Rio pulled it off. Despite lots of criticism and lots of empty seats the Brazilian city managed to host the Olympics. I saw the games not as a journalist but as a spectator and I had a great time. The city famous for Carnaval brought that energy to every venue. The cariocas (Rio residents) deserve a gold medal for their enthusiasm.
I loved the Olympics but don’t support the games. In the months, even years, leading up to the world sporting competition the criticism was unending. Corrupt government, waste of money, promises to clean up sewage problem never fulfilled and don’t forget about zika. While all the criticism was being heaped on Brazil I think the target should have been aimed at the Olympic organizing committee. After all, it was the IOC that chose the city in 2009 passing by such other options as Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo (their turn comes in 2020). In 2009 everything was going Brazil’s way, my how times have changed.
I’m not saying the IOC has a crystal ball, it had no idea how bad the economy would turn for the country. I am saying the whole process and the cost for any city hosting the games has gotten out of control. It’s a massive money maker, not for the host city but for the IOC.
When the athletes and spectators leave Rio the cariocas will have a new subway line, a few new highways, a park and some sporting facilities but they’ll also have a huge bill from a government that ‘over promised’ and ‘under delivered’.