4 Oct 2009

Olympics Games 2016: Are we prepared?

In the bid to host the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro was chosen to stage the 2016 Games. By being a Brazilian guy, it sounds nice and bad. It’s nice because finally the world is becoming really globalised and so, it isn’t only in the hands of the same ones of erstwhile.

Some time ago, it was almost impossible to conceive that a South American country might host a World Cup and Olympics Games. Now, we can see it is possible.

For us, Brazilians, it will be a hard challenge. We will need to proof to ourselves that we are able to cope with all kinds of hard tasks that will be risen in front of us as well as to show to the rest of the word that, in spite of being called as 3rd World, we are citizens of respect and capable of managing with such a challenge with creativity and will. The bad part is that we will pay a huge price for this.

First of all, we do not have national hospitals working properly, we do not have a National Health Care System, almost all Federal motorways are in bad conditions, the government does not invest in airports to deal with the internal and external demand for better runways, Air Traffic Control, flights and so forth (on the contrary, it charges all air companies with exorbitant taxes and gives nothing in return), our public transportation is chaotic, etc. In a nutshell, we do not have infrastructure enough to support such an event. Now, in less than six years, we will have to fix all this to the world. How? The government will charge us more than do today to spend this money on World Cup and Olympics Games.

Will it change? I don’t think so. If I well know Brazilian governments, they will only make up and conceal all those failures to foreigners eyes. After those events, “our world” will be back to our normal life.

Thinking regionally, Rio de Janeiro will have to work hard to hide its problems. Yes, I said “hide” since it’s almost impossible to put and end to so many problems that city has in reason of its abandonment and years of corruption and disregard since some decades ago, till now.

Is Rio de Janeiro beautiful? No. I’m sorry for the “cariocas” (people who was born in Rio) but Rio is a mess. There are wonderful places to go, it’s true, but more than 60% of this city is an thorough chaos.

If we look up, we will see slums areas everywhere; if we look down we will notice how dirty the city is. However, there are some nice beaches and places to visit such as “Praia da Barra” and “Ilha de Paquetá”. Ipanema and Copacabana unfortunately aren't like in the old days. Those famous beaches are nice but it are not so clean as they were used to being earlier. Ipanema is also the most sought place by high level prostitutes (or “garotas de programa”, as they like to be called). When I’m walking on the beach, I don’t know if that beautiful girl who is laying down and sunbathing is just a lonely girl enjoying the day or a prostitute awaiting for a client.

Rio, is surrounded by shantytowns where drugs traffic control everything, including the Police. It’s weird to see police officers carrying heavy weapons over theirs shoulders in a common daily basis but if they don’t, there’s a huge probability of being killed by bandits.
Welcome to Rio!

Nonetheless, Rio is not only about bad things and violence. Cariocas, usually, are nice people. They know the problems they have to tackle with, and I hope the government may give them all needed support to make this Olympics one of the most remarkable in the history.

This international competition is a big chance to Rio to go back to the earlier days and to become the “Marvellous City” as it was in the earlier 1960’s.

I hope it happens one day, but we will pay high taxes and bills for this forthcoming event.

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