Tag: Olympics

From the pre-Rio ban on Russian athletes to the Ryan Lochte apology for his bad behavior that overshadowed the final days of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, Olin’s Director of the Business of Sports program has been in the spotlight sharing his expertise with the media. Here are a few of the highlights of Rishe’s commentaries on the Rio Olympics this summer.

FOX BUSINESS: Ryan Lochte’s Costly Mistake

NBC NEWS: Ryan Lochte Apologizes

FORBES: Horrific pre-Olympics press dooms Brazil’s economic returns from hosting 2016 summer games

MONEY.CNN: Olympic sports apparel wars

GLOBAL INTERESTS: Russian Athletes Banned


Brett Raisman

Brett Raisman

His sister, Aly Raisman, has been in the spotlight with the US Gymnastics team at the Rio Olympics, but Brett, BSBA’18, has been attracting some attention, too. Here’s an excerpt from one of many online reports about Aly and her family:

“A native of Needham, Massachusetts, Brett is currently a junior at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, according to his LinkedIn profile. Brett majors in entrepreneurship and marketing, and minors in sports business. He also plays hockey, and he’s a member of the Beta-Sigma chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and represents them on the Standards Board of the school’s Interfraternity Council. And yet with all that going on, he still finds the time to jet set around the world to cheer for his big sister.

And fans are all about it, too. Brett just joined Instagram on Monday, and within a day, he racked up more than 8,000 followers and as many likes on his single post: a snapshot of a TV screen showing his mother, with his cheek visible in the corner of the screen. “I’ll try not to let the fame go to my head,” he captioned the post. He may be kidding, but his overnight fandom is no joke. Move over, Jordan Rodgers, there’s a new brother of a famous athlete in town. ”   Link to full story.

The opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is set for Aug 5. But Olin’s Director of the Business of Sports program, Patrick Rishe, says these games may be tainted by more than doping scandals and fear of the Zika virus. He blames the International Olympic Committee’s bidding process for the many inefficiencies and failures of recent games to benefit the cities where they are held in a recent opinion column on Forbes.com:

“The great irony of the Olympic Games over the last several decades is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants bidding host cities to express in their bids how hosting the Games will have venue legacy impacts, yet the legacy in practice (more often than not) has been the wasteful erection of white elephants whose future community benefits are significantly less than the costs of construction and upkeep.”

Link to Rishe’s column on Forbes: The Inefficiencies Of The International Olympic Committee And Olympic City Site-Selection Process

As the Olympic Games approach, Brazil’s government remains in turmoil after a corruption scandal. There’s also concern about crime and water quality in the host city Rio de Janeiro.

And then, there’s the Zika outbreak.

The mosquito-borne virus proven to cause severe birth defects has hit Brazil particularly hard, and left athletes with a difficult choice: risk possible infection or give up the chance to compete on the world stage.

Rio-760x506One group of athletes in particular is dropping out of the Summer Olympics en masse: male golfers, most of whom are on the PGA Tour. And while they’re citing Zika concerns, Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School, said there’s another factor at play.

“It’s all about the cost-benefit analysis of whether it’s worth it to professional male golfers to compete in the Olympics,” Rishe said. “For male golfers, there is much more money and glory in being a major championship winner.”

“Jordan Spieth’s withdrawal from the Rio Games means the top four players in the world, including Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, have withdrawn from the Olympics, citing Zika as the primary reason,” Rishe said.

“We have golf back in the Olympics for the first time since the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and it will only feature four of the top 10 players in the world, and just eight of the top 15.”

For many athletes, the games are the pinnacle of their careers, with financial rewards and endorsements coming after Olympic gold. As Rishe recently wrote in Forbes, for pro golfers, that’s not the case. He points to the fact that the pro golf schedule is packed with major events that are occurring just before and after the Olympic Games. With too many chances to rake in millions, the golfers are simply choosing to rest up rather than compete in Rio.

“For male golfers, the cost-benefit comparison is reversed,” Rishe said.  “What are the benefits? Playing for your country? The pride of winning a medal against a watered-down field? There is no prize money, and this fact alone may have deterred some from Rio.”

Guest Blogger: Erika Ebsworth-Goold

Image: Chick Evans, 1915, Bain News Service, Flickr, The Commons

Today, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) upheld its ban on Russia’s track and field teams, rendering them unable to take part in the in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The suspension of Russia’s track teams first came in November, after a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency alleged widespread cheating. Today, the IAAF followed up on the initial suspension, ruling that Russia had not done enough to earn the right to compete.

Patrick RIshe, incoming director of Olin's Sports Business program

Patrick Rishe

While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say on a ban, Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School, says today’s move illustrates the economic effect of cheating in sports of all kinds.

“While the IAAF’s decision to ban Russian track and field from Rio is a grand statement, it certainly is not surprising in light of Russia’s inability to sufficiently curb cheating,” Rishe said. “Though cheating still occurs in sports that have tried to become clean (e.g., baseball), the economic lesson to be learned is that if you raise the price of cheating (through greater suspensions and other financial penalties), the incidence of cheating will fall.”

Rishe predicts today’s ruling from the IAAF could have a lasting impact as the fate of the Russian athletes now rests with the IOC.

“Baseball has seen reductions in cheating, and perhaps with the weight/gravity of this hammer thrown by the IAAF at Russian athletics today, this may have a longer-term impact on the incidence of cheating across all Olympic sports worldwide. Only time will tell,” Rishe said.

By Erika Ebsworth-Goold