Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rio Olympics 2016 I

Having enjoyed the London 2012 Olympics enormously, particularly being fortunate enough to obtain tickets for "Super Saturday" at the Stratford Arena - London Olympics - the Rio 2016 Olympics have much to live up to.

Of course Rio itself looks wonderful from the sea or main Olympic stadium and coast roads.

The sporting events themselves have so far, been riveting to watch on TV. For example trampolining is not a sport that I have ever thought about previously but as reported on the BBC:

Bryony Page became the first British woman to win an Olympic trampoline medal by claiming silver in Rio.

The Gold for the coxless rowing fours was also great to watch reminding me of rowing in eights and fours in schoolboy days. The cycling feats were brilliant particularly the gold medal team of Sir Bradley Wiggins as were the great efforts of the divers earlier - again not a sport that I would usually take an interest in.

On the other hand, the political backdrop to the Rio  Olympics is in reality a disaster with President Rousseff about to be impeached for alleged corruption.

The green water in the diving pool looked very unpleasant. Then there are  the large number of empty seats in the Olympic sporting centres giving a forlorn background atmosphere to some of the  sporting venues, despite the exhilarating sports taking place there and the poverty of many  in Rio cause one to wonder whether their best interests are being served by the Games being held in their city at all.

My personal opinion is that the answer to the final point in the previous paragraph will eventually be seen to be positive. As the redevelopment of Stratford in London illustrates, undertaking hugely expensive  work to rehabilitate lands that have been derelict or worse for years,  needs courage  and the expenditure of huge sums of  government money. Dereliction will simply continue in the absence of courage coupled with  a readiness to expend huge sums now, in the expectation of benefiting the generations  to come.

Being host to the Olympic Games is the best possible incentive for redeveopment. The costs may be huge but the  work then  has to be done. The alternative of leaving the lands derelict assist no one. Thus in the long term at least, the financial  cost to Brazil will in my view prove to be worthwhile.

The Rio Olympics are hardly yet  at the half way stage and today is the Rio equivalent of London's Super Saturday.

The excitement and feats of endurance to come will surely be as exhilarating as ever.

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