Rio Olympics to shineJuly 29, 2016
Rio Games to be remembered positively
Just days out from the opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the only stories coming out of the Brazil are tales of woe and negativity. If it’s not the banning of Russian athletes, the Australian team thumbing their nose at the condition of the Olympic village, concerns of security and safety, it’s the constant talk of the Zika virus, and the prominent athletes that have opted not to participate in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Talk about drama and pre-event negativity! Of course, it wouldn’t be an Olympic Games without it.
It’s a familiar rhetoric. The days, months and years preceding any Olympics are always the same, with little in the way of positive reporting. In London, security was the major issue prior to the Games. For Athens, it was their seeming lack of preparation. Beijing too; there was controversy surrounding human rights issues and the relocation of 500,000 residents prior to the start of the games. Not to mention the concerns about pollution levels! There were even fears when the Olympics were held in Sydney, many believed the Aussies wouldn’t have everything ready in time; in fairness, back then, the chief concern was Sydney’s seemingly inadequate transport system – it all went off without a hitch. Yes, it seems that prior to the start of any Olympics, there are countless controversies, fears and concerns about the host nation’s inability to coordinate the event.
Well, it’s worth taking a step back from it all and remembering exactly what the Olympic Games are all about: excellence, friendship and respect. Moreover, it is a period of time every four years when people of different backgrounds, nationalities and beliefs put aside any differences they may have and enjoy the 16 days of entertainment of the highest order.
The Olympics is pure sport. Live theatre played out before a global audience, the best in sports entertainment. The mere fact athletes and spectators have to wait four years in between Games only serves to heighten the importance and significance of each event and add to the drama of it all. There are always controversies, highlights and incredible storylines. Rio will be no different. At the end of it all, there will be fond memories, with the controversies leading up to the event a distant memory. In times where worldwide events and movements may lead some to question it all, Rio may just be the most important Olympics yet. Let the games begin!