World GDP will shrink during the Olympics?

NBC alone will broadcast 2,400 hours of mind-number waist-expanding television during the 2018 Olympics (source). That’s more than one year of “full time” work.

Of course it is inspiring to watch the accomplished and disciplined. But on the other hand, who among us has embarked on a multi-year training program and stuck to it after being inspired by the Olympics?

Readers: Will world GDP fall during this event? People who glued to the TV aren’t working or buying stuff.


  1. Bill

    February 8, 2018 @ 1:09 pm


    I think most of us will watch about the same TV as normal. The big difference is we will watch skiing and skating instead of some dumb cop or doctor show. Plus in our case we actually know several of the good skiers from Tahoe and my wife and daughter were heavy into ice skating so they know the skaters and all the details. It is really fun for us. And yes these athletes are very dedicated and work long hours for years.

    And having been in person to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake they are just amazing events and fun to watch. If they are ever closer I will go again.

  2. DaleS

    February 8, 2018 @ 1:18 pm


    I was hoping to use the occasion to tell my wife I need to buy a new pair of groomer skis. As long as I don’t overplay my hand, this may contribute several hundred dollars to the world GDP, as I am looking at a pair of German skis.

  3. superMike

    February 8, 2018 @ 2:28 pm


    Kids do that, the rest of us are too old without doping.

  4. JW

    February 8, 2018 @ 4:38 pm


    What percentage of athletes are doping? My guess is >80%. The Icarus documentary,, exposed Russian doping. Americans aren’t immune with Lance Armstrong’s EPO doping.

  5. Z

    February 8, 2018 @ 7:01 pm


    1) About the same fraction of people watch all 2400 hours of Olympic events as those at university going to every match of every sponsored sport.

    2) GDP is a terrible metric for most of the things it gets used for. If there was a worldwide craze to spend one week a year playing casual pick up games of various sports at local parks and schools GDP would fall in the same way despite the massive human gains from exercise and socialization.

  6. lion

    February 9, 2018 @ 4:21 am


    If the GDP shrinks, it’s because of everyone reloading twitter feeds about spacex. It’s only our middle aged generation that still lives in the past & gets inspired by TV.

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