Humans and animals have to eat. After they have eaten, they have time and energy. This is either spent on getting the next meal, or if that is an easy bet, it becomes spare time and energy.
Sport is an example of an entertainment that spends spare time and energy. It is a luxury of large organised human groupings. In our modern globalized technologized energy-dependent economic world, there is a lot of spare time and energy in its 6 Billion Human Population.
Sport itself has further specialized. It is now normal that for every one person performing at Sport, over 10000 people are only watching, either in a stadium or on Television. The Olympics are the pinnacle of Globalized Sport Economics. All this time and energy is wasted, instead of being spent on getting the next meal. This time and energy is spare only because of fossil-fueled industrialized agriculture. The work of only one wheat farmer using tractors, chemical fertilizers, GM seed and combine harvesters is enough to feed 10000 people.
Is this desirable? The basis of human economics is that it services human wants. What it does not recognize is that human wants move with fashion. Once it was hugely unfashionable to toil over soil. In substitute, lazing in the spectacle of modern sport has become the unthinking aspiration. Such an aspiration is merely fashion. Who says that Humanity should want this?
Has humanity revisited its reasons for its Wants, so that it can design Global Economics to include Flexibility, Redundancy and Regression? For example, Can Global Economics allow for the human want for some toil over the soil, and the Human Want for Natural Food grown as Part of a Natural Sustainable Ecosystem rich in Living things and Species Diversity?
Unfortunately, Global Economics does not yet answer this simple challenge. Those who ask these simple challenging questions have not even got a voice yet, and a blog like this might never get heard.
The Economics of the Olympics are too old-fashioned.