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Rio 2016: Your verdict

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/\ So what?  :rolleyes:  

Coca-Cola Games?  #1 - it's NOT Coca-Cola's fault that the Games were awarded to Atlanta.  Billy Payne had NO Connection whatsoever with the Coca-Cola Corp, other than being in the same city.

#2 -  If you read the right books, you should learn that Coca-Cola gave the same amount of seed money to the 5 competing bids, precisely because of fears of "favoritism" that ignorant parties like you, would tend to believe.  And besides, without Coca-Cola's backing and the other major American corporations' "donations" to the IOC, you would probably not be seeing these Olympic Games today.  

Now,let me continue ...

- Media bus fired at, almost wounding or killing foreign media people.  

- I am watching the Rhythmic Gymnastics' final, I CANNOT believe the predominant, puke/bile green color of the carpeting they laid out -- giving the gymnasts a sick green pallor. 

- At these Rio Games, something brought out the worst behavior in Arab/muslim towards another nation, Israel, since Munich 1972!  From the opening ceremony glitch of the organizers putting both the Lebanese and Israeli teams in the same bus; the Egyptian judoka not wanting to shake the hand of the Israeli competitor.  And these are the Olympic Games...

- do you want me to go on??  :blink:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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1 hour ago, Baptista said:

And Atlanta had a bomb!!!

Well some Atlanta issues:

 - Coca-Cola Games (Athens, sorry but see you in 2004)

 - Transport problems (also)

"No one wants another Atlanta. The 1996 Games provided a cautionary tale of Olympic travel woes — with bus drivers getting lost, athletes arriving moments before their events and overloaded trains that couldn’t get residents home. It prompted the International Olympic Committee to lay out demands to make sure it didn’t happen again.

 

“Atlanta was an unmitigated transport disaster,” rail expert Christian Wolmar said. “

 

 - Informatic problems

This is from wiki but it´s ok:

"A report prepared by European Olympic officials after the Games was critical of Atlanta's performance in several key issues, including the level of crowding in the Olympic Village, the quality of available food, the accessibility and convenience of transportation, and the Games' general atmosphere of commercialism.[17] At the closing ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and simply called the Games "most exceptional." This broke precedent for Samaranch, who had traditionally labeled each Games "the best Olympics ever" at each closing ceremony, a practice he resumed at the subsequent Games in Sydney in 2000."

Don´t be mad, just open your eyes. Maybe Atlanta Games were not so cool as you believe.

 

Well, all that was before Rio 2016 happened.  And there is new winner - Rio 2016!! :lol:

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Let's all agree that the worst Games ever were Saint-Louis and the best Lillehammer. ^_^

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2 hours ago, baron-pierreIV said:

Oh boy, you shouldn't have said that!!  Atlanta only had 3 marks -- like the 2 bus drivers who walked away, the results system which broke down, and the over-commercialization atmosphere which was OUTSIDE any of the official venues).

You conveniently left out the Centennial Park bombing. And before you say, "well, that wasn't at an Olympic venue & was beyond the Atlanta organizers control" - a lot on your "list" is also not at an Olympic venue &/or is also out of the Rio organizers control. Like -

..the good ole "Zika virus" hysteria keeping some athletes (which mainly were the pretentious male golfers anyway, so no real loss there, since that wasn't one of the marquee events of these Games, & golf really only being back after 108 years), & visitors away. Who's fault really is that anyways, besides the fricken, OTT doomsday scenario media?? And all for what, cuz the medias Zika BS was all moot in the end. 

"the messy Russian attendance" - again here, how IS that Brazil's fault?? If anything, that "messy" Russian athlete attendance gave other nations a chance to medal, where otherwise they wouldn't (& that could also include the U.S. in some of those gymnastic events).

"Village not ready when athletes checking in" - the Australians seemed to be the only ones with issues there. Cuz the American delegation was "thrilled" with their accommodations. So you're overselling that one.

"cheap, unfinished venues" - they served their purpose & were ultimately finished on time, weren't they? With all the heat the IOC is facing about expensive, white elephant venues in previous host cities, this should be the least of their worries. 

"the uncertain, domestic political situation" - this is just unfortunate timing & something beyond the Rio organizers' control.

"low ticket sales" - again here, the sensational 'Rio 2016 is going to be a calamity' media is mostly to blame here to start with. Granted, the organizers probably should've done something else when they started seeing initial weak ticket sales, but that wasn't the main cause in the first place.

As for the rest of your list, it's pretty much petty where most people would find insignificant, if they even noticed such idiosyncracies to begin with.

2 hours ago, Baptista said:

Don´t be mad, just open your eyes. Maybe Atlanta Games were not so cool as you believe.

Exactly - & in addition to the partial EOC report that you posted, I'm sure if we were to dig up old articles from twenty years ago on the Atlanta Games, we'd surely find many pieces that picked apart those Centennial Olympics & the Atlanta 1996 Organizers, to the most minutia of details like some are doing here.

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/\/\   But add it all up, and Rio will have just dethroned Atlanta for really, the MOST SHAM-BOLIC Games yet.  They bit off more than they could chew.   

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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44 minutes ago, FYI said:

You conveniently left out the Centennial Park bombing -- That was one nut's fault and it WASN'T an official competition venue.  

..the good ole "Zika virus" hysteria keeping some athletes (which mainly were the pretentious male golfers anyway, so no real loss there, since that wasn't one of the marquee events of these Games, & golf really only being back after 108 years), & visitors away. Who's fault really is that anyways, besides the fricken,  -- well, it still scared off visitors and athletes.  Nothing like that on Atlanta's calendar.  

"the messy Russian attendance" - again here, how IS that Brazil's fault??-- Still connected with these Games and impacted the competition.  

"Village not ready when athletes checking in" - the Australians seemed to be the only ones with issues there. One MAJOR delegation was enough; also resulting in having media and athletic personal belongings being ripped off.  NEVER HAPPENED in LA, Atlanta or Slat Lake  

"cheap, unfinished venues" - they served their purpose & were ultimately finished on time, weren't they?  Cheap stuff.

"low ticket sales" -  reflects the low involvement of the general Brazilian public.  .

1

You can say what you want about Altanta, but if they went with Athens instead, that might've made Rio 2016  look good.   B)

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Some of you may remember that I “debuted” as a contributor on here with my verdict on the Summer Olympics in London – an edition of the Olympic Games I genuinely enjoyed, felt an emotional connection to and which were marked by precision & efficiency. I also remember saying that Rio de Janeiro would do things its own way and that it would be “stellar”.

Well, I think we all can agree that the Brazilian metropolis DID have its day in the sun (thankfully, quite literally on many an occasion). But in what way?

Personally, I feel that there is a bit of a mixed picture that emerges. Before I get into the substance of my remarks, I think a little introductory words will help: First, I genuinely respect the people of Brazil and am fascinated by Brazilian culture & history. Brazilians have been part of my circle of friends, and I genuinely appreciate the country's spirit and love of life. Second, since the New Delhi comparison was raised here, whilst German, I also happen to be the child of Indian immigrants: Hence, I’m also aware of the developing world perspective (also in terms of the Olympic Games) – though my life has been spent in Europe and my loyalties are firmly towards Germany. Third, as many of you have noticed, my view of the IOC has turned sharply towards a mixture of revulsion and rejection of the organization – all the while still advocating the entire concept and idea of the Olympic Games. Finally, I have been a proud member of the couch potato faction – I watched all the events on the telly or my cellphone (depending on work commitments and the like), primarily on German TV. All of that said, and without much further ado, here’s my overall verdict on Rio 2016.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

OPENING CEREMONY: Well done! I genuinely liked the Opening Ceremony, which provided a genuine relief and reassurance after months of quasi-catastrophic news of impending disaster by the ever-so-sensationalist media across the world (more about this in a bit). The cultural bits were very enjoyable, especially the ones involving Brazilian musical genres and the introduction to the country’s history. I agree with Rols that the transition to the climate change segment was somewhat jarring. In my view, looking back on it two weeks later, it would have been useful to create a better link as to how this relates to the Olympic Games. One way to do so could have been a montage of how former Olympic hosts will be affected by climate change – which would have possibly generated a major wow moment for an impartial audience. Of course, climate change deniers would have carped one way or the other – but it would have been even more enlightening for an international audience.

Notwithstanding the actual reasons, I liked the smaller feel of the ceremony. It was compact, well-managed, and crafted in a way that could hold the interest of TV audiences. The national anthem was beautiful: Quiet, humble, contemplative – maybe a reflection of Brazil in the midst of several major crises, and perfectly appropriate. Even two weeks later, the transition to the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron felt rushed, lacking dramatic tension and with not as much of a payoff for TV viewers. The cauldron itself left me somewhat cold, then again, I’m not going to judge an entire 4-hour long ceremony by the design of the Olympic Cauldron.

The Parade of Nations was a gripe of mine four years ago and remains one now as well. I know that the world is a much-changed place since the “good, old days”, and the colours, outfits, gestures of the individual teams are a topic of watercooler discussion (online and offline) in themselves. But surely, this can be achieved by cutting the number of people doing the actual tour of the stadium oval – for example by limiting it to a maximum of 100 people per team (and not permitting officials to walk – after all, they are not the ones competing), and letting everyone else take their seats on the pitch (whilst TV cameras are turned elsewhere). Where the Queen shone with her grace and aplomb, interim President Temer was a symbol of everything that went wrong with Brazil. Listening to Thomas Bach after his spineless, cowardly surrender to the Russian NOC made me wish for the boring Jacques Rogge. Heck, I’d even take Lord Killanin!

Originally, I was thinking about doing this write-up of my thoughts on the Rio Games after the Closing Ceremony. However, I tend to be sceptical about the modern iteration of Closing Ceremonies. They have devolved into musical and cultural free-for-alls with little relation to the Olympics themselves, with only a minimal connection to the preceding two weeks. The London CC somewhat alienated me, as it became one giant pop concert and a wasted opportunity. Bearing in mind the discussions about costs of staging the Olympic Games, one my favoured ideas would be to pare down the CC, open it up (by pricing it accordingly) to a mixture of people from across the social strata and really keeping it to the essentials (Marathon Medals Ceremony, extinguishing of the Flame, very minimal closing remarks by the officials and one or two musical numbers for the athletes, possibly complemented by a closing montage and the presentation of the next Host City). Alas, I digress.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TRANSPORT: There weren’t many reports on transport issues in Rio. The BRT seems to have worked quite well, which is always worthy of praise – buses were apparently delayed on occasion, but Olympic Lanes seemed to operate smoothly. Sometimes, no news is indeed good news.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE SPORTS: In London, I had an unambiguously positive judgment. Given the complexities of my feelings towards Rio 2016, I have divided this section into several elements.

Doping: Four years ago, I rated this section to be “awesome”. This time around, my feelings are somewhat more mixed. The participation of the Russian delegation indelibly taints the Olympics in my view, as does the presence of (former) cheats like Gaitlin and Efimova. These individuals should have never been permitted to compete at these Olympic Games – and the Russians should have been summarily suspended. In Rio, the Russian Federation won 54 medals. These are 54 medals which will have been athletes from countries with no proven history of being compromised by doping. Once you add medals and narrow finishes by those who cheated, you start getting an idea of how much doping has already stained the sport. And that’s prior to any doping offences becoming known in the decade to come. I hope that once those blood and urine samples are unsealed, we will not see the steep fall of legends – but the likes of Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich and Ben Johnson should have taught all of us to be careful. My faith in sporting achievements, especially in swimming and athletics, has been shattered by the scandals of the past few years. The spate of even more otherworldly world records (especially in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre) doesn’t exactly strengthen my faith. In a way, I’m glad that Usain Bolt showed some athletic frailty and didn’t get another WR.

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Athletes and Local Support: The achievements of the athletes in Rio are to be celebrated. Bolt and Farah repeated their feats of days of yore, as did David Rudisha and Michael Phelps. Yes, there are stories behind all of these, narratives which are neatly packaged for the broadcast media and designed to evoke a reaction in the public – whether it’s Phelps’ battle with alcoholism, Farah’s redemption after being accused of doping or the girl-next-door-ness of many American swimmers. But (and that might be my cynicism taking its toll), it all felt a little bit like “been there, done that”. One thing that I noticed was that there was no local “star of the games” – unlike Michael Johnson in Atlanta, Cathy Freeman in Sydney, Liu Xiang in Beijing and Jessica Ennis in London, there was no one sportsperson the audience in the Host  Country could rally around. The closest thing might have been the Brazilian football team, but such a projection may very well have been hampered by first, the lingering doubts in Brazil since the country’s catastrophic World Cup defeat to Germany in 2014 and, second, the turmoil in Brazil overall. Such a local star helps crystallize support for the Olympic Games – and I believe Brazil could have done with one.

There were touching moments: The NZ athlete helping her American competitor and essentially abandoning her own race was the display of the Olympic ideal in action. Fiji winning its first-ever gold medal was a sight to see, as was New Zealand’s women rugby team performing the haka after being defeated by Australia. The Jamaican runners dancing after Bolt secured his treble triple was a sight to see, as was (and I’m saying this as an avid German football fan) Neymar’s glance up to the sky when he scored the deciding penalty in the gold medal final. Monica Puig beating Angelique Kerber stood out to me, as did the hug between del Potro and Murray – both moments after pitched battles in the tennis finals. Brazil’s first gold medal being won by an athlete raised in the City of God was a beautiful moment, poignant and yet a reminder of that other Olympic ideal: rising from adversity and struggle. Talking of which, another such moment was our gymnast Andreas Toba severely injuring his ligament and still jumping on that pommel horse (under severe pain) and helping to get the men’s gymnastics team into the all-around final. It is sad that these moments of humanity, of friendship, of sportsmanship in action are increasingly overshadowed by the macabre, malicious and mendacious.

The atmosphere among the athletes has been poisoned by doping accusations, with many openly accusing one another. This is what happens when the IOC just rolls over to a major world power. Pretending that sport isn’t political is, in itself a political statement of false neutrality. As Einstein once said: If you don’t do anything in the face of wrongdoing, you aid and abet that very wrongdoing.

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GERMANY’S PERFORMANCE: We did quite alright, considering that we ended up in fifth place. That is somewhat soured by the fact that we could have been fourth if Russia had been banned under the leadership of a German IOC President. Our swimmers (bar two, Paul Biedermann and Philipp Heintz) delivered sub-par performances and came up with a spate of pretty pathetic excuses. Sorry, but if you’re at the Olympic Games, you don’t compete to score 9th, but to end up third at the very least or try to come very close. I don’t buy that Germany has to remain behind in the pool. Clearly, much work has to be done in terms of mentality and psychological coaching. In athletics, apart from the performances of Christoph Harting and Thomas Röhler, there was little by way of hopeful and happy news for most German athletes in track & field.

BUT I have been overjoyed by us doing well in equestrian, tennis, canoeing, rowing, shooting, sailing and gymnastics (well done, Fabian Hambüchen), beach volleyball, football, volleyball and field hockey. The highest number of golds for the longest time is nothing to sneeze at and should be celebrated. Yes, we can do better – and Britain proves how this can be done. Hopefully, we will learn from the UK and be in contention for second by 2024/28. Of course, Germany’s position is enviable compared to most NOCs. That said, considering the money spent and our economic capacity, I do believe that should expect even more. But for now, I’m happy and grateful for every single athlete willing to show the grit, go the extra mile and do what needs doing to win and represent us well.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ORGANIZATION, LOGISTICS AND HOSTS: Right, now let’s get to the rough part of my evaluation of these Olympic Games. Yes, I get that Brazil is a developing country – in fact it’s one of the BRICS countries alongside India, South Africa, China and Russia. Yes, I get that no one could predict an economic crisis, the impeachment of a sitting President, the implication of the entire political leadership in a series of corruption scandals or the spread of the Zika virus. At least not in 2009. That said, that doesn’t let Brazil and the organizers off the hook in my views.

The queues in many venues were way too long. The empty seats in many stadiums (beach volleyball, tennis, athletics, volleyball, field hockey, you name it) and the rather sparsely populated ropelines around the outdoor events (including today’s marathon) spoke volumes, both in terms of the Brazilian population’s ambivalence about the entire event and the incompetence of the Rio 2016 Committee. Contrast that with the LOCOG under Sebastian Coe’s leadership: on the first day, there were a few empty seats as well. The Committee reacted well and opened those sponsor contingents up for general sale. Another part of the Rio organizing committee’s hubris were the ticket prices, which approached $50-75 on average – the kind of wages which many in Rio de Janeiro cannot afford. Let’s be blunt: These weren’t Olympic Games for all Brazilians, but primarily the well-connected and the well-to-do.

Which brings me to my surprise about the next point: The conduct of many (not all!) Brazilian fans. First, there was the booing of interim President Temer: whilst I strongly approved of it, it was a harbinger of things to come. Whilst I get sports enthusiasm (I mean, hello, I’m from Germany and am passionate about football – whilst also having seen the passion of Indians about cricket first-hand), I didn’t enjoy the boorishness of many audiences during these Olympic Games. That’s right: Boorishness is the word that comes to mind when you boo someone just because a competitor is Argentinian, or for that case anyone who is opposing the Brazilian athletes. Witnessed during the tennis semifinal between Spaniard Nadal and Argentinian del Potro, for instance. Or during the beach volleyball, the pole vault final, the football penalty shootout etc. No, criticizing this behaviour has nothing to do with some sort of colonial hangover or arrogant First Worldism. It has a lot to do with me being very uneasy with audiences using their collective force to intimidate and influence competitors during their sports, and just being unsportsmanlike. The Brits, the Aussies, the Greeks, the Americans, even the Chinese and heck, the Indians at the Commies did better than that.

For all the flaws of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, you didn’t see Indians (for all their passion) booing Pakistanis, let alone the Commonwealth athletes from those countries whose media outlets most vociferously criticized the Games. An Olympic Games lives off its audience, its spectators and the support of the public in the Host Country: The audience exuded a sense of joy as long as their athletes reigned unchallenged, but turned vicious in some instances when they were under threat by foreigners. That said, of course there were exceptions, like the women’s beach volleyball finals when the German team squarely beat the Brazilians.

Of course, with the first few days gone, there were many feel-good stories and statements trying to taper over an ineffectively organized Games. The cuts to the Paralympic Games technically amount to a breach of contract (and certainly a non-enforceable breach of trust), many of which resulted from incompetence on part of the Olympic organizers and exaggerated demands by the IOC. There was no major terrorist attack (hopefully this stays this way until the end of the Closing Ceremony), so the military and paramilitary deployments worked on that account. That said, this doesn’t gloss over the security issues which weren’t imagined by the media – robberies of athletes and officials (of the non-Lochte/dumb frat boy variety), buses being attacked. Clearly, something was amiss, but it’s only fair to state that it did not rise to the level of apocalyptic nightmares promised to us by TV networks.

Problems with overhead cameras and persistent issues at the Olympic Village (complained about by Australians and Austrians, among others) rounded off a distinctly mediocre picture of the organization of these Olympic Games.

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MEDIA: This time around, I witnessed the coverage exclusively through the prism of Germany’s two public broadcast channels. I may very well go back and watch some of the BBC’s coverage via the Iplayer, since I really liked their reporting during London 2012. That said, here is my opinion: German channels have this annoying habit of engaging in what we Germans would refer to as “Betroffenheitsjournalismus” – human-interest stories being emphasized, always focusing on the problems of a Host Country, inane interviews with sportsmen about how they feel etc. Conversely, when Olympic officials and German NOC officials DO grace the TV studios, the journalists don’t ask the hard questions – presumably because of the channels’ dependence on the IOC for broadcast rights and, in Germany’s case, a NOC official actually sitting on the Executive Board of Channel 2 (the ZDF).

And during the reporting of actual events, there are always comments from the commentators like “Well, this is a truly impressive achievement, but let us remember that (Athlete A/B/C) was not checked for doping in his home country, and that Country A/B/C doesn’t have as impressive an anti-doping verification system as Germany”. What annoyed me the most about that was simple: There was this “by the way” dismissal of achievements, without actually delving into the connections – leaving audiences to insinuate. It also came across as a tad jingoistic at times, especially as cases in Germany’s past (East German swimmers, Kathrin Krabbe post-reunification, Dieter Baumann etc) were glossed over. Scepticism is warranted, and credible reporting on Olympic corruption, deceit and doping is very welcome – but the manner in which Germany’s public channels did it was very haphazard and jarring.

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OVERALL VERDICT: It wasn’t a disaster. Well, we don’t know what effect these Olympic Games will (or will not) have on the spread of the Zika virus. Maybe none or maybe somewhat. We’ll see. The World Health Organization doesn’t exactly have the best track record in recognizing health calamities (Ebola, SARS) – so forgive me if I reserve judgment until next year or so, especially in light of the letter by 500 doctors and scientists which advised moving or cancelling the Games. But no, there was no Munich Massacre, there were no dead athletes or body parts hitting the Olympic sailors.

That said, this is genuinely not the standard by which an Olympic Games can, should and needs to be measured. It’s not First Worldism to demand basic organizational competence from an Olympic Host. Rio de Janeiro had a full seven years to deal with its crime, air & water pollution, audience planning, stadium delivery and myriad public health issues. It didn’t deliver. Surely, if we’re going to lambast Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, then we can’t just give a pass to Rio de Janeiro by making excuses for it or marking all criticism of these Games as lacking in solidarity with the Brazilian people. Their enthusiasm for the Games and welcoming the world deserved to be rewarded, but was let down by corrupt politicians, self-serving officials and broadcasters more interested in a quick hit piece than actual reporting. Rio deserved better, the Olympic Games deserved better.

In other words, this was a wasted opportunity. The first Olympic Games in Latin America should have been cause and the pretext for a joyous celebration of sport and its power to bring people together, an occasion to create peace (remember the Olympic Truce – Bach no longer even pays lip service to that). Instead, the glare of the event exposed deep fissures within Brazilian society, whether its the deep-seated poverty, the two-tier standards in healthcare, basic dignity etc – as well as strong divides between nations on the issue of doping. The security issues in Rio de Janeiro were well-known in 2009, as was the socioeconomic situation of many Brazilians. So was the corruption of the Brazilian political establishment. Therefore, the excuse of these things not being clear don’t really wash with me. That said, no one forced Rio de Janeiro to apply for these Olympic Games despite having those glaring issues. Much of the responsibility lies with the IOC (Bach’s press conference revealed a deeply troubling view of facts on his part) and the local organizers. The proverbial bill for this party (the image most used for the Olympics these days) will have to be footed by the Brazilian taxpayer.

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HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER? Well, I’m not one to just complain (or even praise) and offer no solutions for the way forward. I’ve outlined elsewhere how improvements can be made to the entire Olympic Games.

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TL:DR; OVERALL GRADE: All in all, a solid C. Somewhere between Atlanta and Montréal. Certainly not a Barcelona, London, Sydney or even a first part of Munich (pre-terror attack). More like an update of Mexico City 1968, with more social media, HD television and flashy graphics.

 

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Just luv how you conveniently quoted my last post to suit your short-sighted & prejudicial vision of these Games. 

That "one nut job" (which investigators blamed the wrong guy at first) still IMPACTED (as the word you used in one of your points against Rio) the Atlanta Games & it still happened at Centennial OLYMPIC Park. Even if it wasn't an "official venue", many people at the park were still there for the 1996 OLYMPICS.

As for the rest of your post, it's nothing but Ryan Lochte "over-exaggeration". Nothing but pure embellishment at its best. You should get a gold medal for that. :P

26 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

/\/\   But add it all up, and Rio will have just dethroned Atlanta for really, the MOST SHAM-BOLIC Games yet.  They bit off more than they could chew.   

Considering that Atlanta couldn't do (in the best of times in a developed country) what Rio did do (in the worst of times in a developing country), is a great achievement in itself.

Say what negative malarky that you like, but Rio & Brazil (& the IOC for that matter) should be proud of what they have accomplished in such a trying & dire time in the history of Brazil, & all in the midst of chastising (& unwarranted in many cases) criticism from the a lot of the international media (& from people like you & Paul). So well done Rio 2016 & Brazil!!!

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4 minutes ago, FYI said:

Just luv how you conveniently quoted my last post to suit your short-sighted & prejudicial vision of these Games. 

That "one nut job" (which investigators blamed the wrong guy at first) still IMPACTED (as the word you used in one of your points against Rio) the Atlanta Games & it still happened at Centennial OLYMPIC Park. Even if it wasn't an "official venue", many people at the park were still there for the 1996 OLYMPICS.

As for the rest of your post, it's nothing but Ryan Lochte "over-exaggeration". Nothing but pure embellishment at its best. You should get a gold medal for that. :P

Considering that Atlanta couldn't do (in the best of times in a developed country) what Rio did do (in the worst of times in a developing country), is a great achievement in itself.

Say what negative malarky that you like, but Rio & Brazil (& the IOC for that matter) should be proud of what they have accomplished in such a trying & dire time in the history of Brazil, & all in the midst of chastising (& unwarranted in many cases) criticism from the a lot of the international media (& from people like you & Paul). So well done Rio 2016 & Brazil!!!

totally agree with you !!!!!

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A word about the little pissing contest here about Atlanta or Rio being worse.

Well, I'm sorry, but Rio (for all the flaws I have outlined) is and will remain an iconic location. The problems of these Olympic Games were a confluence of internal incompetence, longstanding problems in the city (which still should have been addressed), external bad choices (Russian doping, a sports programme that is too large) and turbulent international affairs overall. Atlanta, well, was an aberration and outlier. Yes, the city won the Summer Olympics, but only because Athens was too incompetent to wage a decent candidacy which was more than an accumulation of clichés.

Once Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games, Mr Samaranch and his colleagues regretted the choice straight away. Problems with the mass transit, a tacky and uninspiring Opening Ceremony (though the flourish with Muhammed Ali WAS great!), problems with the recording of electronic scores and the overboarding commercialization were bad enough, as was the jingoism promoted by NBC (the host broadcaster) back in the day. The Centennial Park bombing (for all the quibbles about whether it was part of the official grounds) was the worst incident since the Munich Massacre that happened in an Olympic city during the staging of the Olympics. No wonder the IOC and the wider sporting world were actually relieved by the smooth and well-executed organization of Sydney 2000 by Coates, McGeogh & Co. So yeah, gotta side with FYI here.

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5 hours ago, LOUIS said:

There is no such thing as "best games". All this nonsense started in the 80s with Samaranch and it really has to stop. Of course people may have personal favorites based on completely diverging criteria.

 

Couldn't agree more. This crap contributed to everything that went wrong with the Olympic Movement in the past generation or so...

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Analysis: Thank you Rio de Janeiro, it was interesting!

1035293-olimpiadas_abertura-2104.jpg

In recent months very critical of the Olympic Park and the Olympic ceremonies as well as specific criticisms of the performance of the country in the organization of the games. Just now closing time we go to a general analysis?

I will divide into topics.

Opening ceremony:

It was Ok!
The ceremony was too simple compared to Beijing, tv great moments with the '14a' and the Brazilian music segment all there seemed truly Brazilian. In comparison there were horrible times like the cauldron lighting that should be the peak of the ceremony and seemed little creative.
The national anthem was a nice moment, but maybe I would have put more children near the flag.
What disappointed me is that there were so many people in the choreography, I was thinking that in London there were more dancers.

The boos to the President, Michel Temer was something expected. Brazilian booed Lula da Silva (Pan-American Games of 2007), Dilma Rousseff (Cup 2013 Confederations) and even cursed countless times the former President of the Republic in the World Cup 2014, with heavy offenses.

Yet surveys show that Brazilians prefer Michel Temer.

Transport and Mobility:

Everything seemed to work properly in the city for those who needed to go to the competition venues. However ordinary locals were affected, purchases of city dwellers who came from other states delayed several days before the time restriction for vehicles.

Sports:

It was exciting to see some games decided in the final moments, but overall not excited me like London in 2012.

Performance of 'Team Brazil'.

It was ok. Brazil won an amazing medal in Pole Vault and gold in football was sensational, but overall lacked medals in tennis, swimming and judo. The performance of women's football was unfair.
The case of athlete of diving left me upset because I hope dedication of the athletes in the Olympic Village.

Media.

The TV GLOBO was my 'official broadcaster'. The broadcaster has invested heavily in TV broadcasts and an amazing structure. At first I did not like the plans of the channel to have 170 hours of broadcasts, but I think it was appropriate. The channel broadcast all relevant times the national team.
What made me upset was the performance of TV RECORD, who failed to show significant moments.
The SPORTV with its 16 transmission channels was also a prominent part.
The ratings success of course, are the most viewed games in history. I believe that growth in Brazil will be able to cancel the fall in the United States.

Public at the venues.

I found it very nice to see the stadiums full to watch women's Braisl. But I found absurd empty seats in athletics and volleyball. The size of the arenas is appropriate.
The problem is the price of the tickets in my opinion should be 30% more affordable for qualifying events.

GENERAL NOTE:

7 points.

Strengths:
- Climate of Brazilians.

Negative points:
- The minority segment of society that wanted to mix their political frustrations with the Olympic Games.
- The performance of the national team.
- The low attendance in the stadiums.


Rio deserved the games?

Competitors were Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago. I think that if I were a member of the IOC at the time would have chosen Rio de Janeiro, the jingoism that it was the Brazil at the time.
The Rio de Janeiro is applied result of the ambitions of some politicians who felt the 'Rio 2016' the coronation of his ambitions. Surely, if there were no economic crisis and the wave of protests, Dilma Rousseff, Eduardo Paes and Ségio Cabral surfariam for high popularity.

If the election were today I would have granted to host the Olympic Games to Chicago.

RANKING OF OLYMPICS GAMES (Only I accompanied)
1. London 2012 (Note 9/10)
2. Vancovuer 2010 (Note 8/10)
2. Beijing 2008 (Note 8/10)
4. Athens 2004 (Note 7/10)
4. Rio 2016 (Note 7/10)
6. SOCHI 2014 (Note 6/10)
 

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So, I don't really have that much to write on this, but my observations.

  • The atmosphere and venues were decent enough. Like I said before, booing doesn't really bother me that much, though I guess I'm familiar with it from the sports I grew up watching.
  • I really enjoyed the opening ceremony. Sure, it was on the more austere side, but that's not a bad thing  by any means. The cauldron was also really cool, and I have high hopes for the closing. 
  • ...NBC's coverage could've been worse.
  • The U.S. really did an amazing job. A lot of really memorable moments, and the best performance since LA '84. India, on the other hand, was kind of disappointing. After the 3 medals in Beijing, and 6 in London, I was really expecting that India would be able to get to at least 8, maybe even double-digits. Instead, only 2 medals... The medalists were really good though, and Dipa on the vault was really inspiring. Hopefully, there'll be more investment in the future..
  • The Lochte story has been pretty hilarious, imo, but the security othervise didn't sound like it was as good as it could have been.
  • The operations also seemed to be a little messier than they should've been, but I'm not sure what I expected from Rio. 

We'll see what happens with the legacy, but I'm really looking forward to Tokyo, and I have some really high expectations for them, but regardless, 2016 is the first time I've followed the games from the bid to the actual games, and for the most part, they've been what I've expected them to be.

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13 hours ago, Olympian2004 said:

Of course there were also impressive athletes from other nations, and here let me first point out how surprised I am about that super strong showing of Team GB. I believe it's a premiere in Olympic history (maybe besides the sports super powers USA and formerly the USSR) that a team is able to maintain its strong showing from its home Games also in the following Games. It's now apparent that Team GB's success in 2012 was far more than "home advantage" and I'm truly impressed by the results of their strong investment in their athletes in the past ten years or so. That said, even if it sounds repetitive and annoying, I really hope that they played fair.

It might be repetitive and annoying to some people, but, unless one has somehow managed to remain completely oblivious to the sporting crises of the past couple of years, it is also entirely understandable. I think it would be naive in the extreme not to have some scepticism but, given the hard line that the British Olympic Association and so many past and present sporting stars have taken on doping in particular, I would hope they're all in no doubt about the consequences if they were caught out. I've gone into the broad reasons why I think it's happened in the Team GB thread and don't intend to repeat those points here. But, in such a football-dominated country as ours, it is worth emphasising how big a shop window the Olympics are for many of these sports. World championships and other events, even in sports like cycling and rowing, simply do not come close.

Anyway, as I reflect on the Games as a whole, I find myself coming to an initial conclusion of 'not as bad as feared, not as good as initially hoped'. I always loved the idea of a Rio Olympics and wanted them to win the bid. However, with the organisational, political and economic problems that have beset Brazil since 2009, not to mention Zika and security fears, I have to admit I was worried about what could happen. But, as so often happens with the Olympics, it was alright on the night and the city has provided a stunning backdrop to an outstanding event in terms of the quality of sport on show.

And yet, and yet, away from the joy of our athletes' successes and the iconic quality of Neymar scoring the winning penalty in the football final, the main image I will take away from Rio is the frustrating one of empty seats. I wouldn't claim to know whether the organisers followed the example of London and priced a sizable proportion of tickets cheaply in order to bring families in particular in. But what I would suggest is that more could, and should, have been done to address the issue once the Games began.

Like other members, I have serious concerns about the Paralympics, and particularly the cuts that became public knowledge the other day. But, for now, I'd say they've done OK.

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To me, the sports were good.  However, many things could have been done much better.

1.  Athletes village - The Australians was not the only team that had problems.  Many countries just bit the bullet and paid to have things fixed themselves rather than make a fuss about it.

2.  Security - Security was poor at best.  When entering venues you were just waived in if you set off the metal detector.  I know because I have had a knee replacement and always set off the detectors.  Never once was I patted down or had a hand wand used to verify my claim.  I could have had anything and they would not have known.  Security also went down hill when they had long lines and people could not get to the venue in time for the events.  They also should have followed Sochi's lead and had security on the trains and metro system.

3.  Transportation was OK.  Line 4 worked but should have been open a couple of days before the games.  Transportation to Deodoro was horrible.  Even the event guides did not give proper information on how to get to the events.  No directional signs at Deodoro telling people where to go.

4.  Food - nothing good or bad. They did fix the long lines from the first day or so.  However, many food stalls at the venues were not open.  Easier and quicker to get beer than water.

Overall, I would give them a C. 

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I join Baron in getting a little testy about the criticism of Atlanta. The bombing was unfortunate,and in hindsight, there should have been security checks at the entrances from the beginning. That is an undeniable negative. The media transit issues were resolved within the first few days, but the the pampered brats have continued to bring it constantly ever since. The circus that was the streets around the park was because of a greedy mayor looking for another quick cash grab (do you think ACOG would have sanctioned the selling of Pepsi at those stands, I think not). The results failure was on IBM, who decided that a test of the system was unnecessary. The crowded trains were no more crowded than the DC Metro after a Nationals game. Just as someone posted earlier, the real judgement about the Rio Games belongs to those who were there. A lot of the crap posted about Atlanta comes from two sources, people who were not there and spoiled journalists.

As I stated in another post, I do not rank games as better or worse.I will say that from a sporting standpoint, Rio gets very high marks. Organizationally, it was difficult at times, but they managed to pull off the final product and for that they deserve a big thumbs up.

 

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Considering that Americans are some of the fussiest people on the planet, the U.S. delegation was more than pleased with their accommodations at the village (except for the ones that said there weren't "enough outlets" for their devices :rolleyes:).

As for the security, as even Rols said, at London 2012, he was just "waived in" at many of the venues. If anything, I'm sure that everyone at Rio 2016 was being watched by all angles, whether it be by cameras, troops, police, security personnel.

I'm sure that Sochi had more of a military presence due to its geographical location, just literally right down the road from Chechnya, one of the most volatile zones on the planet where radical separatists wage constant war against Moscow. At least the U.S. didn't have a battleship right off the Brazilian coast, like they did at Sochi 2014 right off the Black Sea, in case they needed to evacuate the American delegation ASAP. 

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35 minutes ago, arwebb said:

not as bad as feared, not as good as initially hoped

i think that about sums it up perfectly.

it was 17 days of wonderful sports, athletic achievements, highs and lows, etc. the athletes certainly didn't seem to let the woes of rio to impact their performance, or if they did they were beaten by worthy competitors, so it seems kind of spoiled that we who weren't exhausting ourselves at the games complain when the athletes by and large have had a decent enough experience.

i thought team USA did very well, and must have heard our anthem a dozen times or more. no complaints there. i like reading gamesbids because, as an american, counting medals obsessively doesn't really occur to me. even in the winter, we're conscious of our medal counts but nobody ever thinks well, i won't be happy unless we win 3 more golds. it's more about individual medals that we want to win, like basketball or gymnastics all around. australians and canadians are in a constant state of mental calculation to decide whether or not it's a good games or a bad games.

rols had it right in saying when you go to a developing world city, don't expect a first-world games. coming off london (which would have been a hard act for paris or tokyo to follow) these games were never going to be seen as spectacular. this is what a developing city can do as far as hosting. whether it's good enough or not is another discussion but they at least got the job done and hosted the olympic games -- at a time when associated costs and sports are constantly growing. that's no mean feat.

the green pool, lochte, booing, and the empty seats were the biggest scandals of the games. out of those four, i'd say only the empty seats was a really big deal. it reflects poorly on the organizers and the city when you can't even fill seats at an olympics for marquee events. i've read all the excuses: the seats you can see are reserved for VIP, the scalpers took them all, the media scared away tourists. OK that's great, but was there no plan B? it was either lazy, stupid, or incompetent -- take your pick.

i never cared about the booing. that was brazil being brazil: they just wanted to help their athletes out. honestly, i found the vuvuzelas in 2010 a thousand times more annoying. friendly, respectful crowds is not a promise made to olympic athletes anymore than clean competitors. 

NBC was awful, sexist, and cloying as usual, but their streaming (much improved from london; didn't use it for sochi) was a breath of fresh air and made their terrible TV coverage easy to avoid. reliable and easy to use, it was just what i wanted. and the world feed commentators (many from the UK and australia) provided a totally different perspective. i loved andrea holland (diving) and the canadian woman who did beach volleyball. i want to invite them to all my dinner parties from now on.

all in all, a solid C+. not much of a surprise there. it will probably be 30 years until we go back to south america, so let's take a moment to savor what we did enjoy.

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Yeah...bagging Atlanta is getting old. Also remember that US cities hosting almost have to go it alone relying on Corporate sponsors and endorsements. Also gave an example on achieving a result on an affordable (for Olympics) budget. It looked temporary but it worked. Giving it a B-. 

Rio with all its buildup problems and issues with just about everything during the games...still got through fine, albeit a little broker for the experience. A good solid C+. And nothing to be ashamed of. 

 

 

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Oh please. I'm sure that twenty years out, the barons & the pauls of the world are still gonna be "bagging" Rio & will also "get old", too. But that's par for the course of every Olympic Games, & Atlanta should be no exception.

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On 22 August 2016 at 5:29 AM, Dylanlip said:

No verdict yet. I'm waiting til the Paras are over, which is what everyone SHOULD be doing.

Well, good on you. For my part, my memories of the Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing paralympics are sketchy to none, so they really don't figure at all in any of my assessments or ratings of those games. Probably many others on the board are the same. London? I suspect the most many would say is, "they put on a good paras too - good on them!" before moving onto discussing the main games and basing their judgement on those. It's all very noble of you to think the way you do, but don't expect us to withhold judgement in order to take in an event which is only an afterthought to many.

I consider the paras, at best, a postscript to the main games. They're not even governed by the same body, they are a separate event. It would be like saying (and  yes, I know it's hyperbole, but nevertheless) you couldn't judge the 2014 WC until the Olympics were held, or you can't judge an Olympics till decades after the event to see how the legacy played out. 

I hope you're not withholding judgement on the expectation/hope that the paras will be enable you to mark down Rio more.

20 hours ago, FYI said:

Oh please. I'm sure that twenty years out, the barons & the pauls of the world are still gonna be "bagging" Rio & will also "get old", too. But that's par for the course of every Olympic Games, & Atlanta should be no exception.

Exactly - it's what we do on an Olympics fan board. I doubt those of us who like Rio will ever be able to convince the haters, or those that made up their minds they were going to hate them well before the fact. 

I've often gone on the record here as saying Atlanta wasn't as near bad as its reputation here is. Yet, I think in the wash-up Rio's glitches nowhere near affected the running of its games as much as Atlanta's did. I think Rio and Athens probably were on par in the preparation, running and, by the end, embrace of the games, but I don't think long term Rio's will suffer the ignominy of how the remnants of Athens are now portrayed. With that, I'll leave others to figure how I'd rate that trio against each other - and all three I think have a more positive legacy than Sochi and, perhaps, even Beijing (I find I'm very ambivalent about Beijing and whether it was a good or bad edition in the long term).

22 hours ago, kraussie-kraussie-kraussie said:

coming off london (which would have been a hard act for paris or tokyo to follow) these games were never going to be seen as spectacular. this is what a developing city can do as far as hosting. whether it's good enough or not is another discussion but they at least got the job done and hosted the olympic games -- at a time when associated costs and sports are constantly growing. that's no mean feat.

 

 I was trying to find a good summation line from yours. That comes close. I think we have very similar views on Rio's games - I agree with you on just about every point you made (though, actually, I gave up on the mental calculations of medals after the first week - and so loved the second week when I'd relaxed and ceased caring).

Edited by Sir Rols

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Ok...my thoughts on these games.

I think the sport shone out. There were some incredible moments, sort wise I think it was a vintage games.

I think I was expecting a lot more from the event as a whole. The Beach Volleyball venue was stunning, and some of the events did highlight the incredible scenery, but I was left wanting more. I wanted my jaw to drop at the incredible backdrops, but it never did.

The empty venues and the lack of the look really took its toll for me. And the booing of competitors is quite alien to me, especially when at London I was in a crowd of Brits trying to sing along to the French anthem at one of the medal ceremonies.

Towards the end the Olympic park seemed to get busy and the atmosphere seemed to start building but it was too late. I know times are tough in Brazil but they really did seem to promise so much at the start and did not deliver.

The ceremonies were ok. No real WOW moments for me. The Tokyo sealed the limelight and the headlines from the closing which is not a good sign. The next host should never out shine the current host, but they did.

The whole games for me was a 7/10. If the sport hadn't have been so good and Team GB hadn't done so well it would probably have been a 6/10.

Im interested to hear Martins take on it as he was there in amongst it.

Im glad they got their games, I just wished they had done more with the opportunity. Having a World Cup and then an Olympics so close means its going to be a very long time til we are all invited back but it hasn't made me think I need to visit Rio like I did after Sydney.

But Thank you Brazil, thank you Rio, its the sporting memories that will last with me.

 

Rio_poster_flat.jpg

 

 

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