My fascination with the Olympics begins with the dramatic selection of the host city. There are so many questions, so many big promises and so many people riding on the success of this anointed city that has suddenly been crowned with the mighty and terrifying honor of playing hostess to the entire world.
There is always that suspenseful question hanging in the air…Will they be ready? Everyone always waits with baited breath to see if the city will be able to pull off the impossible and fulfill all of its lofty promises. It is part of the Olympic drama and charm. There are always many critics and skeptics, yet in the end it usually comes together.
Rio has had its fair share of critics. There are many who prophesy failure. There are many who are waiting to point out the weak points and predict disaster. And right now those weak points seem to be stacking higher and higher for the large city in Brazil. The Olympic Village has plumbing issues (Why is it always the Plumbing?!) and there are reports that the sewers can’t hold all of the extra waste. They are also saying that the already bulging infrastructure won’t be able to keep up with the added traffic, there isn’t enough security (Is there ever enough?), the water is dirty, and the mosquitoes will most assuredly give you Zika. Oh and don’t forget that there are dead bodies in the Beach Volleyball pits.
We have heard this all before…. (Well maybe not the corpse infested sand pits.) Yet Sochi, who had a very similar list of problems a few weeks before the Olympics, was able to pull together some spectacular and relatively flawless games two years ago. (Insert cheeky nod to the defective 5th ring at the Sochi Ceremony….oh and I am sure we all still cringe when we think about Bob Costas’s Pink eye). Ok, nothing is ever perfect. However nothing is ever as bad as it is made out to be either. The pictures of the polluted water are miles away from where the sailors and swimmers will be competing. And unless you’re a pregnant, the Zika virus isn’t the life threatening disease the media would have you believe.
The world likes the “Sky is Falling” reports. The truth is nothing of this magnitude will ever be flawless, but this city is going to do its best. People will be able to cope and make do with what they have. I think Rio will rise to the occasion and exceed everyone’s expectations.
I predict the Olympic Games will have a personality very similar to its host city. I think these games may not be perfect, they may be a little scruffy around the edges, but will be remembered for being the most fun, vibrant and laid back Olympics in the history of the games. So, will they be ready? I don’t know. However, the people of the world, myself included, are on our way. So, “Ready or Not, here we come!”
Find out how it turns out when I arrive in Rio. Follow me at fillingmymap.com and WIBC.com