With the Olympic cauldron now extinguished and the flag handed to Tokyo and “Tremendous Mario,” this is a number of the great, the dangerous and the ugly from South America’s first Video games.
Winter within the Southern Hemisphere is best than winter within the Northern Hemisphere.
Rio’s Video games have been principally bathed within the type of balmy sunshine you think about once you daydream of Caipirinhas on the Copacabana, beside from the odd bathe that served as a welcome settle down.
Though completely agreeable for almost all of the vacationers who descended on the town, the temperatures seemingly proved inhospitable for mosquitos.
After a few days of diligently making use of insect repellant, it shortly turned apparent it wasn’t required.
Regardless of fears over the mozzies and the attainable transmission of the Zika virus, they clearly determined to skip the festivities.
Their absence allowed individuals to benefit from the venues, particularly the beautiful seashore volleyball area.
On the sands of one of many world’s most well-known seashores, a stone’s throw from the ocean and with Sugarloaf Mountain peeking excessive of the stands, the open-air area was the place to be.
This was very true for the midnight finals which have been the epitome of a contemporary Olympic spectacle with a continuing sensory barrage of loud music and dancers — it even had its personal home band.
The stands rocked, actually, as Brazil made it to each finals taking gold within the males’s competitors whereas the ladies needed to accept silver.
It was the right finish to the game’s first look within the Olympic program, a raucous crowd cheering on a nation succeeding in a sport it adores.
Watching these man-mountains burst into floods of tears was heartwarming, all of the extra so contemplating Fiji continues to be recovering from the devastating results of Cyclone Winston final February.
It was the right reminder of what the Olympics are all about. For each serial medalist like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, there are athletes for whom the celebs align simply as soon as in a lifetime. And Fiji grabbed their alternative with each palms.
Sadly, the Deodoro venue can be remembered much less fondly than the champions it hosted.
A two-practice commute from the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema, it felt neither notably Brazilian nor notably Olympic.
Located on a army base and half-hour by foot from the closest practice station, getting into Deodoro required an extended parade previous numerous troopers and camouflaged 4x4s.
It was a crucial safety precaution however the sight of tanks and machine weapons does not encourage the type of lighthearted frivolity one expects from a day on the Olympics.
And that is with out mentioning the stray bullet that discovered its approach into the park. It is maybe no shock that Deodoro has been minimize from the Paralympic program.
One other blot on Rio’s report card is the quantity of empty seats at various Olympic venues.
It has been steered that locals have been priced out of attending occasions — comprehensible given Brazil’s financial woes — and that these have been seats company sponsors weren’t capable of fill.
Regardless of the cause, it appears inexcusable that the Olympic Stadium wasn’t packed out when Bolt bumped into historical past and clinched the “triple-triple.”
You additionally need to really feel for Elaine Thompson, Bolt’s fellow Jamaican who gained the ladies’s one hundred-meters in entrance of a stadium roughly 60% full.
One other ugly spectacle was the diving pool, which turned inexperienced early on within the Video games, a lot to the confusion of organizers and the amusement of tens of millions around the globe.
Though solely innocent — to not point out, completely suited to the official Rio 2016 shade scheme — it created the impression that Brazil wasn’t one hundred% ready for these Olympics.
It additionally did not assist divers who have been pressured to postpone apply periods.
Given fears over crime and terrorism, it is comprehensible that these Video games have been so closely secured. However it’s exhausting to remain within the Olympic spirit when, each which approach you flip, is the sight of a soldier brandishing a big rifle.
It additionally created a way that, whereas the town was heat and hospitable all through, the actual Rio was hiding someplace out of view — for higher or for worse.
It made for a really clear and sanitized expertise, if not totally genuine.
The ugliest spectacle, nevertheless, has been saved till final.
The sideshow created by Ryan Lochte and his fellow swimmers overshadowed three days of precise sport and led to tensions between the US and their Brazilian hosts.
Whereas its attainable to debate the rights and wrongs of what might or might not have occurred, the actual disgrace is that Lochte took the media highlight away from athletes who do not occupy middle stage as often as he does.
The entire episode will even linger within the reminiscence for so long as another second from these Olympics, which is the actual tragedy.
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