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Economic Woes Of Olympics | Climate Change Impacting Workers

The blue, yellow, black, green, and red Olympic rings sit suspended in the air against a blue sky.
Kyle Dias
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics start on July 23, but a mixture of pandemic struggles and extreme spending have made it one of the most expensive in history.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are bringing to light the economic struggles facing host cities when producing the games, and how the climate crisis threatens the health and safety of workers.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Few Olympic host cities have come out the other side of the Games and made a profit. Why do so many communities keep volunteering when so many have lost money?
With an original bid budget of $7.5 billion that was soon raised to $15.4 billion, experts say that the final bill for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games could reach as high as $26 billion. An event fraught with struggle since their unveiling, the 2020 Olympics are slated to be the most expensive Summer Games ever. With this in mind, could Kansas City ever host an Olympics?

Segment 2, beginning at 26:10: The ongoing affects of climate change have touched numerous sectors of daily life, but workers' rights are a topic often overlooked in the climate conversation.
Record-breaking high temperatures can put those who work outside or in warehouses in danger. Droughts limit the access that workers have to life-saving water. Climate-related problems are on the world's mind more than ever, but for some, the response isn't enough. Rachel Jefferson says, "More and more people are becoming aware and comfortable with this idea of, 'Wow, the world is burning,' but at the same time things aren't moving fast enough."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.