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Rio Olympics: The enormous team behind the scenes

Bachelor of Sports Management Unit Coordinator Campbell Atkins gives us insight into the team behind the athletes at the Rio Olympic Games.

With the Rio Olympics in full swing it’s hard to escape the frenzy that accompanies the world’s biggest sporting spectacle. The focus is of course on the individual or team performances and the ever-important medal tally, but have you ever wondered just what (and who) it takes to put on such an enormous event every four years? 

It takes a village

We all know the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Well it turns out that it takes a metropolis of professionals in a variety of different areas to put on two weeks of non-stop sporting activity.

Of course there are the coaches, trainers, and medical teams, but there are also large media and communications teams, IT professionals, uniform designers, athlete services, team psychologists, transport and those laden with the task of teasing out the logistics of putting on a two-week sporting spectacular.

According to Bloomberg journalist Justin Bachman, the Rio games will involve roughly 30 million items, most of which is sent in on 6,000 cargo containers. However, it is the non-human competitors, which provide the biggest logistical challenge. Each Boeing 777 freighter carrying Olympic horses also carries 11 grooms and veterinarians and must provide only the best conditions for the world’s top animal athletes!

Big business 

Every four years as the event draws closer, the teams behind the sporting teams just gets bigger. The Olympics has become a huge commercial enterprise, with some of the major Olympic sponsors paying up to $2 billion for the coveted rights.

These marketing contracts involve meticulous planning to ensure that their brand makes an impression during those two weeks when all eyeballs are on the games. 

Sports management 

Sport is one of those areas that evokes so many emotions and brings people together in a way rarely seen in other aspects of life. Therefore many people are often keen to make a career out of sport, even if they are not elite athletes.

Our Sports Management course equips students with the skills and understanding to work with those from a community sports base right through to the elite level. Students are exposed to different management roles across the sector and learn how to manage sporting clubs and facilities, organise events and develop community initiatives to promote healthy living.

So while the world will always need elite athletes, big sporting events (or for that matter, any sporting event) would not function without a team of passionate people behind them. 

If the Olympics have made it clear in your mind that you want to pursue a career in sport, find out more about our Bachelor of Sports Management