Crazy Expensive: What the Olympics Cost From 1948 to Today

From modest beginnings, the Olympics have grown into extravaganzas costing billions. Here's what it has cost 27 cities to host the games.

United Kingdom: 1948 London Summer Olympics — $32 million

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London hosted the first post-World War II Olympic Games after a 12-year hiatus. (The previous games were in Berlin in 1936.) Amid rationing and economic hardship, the city built no new venues. They hosted more than 4,000 athletes, though Japan and Germany were not allowed to enter contestants.

The 1948 Games featured the first covered pool for Olympic swimming events — a venue that seated 8,000 spectators, according to the International Olympic Committee website. But, since the pool was a little longer than the 50 meters required by Olympic regulations, “a wooden platform was constructed to shorten it and to house the judges and officials,” according to the IOC site.


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