It’s been a rocky road so far for the Brazilians with the Olympic Games now only days away. From the announcement of the venue, the authorities have been plagued with financial problems, scandals and scaremongering. And the world’s media are loving it!
The latest news involves the entire Russian team, which is desperately trying to overturn a ban from the Games for widespread, long-term doping allegations. So far, only the athletics team is banned, with a few exceptions and 68 other competitors from various sporting disciplines are awaiting their fate from the International Olympic Committee and individual sports bodies. Russian sports ministry officials are also banned from the Games.
But away from the events, other issues are being raised, the most recent being the revelation that the Olympics media village has been built on ‘sacred’ mass grave of African slaves destroying archaeological remains at site. The media village, Grand Club Verdant, will be sold to private buyers after the Games. The land was acquired in 2013 and the site was cleared of hundreds of trees, destroyed a community football pitch and the remains of the old slave owner’s house and the slavery-era sugar mill. Brazil was one of the most prolific advocates of slavery, and by 1888, between four and five million Africans had been sent to the country.
We are all aware of the Zika virus threat but there has just this week emerged another potential problem. Brazilian scientists discovered that a drug-resistant “super bacteria” is lurking in the waters off some of Rio’s most popular beaches and some Olympic sailors have already reported “severe” skin irritation during practice runs with the white sails of their boats turning brown due to an oil slick in the water.
Hail the Hero
However, every Games has a hero, an underdog. Remember Eddie the Eagle and Eric (the Eel) Moussanbani, not forgetting the Jamaican bobsleigh team? This year, an Indian man Dattu Bhokanal who up until recently had no idea what the Olympics were will be competing in the rowing competition, the only Indian rower to make it to Rio. He picked up an oar for the first time in 2012, having been encouraged to attempt the sport by his army employers. “When they told me I’d qualified for the Olympics and that I was going to Rio, I didn’t even know what it meant,” he says.
It is worth remembering that every Olympics is beset with problems. Preparations for London 2012 were literally only finished hours before the opening ceremony. And it didn’t stop the wrong Korean flag being hoisted during the first medal ceremony. All the world can do now is wait and see what happens. The infrastructure is in place and the competitors are booking their flights.
With the good weather in this country expected to last for a few more weeks, there will be plenty of communal places to relax and watch the sport. If you are hosting an event this summer, make sure that your ovens and appliances are in full working order. If you want us here at AC Services (Southern) to pop round and check them out, simply give us a call on 01454 322 222