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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or countries should invest in hosting the Olympic games from the real IELTS exam.

I wrote about a very similar topic a few years back – the same questions can come up again and again on IELTS!

Please consider supporting my efforts to creative high quality IELTS materials for students around the world by signing up for my Patreon (and don’t miss any of my exclusive IELTS Ebooks)!

Dave

IELTS Essay: The Olympic Games

Some believe that the Olympic games help bring people from different nations together, while others claim that holding the Olympics wastes money which could be used for important issues.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

There are many who claim hosting the Olympics unproductively diverts money from more essential areas. In my opinion, despite these valid objections, there is still great value in the unifying impact of the Olympics.

Critics argue there are urgent needs that should be prioritised over a sporting event. This applies to every nation but particularly developing ones. For example, the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 led to mass unrest and protests as locals felt too much money was being spent on the event and not enough on helping to alleviate worsening conditions among underprivileged segments of society. The government could have instead improved the infrastructure used by millions daily, invested more in education, or built more hospitals. These allocations of the federal budget would not only serve an immediate purpose but also have a longer lasting effect than the Olympics.

Nonetheless, most Olympic games are sponsored by developed nations and they occur very rarely which justifies their efforts to unify. The countries competing in the Olympics often have fraught international relationships and competition can counter-intuitively decrease tensions. Supporters may root against other countries at specific instances, such as when watching a football match, but they are united in their love of sports and the shared viewing experience. This has the subtle but powerful unconscious result of fostering greater empathy between diverse ethnic and national groups. When an individual roots for their country and their athletes, and sees other individuals partaking in the same ritual, they will realise that association within a larger tribe is an essential, common human trait.

In conclusion, despite the seemingly inefficient allocation of funds, the Olympics are a mass, cooperative effort that has tremendous value. Therefore, countries should consider hosting the games a great honor.

Analysis

1. There are many who claim hosting the Olympics unproductively diverts money from more essential areas. 2. In my opinion, despite these valid objections, there is still great value in the unifying impact of the Olympics.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Critics argue there are urgent needs that should be prioritised over a sporting event. 2. This applies to every nation but particularly developing ones. 3. For example, the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 led to mass unrest and protests as locals felt too much money was being spent on the event and not enough on helping to alleviate worsening conditions among underprivileged segments of society. 4. The government could have instead improved the infrastructure used by millions daily, invested more in education, or built more hospitals. 5. These allocations of the federal budget would not only serve an immediate purpose but also have a longer lasting effect than the Olympics.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Continue to develop it.
  5. State the result.
  6. Develop it fully.

1. Nonetheless, most Olympic games are sponsored by developed nations and they occur very rarely which justifies their efforts to unify. 2. The countries competing in the Olympics often have fraught international relationships and competition can counter-intuitively decrease tensions. 3. Supporters may root against other countries at specific instances, such as when watching a football match, but they are united in their love of sports and the shared viewing experience. 4. This has the subtle but powerful unconscious result of fostering greater empathy between diverse ethnic and national groups. 5. When an individual roots for their country and their athletes, and sees other individuals partaking in the same ritual, they will realise that association within a larger tribe is an essential, common human trait.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. The more specific, the better.
  5. Develop the example fully by stating the result.

1. In conclusion, despite the seemingly inefficient allocation of funds, the Olympics are a mass, cooperative effort that has tremendous value. 2. Therefore, countries should consider hosting the games a great honor.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

There are many who claim hosting the Olympics unproductively diverts money from more essential areas. In my opinion, despite these valid objections, there is still great value in the unifying impact of the Olympics.

Critics argue there are urgent needs that should be prioritised over a sporting event. This applies to every nation but particularly developing ones. For example, the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 led to mass unrest and protests as locals felt too much money was being spent on the event and not enough on helping to alleviate worsening conditions among underprivileged segments of society. The government could have instead improved the infrastructure used by millions daily, invested more in education, or built more hospitals. These allocations of the federal budget would not only serve an immediate purpose but also have a longer lasting effect than the Olympics.

Nonetheless, most Olympic games are sponsored by developed nations and they occur very rarely which justifies their efforts to unify. The countries competing in the Olympics often have fraught international relationships and competition can counter-intuitively decrease tensions. Supporters may root against other countries at specific instances, such as when watching a football match, but they are united in their love of sports and the shared viewing experience. This has the subtle but powerful unconscious result of fostering greater empathy between diverse ethnic and national groups. When an individual roots for their country and their athletes, and sees other individuals partaking in the same ritual, they will realise that association within a larger tribe is an essential, common human trait.

In conclusion, despite the seemingly inefficient allocation of funds, the Olympics are a mass, cooperative effort that has tremendous value. Therefore, countries should consider hosting the games a great honor.

Answers

claim argue

hosting the Olympics being in charge of the games

unproductively diverts uselessly takes away

more essential areas more important parts

despite regardless of

valid objections legitimate concerns

still great value continues to be worth it

unifying impact keeps people together

critics those who are against this

urgent needs necessary now

prioritised over made more important than

sporting event Olympics, games, matches, etc.

applies is relevant to

particularly especially

mass unrest people unhappy

protests unrest

locals those who live in a country

alleviate worsening conditions make things better

underprivileged segments of society poorer parts of a country

instead improved better choice to help

infrastructure streets, roads, buildings, etc.

allocations how money is assigned

federal budget government’s money to spend

serve an immediate purpose useful now

longer lasting effect more helpful in the future

sponsored by hosted by

efforts to unify try to bring people together

fraught international relationships conflicts between countries

counter-intuitively decrease tensions against expectations help pacify

root against be against the other side

specific instances isolated moments

united brought together

shared viewing experience everyone watching at the same time

subtle less obvious

unconscious result without meaning to the effect

fostering greater empathy increasing understanding between peoples

diverse ethnic and national groups different races, nationalities

partaking taking part in

ritual ceremony

association relationship

tribe group

essential key

common human trait everyone does this

inefficient allocation not a good way to spend

mass everyone together

cooperative effort all working together

tremendous value lots of importance

consider think about

a great honor very important

Pronunciation

kleɪm 
ˈhəʊstɪŋ ði əʊˈlɪmpɪks 
ˌʌnprəˈdʌktɪvli daɪˈvɜːts 
mɔːr ɪˈsɛnʃəl ˈeərɪəz
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈvælɪd əbˈʤɛkʃənz
stɪl greɪt ˈvæljuː
ˈjuːnɪfaɪɪŋ ˈɪmpækt 
ˈkrɪtɪks 
ˈɜːʤənt niːdz 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪzd ˈəʊvə 
ˈspɔːtɪŋ ɪˈvɛnt
əˈplaɪz 
pəˈtɪkjʊləli 
mæs ʌnˈrɛst 
ˈprəʊtɛsts 
ˈləʊkəlz 
əˈliːvɪeɪt ˈwɜːsnɪŋ kənˈdɪʃənz 
ˌʌndəˈprɪvɪlɪʤd ˈsɛgmənts ɒv səˈsaɪəti
ɪnˈstɛd ɪmˈpruːvd 
ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə 
ˌæləʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)nz 
ˈfɛdərəl ˈbʌʤɪt 
sɜːv ən ɪˈmiːdiət ˈpɜːpəs 
ˈlɒŋgə ˈlɑːstɪŋ ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈspɒnsəd baɪ 
ˈɛfəts tuː ˈjuːnɪfaɪ
frɔːt ˌɪntə(ː)ˈnæʃənl rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪps 
ˈkaʊntər-ɪnˈtju(ː)ɪtɪvli ˈdiːkriːs ˈtɛnʃənz
ruːt əˈgɛnst 
spɪˈsɪfɪk ˈɪnstənsɪz
jʊˈnaɪtɪd 
ʃeəd ˈvjuːɪŋ ɪksˈpɪərɪəns
ˈsʌtl 
ʌnˈkɒnʃəs rɪˈzʌlt 
ˈfɒstərɪŋ ˈgreɪtər ˈɛmpəθi 
daɪˈvɜːs ˈɛθnɪk ænd ˈnæʃənl gruːps
pɑːˈteɪkɪŋ 
ˈrɪʧʊəl
əˌsəʊsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n 
traɪb 
ɪˈsɛnʃəl
ˈkɒmən ˈhjuːmən treɪt
ˌɪnɪˈfɪʃənt ˌæləʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)n 
mæs
kəʊˈɒpərətɪv ˈɛfət 
trɪˈmɛndəs ˈvæljuː
kənˈsɪdə 
ə greɪt ˈɒnə

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There are many who c_______m h____________________s u______________________s money from m_______________________s. In my opinion, d_________e these v_______________________s, there is s_______________________e in the u_________________t of the Olympics.

C________s argue there are u_______________s that should be p_________________r a s_________________t. This a_________s to every nation but p__________________y developing ones. For example, the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 led to m_____________t and p_________s as l________s felt too much money was being spent on the event and not enough on helping to a__________________________________s among u______________________________________y. The government could have i________________________d the i____________________e used by millions daily, invested more in education, or built more hospitals. These a______________s of the f___________________t would not only s_____________________________e but also have a l______________________________t than the Olympics.

Nonetheless, most Olympic games are s____________________y developed nations and they occur very rarely which justifies their e__________________y. The countries competing in the Olympics often have f_____________________________s and competition can c___________________________________s. Supporters may r__________________t other countries at s_____________________s, such as when watching a football match, but they are u_________d in their love of sports and the s_______________________________e. This has the s____________e but powerful u________________________t of f______________________________y between d_______________________________________s. When an individual roots for their country and their athletes, and sees other individuals p______________g in the same r__________l, they will realise that a________________n within a larger t_______e is an e_______________l, c___________________t.

In conclusion, despite the seemingly i______________________n of funds, the Olympics are a m______s, c______________________t that has t_________________________e. Therefore, countries should c___________r hosting the games a____________________r.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://apnews.com/article/tokyo-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-tokyo-olympics-japan-olympic-games-3c46bce81928865d9aae0832b5ddd9e3#:~:text=TOKYO%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94%20The%20official,billion%20in%20last%20year’s%20budget.

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Sports

  1. Which sport do you like to play?
  2. Have you ever been on a sports team?
  3. Do you like watching sports on TV?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some people think that it is a waste of money for countries to host big sporting events like the world cup, and that the money would be better spent on other things. However, others think that hosting large sporting events has a clear, positive impact on a country.

Discuss both these views and give your opinion.


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