Is Rio all set for the Olympics?

With hardly any days left for the Rio Olympics, let’s try understanding the various challenges the Officials have to take care of before the games start!

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The controversies on the way the arrangements are pacing and joy, tears, pride and anxiety of different countries about the performance of their sportsmen have been the most common scenarios that rule every Olympic Games. Somehow, Rio de Janeiro has outdone all the former host countries on this score. With the economic recession in the background, followed by the impeachment of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, Zika epidemic and water pollution, the officials of Rio, not only are having to shut off various accusations of corruption, indecisiveness, but also are struggling to justify whether the place is worth hosting the big games.

Let’s first try understanding a little about the history of these games

A Brief History of the Olympics

The Olympic Games have a great importance around the globe. But, whose idea was it? The modern Olympic Games were the idea of a French aristocrat by the name Pierre de Coubertin, founded in the year 1896. Was there any purpose behind the games? Pierre de Coubertin, who was fed up with the violence the wars brought, anticipated that these games would divert the gentlemen from the battlefield to the playing field which in turn would help in achieving harmony in the world. The five interlocking rings of Coubertin’s Olympic flag represented the five continents and all the world’s nations.

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Rio Crowded with Challenges

Getting the venue ready for the big games is the biggest challenge every host country has been facing right from the beginning of these games.  Rio de Janeiro is a way ahead of the previous host countries regarding the challenges part. Let’s see the different challenges Rio is struggling with, just before the big games start.

Displacement of Citizens from their homes

The biggest controversy the city is facing is that of the displacement. Many people were uprooted from their homes for the sole purpose of building projects around Rio for Olympics.

There is quite a contrast to the figures produced by the officials and those told by the political opposition. The question that arises now is Where did the officials move these uprooted people to, did they receive a fair compensation and who are the people that benefitted from the property of those people.

While the Mayor of the city proudly claims that it is the poor who have benefitted and that the games have changed their lives for better; for critics, this is one of many indicators that the city’s priorities are skewed towards the wealthy elite.

Community living just a few meters away from the edge of the Olympic Park are refusing to leave claiming their old property right on their houses. The new homes for the displaced families are running on a tight schedule and are expected to be ready just 12 days before the event starts.

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Water pollution

One of the fairy tale pledges made by Rio is that of Guanabara Bay, which hosts three of the five Olympic sailing courses. But this only turned out to be a big disappointment. Till very recently, the Bay with the backdrop of Rio’s stunning sights is now filled with the stench of human waste and other forms of pollution. According to the Officials, there have been improvements and millions were spent on tripling the sewage treatment in the bay.

The stench would be a great embarrassment to the host city as this might have an impact on the sailing competition. The sailors in test events complained that they had to put up even with the debris and not just the smell. The Officials might use nets, barriers and rubbish-fishing vessels as a temporary fix.

The most alarming issue is that of the health risks. The very recent water samples indicated harmful levels of viruses, faecal coliform bacteria and super bacteria in the waters.

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Traffic Maze

The next challenge before the officials of Rio is getting the countless number of guests from the hotels lined up on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the Olympic Park solving the biggest traffic maze of Rio. The Officials did find an answer to this problem, an extension to the subway system known as Line 4.

The proposed expansion would go all way from the beach areas, under all the car-clogged roads to the Olympic Park. But the economic recession and the events in Brazil did have an effect on the way the things progressed. The subway which had to be all set for July will now open only on August 1st, just four days before the event. Though the Officials are hopeful on getting it started by August 1st, let’s see how things turn out!

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Security Concerns

With the countries from all over the world participating in the games, safety is the next biggest challenge the Officials have to take care. With the unpredictable attacks from ISIS now and then, security is on the top priority list of the Officials who have the most complex task of managing everything on their plate.

Finally, whatever drawbacks the Officials might not be able to fill up by the Games start, there are a whole lot of other things each of us will be looking forward to experience. Like any other Olympics, this too will stand as a torch of hope and aspiration to the sportsmen and a sense of pride to all the winning countries.