Another Report Confirms Escalating Cost of Beijing Olympics

    • China spent about $8.8 billion on the Beijing Winter Olympics, per the Financial Times.
    • The true cost of the Games far outpaced China’s stated budget. 

Yet another report estimating the true cost of the Beijing Winter Olympics has surfaced — this time from a Financial Times analysis that says the nation spent about $8.8 billion.

That’s more than twice China’s original projected number of about $3.9 billion.

  • Construction projects related to the Games, including venues and the Olympic Village, were originally planned to cost about $1.5 billion. China ended up spending twice that.
  • Transportation ended up costing about $4 billion, though the IOC claimed those costs weren’t necessarily counted as specific Olympics projects, but rather as general infrastructure.
  • Additional costs included making artificial snow and preparing COVID-19 preventions.

The FT’s number vastly differs from a Business Insider investigation, which estimated a whopping $38.5 billion

Despite the disparities, one thing is clear: The true cost of the Beijing Winter Olympics far outpaced China’s stated budget

As for whether the gargantuan price tag was worth it? Ratings and social media discourse in China have been positive, Bloomberg reported. “The Chinese people as well as the government are reveling in their athletes and their achievements, as well as in the successful pandemic-era staging of the world’s biggest athletic event.”

Growing Pattern

For previous Winter Olympics dating back to at least 2006, spending has gone above the projected budget, per the FT.

Russia, for example, spent about $40 billion more than it planned to for the 2014 Games in Sochi. True costs also eclipsed budgets by the billions in Pyeongchang, Vancouver, and Turin.