Olympics in troubled times
Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro started in an atmosphere of tension, which slightly tainted the grand sport event
One hundred years ago, VI Summer Olympic Games in 1916, which had to be held in Berlin, did not take place because of the First World War. In 2016, according to some political analysts, the world is suffering of a third world war being waged by Islamic extremists against Western civilization. However, so far this war did not prevent the holding of XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. Although has affected its atmosphere. But in addition to global problems Brazilian internal difficulties and scandals in world sport also negatively affected the Olympics 2016 in Rio.
Common emotional background of the Games, of course, contains a serious mark of fear of attacks. No wonder $ 2.2 billion were spent on the security of the Games-2016, and 38 000 soldiers are providing it. And, of course, the overall world neuroticism associated with Putin's unpredictable politics, Islamic threat, the problem of refugees, the future elections in the United States, Brexit and other factors have indirectly affected the Olympics too.
Unfavorable political and psychological context affected the purely sporting issues. The ups and downs around the doping scandal of Russian athletes, the quarrel of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for admission of Russian athletes at the Games in Rio, catcalling of Russian team at the opening ceremony of the Games – this is negative list of issues that we have nothing to do with.
But much more important role in the tainted atmosphere of the Olympic festival played the internal problems of Brazil, about which world media wrote a lot. First of all, the economic problems of country, which at the time of obtaining the right to organize Olympic Games 2016 (2007 year) was among the ten leading economies in the world, but then, fell into a deep recession. The country badly spent to host the FIFA World Cup 2014.
On the one hand, this championship helped Brazil, when in the course of preparation for the Olympics sounded skeptical voices and calls to transfer the games to another location, until it's not too late. Brilliant hosting of soccer FIFA World Cup was the main argument in favor of the Games in Rio. However, in Brazil, not all people were satisfied with the honorable and prestigious law for the first time in history to host the Olympic Games in South America. Against the backdrop of economic crisis and the impoverishment of the people to spend billions on the Olympics seemed an unaffordable luxury for many Brazilians. It was the reason for the mass protests, which sometimes took a rather sharp form.
The economic problems of Brazil provoked political turmoil. Because of allegations of corruption, President Dilma Rousseff was dismissed and is now waiting for impeachment. For this reason the Games were officially opened by the Acting President Michel Temer as Head of State. Again, due to the falling economy and the diversion of resources from social programs to the preparation of the Olympic Games in the country with an already dysfunctional criminal situation crime level increased by 30%.
Shootout in Rio sounded even on the opening day of the Games, and the reports of thefts and robberies in the Olympic Village have become a commonplace. Dead bodies not far from the arenas and stray bullets hit the press center did not improve the image of the Olympics. In addition, the traditional Rio polluted water problem was overlapped by Zika virus epidemic. Without this, situation will be, of course, much better.
Preparation of objects of sports infrastructure in Rio was pretty bad, causing concern of the IOC. All terms have been thwarted; objects were approved at the last moment. Many delegations faced problems from the arrival at the Olympic Village and the Australian team even went away and lodged in hotels in the city. However, similar problems occur practically anytime, anywhere, are being solved during the tournament and quickly forgotten.
President of the Organizing Committee of Rio 2016, Carlos Nusman in his emotional speech at the opening of the Games had every reason to be proud: with overcoming such obstacles the value of the Games grows strongly. But IOC president Thomas Bach earlier expressed confidence that Brazil will cope with the problems, and the Games will be an inspiring example for the country and for the world, which is going through hard times today.
Concerning Ukraine’s participation in Rio 2016, it should be noted that here we have mixed expectations. With all our heart rooting for our athletes and wishing them success, we realistically expect a decline in medal statistics as compared to the past Olympics, and fear about Ukrainian athletes leaving their homeland after the Games. Serious problems of Ukrainian sport could not be covered by the beautiful sportswear. But that is another story.
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