Level Sustainability Plan, which has focuses on promoting “how products and services are supplied, the origins of products and services and the resources from which they are made, compliance to the sourcing code through the supply chains, [and] the effective use of resources”.[115] It will remain a key importance for Tokyo to stick to its strict sourcing plans and ensure procured products and services use and promote green initiatives. If Tokyo maintains this plan, it may be the greenest Olympics ever.


Since 1994, the Olympic Games have provided a unique blend of sports, social, cultural, and environmental advancements. Host cities have developed unique solutions for hosting an environmentally friendly Olympics. However, recent bids and environmental promises have proved to be over exaggerated. Without a firm hand to enforce promises made by bidding cities, the environment will continue to be a second thought, only deemed important if there is time and room in the budget, during preparation for the Games. It is import to identify that the Olympic Charter simply states that the IOC “encourages” and “supports” environmental issues, but it must have the power to enforce promises made during the bidding phase because “we are at a critical moment in history, where we need to make some decisions about how do we treat our resources, and what we as a global community do to save the planet and save ourselves”.[116]



[1] International Olympic Committee, Sustainability Through Sport (2012),

[2] Id. at 9; Olympic Charter (Aug. 2, 2015).

[3] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 9.

[4] Id. (citing The Stockholm Memorandum, 3rd Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability (2011)).

[5] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 12.

[6] Joseph Tarradellas, The Olympic Movement and the Environment, Centre d’Estudis Olimpics (UAB) (2003),

[7] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 12.

[8] Id.

[9] Id. at 14 (citing Olympic Review (July 2007)).

[10] Olympic Charter (Aug. 2, 2015).

[11] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 16.

[12] Id. at 16; Mark McMullen, The Green Olympics: Boon or Face?, 2001 Colorado J. Int’l. Envtl. Law and Pol’y 119, 119-20.

[13] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 16.

[14] Id.

[15] International Olympic Committee, XII Olympic Congress- Paris 1994,

[16] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 16.

[17] Id.

[18] Id. at 17.

[19] Id.

[20] Id.

[21] Id. at 21.

[22] Id.

[23] Tarradellas, supra note 4; See also McMullen, supra note 12, at 120.

[24] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 21.

[25] Id.

[26] See Ryan Guathier, Olympic Games Host Selection, 23 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal (2016).

[27] Id. at 47.

[28] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 24.

[29] Id.

[30] Id.

[31] Id.

[32] Id. at 24, 31.

[33] Id. at 26.

[34] Alexandra Sobol, No Medals for Sochi: Why the Environment Earned Last Place at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, and How Host Cities can Score a “Green” Medal in the Future, 26 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 169, 171 (2015).

[35] Id. at 173.

[36] Id. (citing Sport and Environment Commission: Composition,, (last visited Aug. 8, 2016).

[37] Id. at 174.

[38] Id.

[39] Id.

[40] Guathier, supra note 26, at 47.

[41] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 39.

[42] Id.

[43] Id.

[44] Id. at 40.

[45] Green Facts, PCBs,

[46] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 40.

[47] Sobol, supra note 34, at 176.

[48] Id. at 180 (citing Sustainability Through Sport at 17)

[49] Id. at 176-77 (citing Salt Lake Org. Comm., Environmental Performance Review 2 (Jan., 2002).

[50] Id. at 177.

[51] Id. at 177-79 (citing Salt Lake Org. Comm., Environmental Performance Review 8 (Jan., 2002).

[52] Id. at 180 (citing Cat Lazaroff, Winter Olympics Not a Green Triumph, Env’t News Serv. (Feb. 11, 2002))

[53] Id. at 181 (citing Martin A. Lee, Greenest Games Ever? Not!, Los Angeles Times (Feb. 3, 2002)).

[54] Id. at 181 (citing Cat Lazaroff, Winter Olympics Not a Green Triumph, Env’t News Serv. (Feb. 11, 2002)).

[55] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 40.

[56] Id.

[57] Id. at 41.

[58] Id. at 42

[59] Id.

[60] Id. at 41.

[61] See generally Lee M. Sands, The 2008 Olympics’ Impact on China, China Business Review (Jul. 1, 2008),

[62] Sobol, supra note 34, at 181 (citing United Nations Environmental Programme, Independent Environmental Assessment: Beijing 2008 Summer Fames 13 (Feb. 2009)).

[63] Id. at 181 (citing Stefanie Beyer, The Green Olympic Movement: Beijing 2008, 5 Chinese Journal of International Law 423-24 (May, 19 2006)).

[64] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 42.

[65] Sobol, supra note 34, at 182 (citing Stefanie Beyer, The Green Olympic Movement: Beijing 2008, 5 Chinese Journal of International Law 423 (May, 19 2006))

[66] Sustainability Through Sport, supra note 1, at 43.

[67] Id.

[68] Id.

[69] Id.

[70] Id.

[71] Id.

[72] Id. at 42.

[73] Id. at 44.

[74] Id.

[75] Id.

[76] Id.

[77] Id.

[78] Id.

[79] Id. at 45.

[80] Id. at 46.

[81] Id. at 47.

[82] Id. at 47; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,

[83] Sobol, supra note 34, at 186 (citing Environment and Methodology, Gateway to the Future 65, 75).

[84] Id. at 187 (citing Environment and Methodology, Gateway to the Future 65, 83)

[85] Id. at 188-89 (citing Ari Phillips, Dirty Games: How Sochi Abandoned Promises, Jailed Activists and Devastated the Environment, CLIMATEPROGRESS (Feb. 12, 2014)).

[86] Leon Walker, Russia Dumps Olympics Construction Waster, Break ‘Cleanest Games’ Pledge, Environmental Leader (Oct. 31, 2013),

[87] Sobol, supra note 34, at 189 (citing Dark Side of the Sochi Winter Olympics: Environmental Damage, Environmental News Service (Feb. 11, 2013)).

[88] Id.

[89] Brad Brooks and Jenny Barchfield, Rio’s Waters are so Filthy that 2016 Olympians Risk Becoming Violently Ill and Unable to Compete, Business Insider (Jul. 30, 2016),

[90] Id.

[91] Id.

[92] Guathier, supra note 26, at 47.

[93] Brooks, supra note 89.

[94] Id.

[95] Lorraine Chow, 7 Major Environmental Issues Already Spoiling the Rio Olympics, EcoWatch ( July 26, 2016),; Brooks, supra note 89.

[96] Id.

[97] Brooks, supra note 89.

[98] Id.

[99] Chow, supra note 95.

[100] Id.

[101] Phil McKenna, Olympic Glory? South Korea Clear-Cuts a Forest to Build Ski Slopes, InsideClimate News (Sep. 20, 2015),

[102] Id.

[103] Kim Se-jeong, Environmentalists Oppose New Ski Slope, Korea Times (May 14, 2014),

[104] Id.

[105] Id.

[106] Id.

[107] McKenna, supra note 101.

[108] JoongAng Ilbo, Problems in Pyeongchang, Korea Joongang Daily (Jan. 22, 2015),

[109] Id.

[110] Id.

[111] McKenna, supra note 101.

[112] Yuri Kageyama, Japan’s 2020 Problem: Life After the Olympics, The Japan Times (Feb. 10, 2016),

[113] Id.

[114] Junko Edahiro, Aiming for Sustainable Tokyo Olympic, Paralympic Games, Japan for Sustainability (July 19, 2016),

[115] Id.

[116] McKenna, supra note 101. (quoting Dalia Hashad)