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7 hours ago, plusbrilliantsexploits said:

Well, Phelps and Bolt were not necessarily the two I was thinking of here - but the most prominent icons, and I do know that German commentators have been expressing doubts about the anti-doping regimen in Jamaica: every single time a Jamaican athlete wins, the journos on the public broadcast channel feel that it's necessary to say "Well, that was rather impressive, but - and I have to mention this and don't intend to spoil the mood here - it is important to bear in mind that Jamaica has been criticized by the WADA for its lax verification of blood and urine samples", only to proceed to pay a hurried lip service to the presumption of innocence. It's the same routine whenever someone seems to have come out of nowhere or pulverizes a long-standing world record. It's become a tiresome and understandable routine at the time.

I guess the commentators on our two public broadcasters (which still hold the rights via the EBU) cannot go all out and accuse Bolt, Phelps, Ledecky and Hozszu of doping (thus, biting the hand that feeds your ratings and advertising slots), but they are essentially doing it via the backdoor with a "wink wink, nod nod" style. In other cases, the past of exposed drugs cheats makes such a disclaimer almost necessary - for instance, in the case of the female walking champion from China or many a weightlifter, or Yuliya Efimova etc. Needless to say, that cynicism about sport also contributed to the Hamburg bid's defeat in the referendum and lower ratings than in previous years (rather than the proliferation of private TV networks, which also existed in 1992 and 1996). That, and the moralizing and ignorant way in which German broadcasters frequently tend to cover foreign societies in general.

Finally, it's becoming clearer that the cynicism in Germany has become so widespread that many Germans find it hard to immediately accept scientifc explanations for why a certain athlete just has a natural advantage. Funnily enough, I never heard any such accusations being made about German athletes (except for Kathrin Krabbe and her cohort, but that was way back in the 1990s and seen as part of East Germany's sordid legacy of state-authorized doping) and I feel that there is a fair element of moralizing jingoism (not necessarily in a xenophobic fashion, but in a "look at us, we are oh-so-clean and we would never, ever cheat" way) among some of us Germans as well. It also becomes too easy an excuse to justify sub-par performances by Germany in track & field, and swimming.

Well I've been skeptical about Jamaica's testing for awhile. In less than 15 years they have become a dominant power in the track events, and it mostly flourished at the emergence of Usain Bolt. It's not only because of him, it's also because of athletes like Asafa Powell, Yohann Blake, and various female short distance runners. The US, especially on the men's side, have been the dominant force for awhile, and while yes we had our own doping problems with individuals there, we still were strong even without those incidents. But on the men's side we've been lagging behind ever since Beijing, and I'm wondering why. Is it our training, we're not training new talent and relying on old talent like Tyson Gay and Jason Gatlin, who have both already faced doping bans? Or is it something that Jamaica is doing different, whether it's ethical or unethical? Or maybe it's something as simple as the Jamaicans being obviously much taller than their competition. Either way I'm going to continue to be skeptical about their sudden progress in these events.

BTW in researching both Yohann and Asafa, I found Asafa tested positive for a banned substance, along with a couple of other Jamaican athletes. Yohann tested positive, as well as other Jamaican runners, for a substance that wasn't necessarily banned by WADA, but it carried a similar structure as a substance that was banned. Both Yohann and Asafa helped Usain win his 9th gold medal. So not exactly a clean winning race for Jamaica either.

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Far too tired for a full review. But being in rio for my 3rd games (after London and Beijing) I have to say I enjoyed these the most from a personal perspective.  The great disappointment was the

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 criter

Well, where shall I start? Maybe I should start with the most important thing: The overall enjoyment I really, really enjoyed watching the Olympic events in Rio on TV - and sometimes regrett

12 minutes ago, LatinXTC said:

Well I've been skeptical about Jamaica's testing for awhile. In less than 15 years they have become a dominant power in the track events, and it mostly flourished at the emergence of Usain Bolt. It's not only because of him, it's also because of athletes like Asafa Powell, Yohann Blake, and various female short distance runners. The US, especially on the men's side, have been the dominant force for awhile, and while yes we had our own doping problems with individuals there, we still were strong even without those incidents. But on the men's side we've been lagging behind ever since Beijing, and I'm wondering why. Is it our training, we're not training new talent and relying on old talent like Tyson Gay and Jason Gatlin, who have both already faced doping bans? Or is it something that Jamaica is doing different, whether it's ethical or unethical? Or maybe it's something as simple as the Jamaicans being obviously much taller than their competition. Either way I'm going to continue to be skeptical about their sudden progress in these events.

BTW in researching both Yohann and Asafa, I found Asafa tested positive for a banned substance, along with a couple of other Jamaican athletes. Yohann tested positive, as well as other Jamaican runners, for a substance that wasn't necessarily banned by WADA, but it carried a similar structure as a substance that was banned. Both Yohann and Asafa helped Usain win his 9th gold medal. So not exactly a clean winning race for Jamaica either.

you may be interested in the article below.

The Secret of Jamaica’s Runners

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What is everyone's verdict **given that almost a full-year has passed**.

Looking back, it didn't really capture or reflect on the host nation very well, unlike GB, Australia, even Greece.  It just seemed like the city just happened to be hosting the games, but the heart of Rio wasn't felt in my living room.

You're a lot of great stories, especially from the sports side of things, but so much was unfortunately overshadowed by the Ryan Lochte incident.  It's seem to be the only resonance some casual, not die-hard, fans on social media seem to pick up on.

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You'd be surprised how very little people outside of the USA (and arguably Brazil) gave a sh!t about the Lochte incident.  It was a baffling blip but did not detract one iota of attention or enjoyment from the sporting events for the vast majority of the world.

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My verdict: GUILTY !

Quote

Brazil: explosive recordings implicate President Michel Temer in bribery

Street protests and calls for impeachment as prosecutors are handed tapes of discussions about hush-money payments to jailed powerbroker Eduardo Cunha

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/18/brazil-explosive-recordings-implicate-president-michel-temer-in-bribery

 

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- the whole lot of them !

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They smashed my face and demolished my home – all for the Rio Olympics

When Maria da Penha Macena defended her home from developers before the Rio Olympics, she was left battered and bloodied. She believes her community was betrayed and the host city cheated

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/may/18/smashed-my-face-demolished-my-home-rio-olympic-games-maria-da-penha-macena

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Brazilian Olympic Committee set to be target of Federal Police investigation

Federal Police in Brazil are reportedly preparing a major operation against the country's sports federations with the ultimate target being the National Olympic Committee.

Brazilian-based news outlet veja.com has reported as such at a time when the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are the subject of corruption allegations.

The COB is responsible for transferring public money to the country's sports governing bodies and is obliged to control how they use it. 

The President of the COB is Carlos Nuzman, who was also the head of Rio 2016 and is an honourary member of the International Olympic Committee.

Brazilian Aquatic Sports Confederation Coaracy Nunes, a member of FINA's ruling Bureau, was arrested as part of a inquiry into the alleged misuse of public funds

Nunes was arrested along with CBDA financial director Sergio Ribeiro and water polo technical coordinator Ricardo Cabral.

Each are accused of "over-billing, diverting public funds and embezzlement".

The arrests specifically relate to the alleged misuse of around BRL$40 million (£10 million/$13 million/€12 million).

...more

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OK, breaking from all the Eeklips hou-ha, the latest sad pix on the disrepair the Rio 2016 venues have fallen into . .   It's really sad.  (oh wait, sorry.  This report was 6 months ago.  It's already been a year!  Sorry.) 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/gallery/2017/feb/10/rios-olympic-venues-six-months-on-in-pictures 

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Overall, I would give Rio a 7 or 7.5 out of 10. Here are my points summarized, from a year and a half later:

 

Pros

  • Opening/Closing Ceremony segments. The segments about rising sea levels, Favelas, Gisele Bundchen, and diversity were very Brazilian. Did they have the the awe factors of Beijing? Or did they have me dancing in my living room like London? No. But far better than Athens in my opinion, and a good use of the financial means they had.
  • Atmosphere. The Brazilians were just as carefree and enthusiastic as they have always been perceived to be, and it looked like a lot of fun for visitors and Brazilians.
  • Smoothness. I saw very little reports of traffic and failed rail systems, or of hotels. Everything seemed to be running smoothly on the operational end.
  • Athletic performance. American gymnasts and swimmers, Brazilian soccer and volleyball, British cycling, and the refugee team. Rio 2016 surely brought no shortage of athleticism and amazing athletic moments.
  • Team Brazil. People keep saying Brazil let their country down, but let's not forget that Brazil won gold in two of their countries biggest sports, Men's Soccer and Men's volleyball, at home, plus many other golds along the way. They actually picked up the most golds in their history, and most total medals. I think Team Brazil really showed out this Olympics. Brazil  beating Germany in the shootout was probably the best Olympic moment from Rio 2016 in my opinion.
  • International Recognition. Brazil somehow, to me, proved that they are an up-and-coming country. They definitely showed that they are still a second world country at the moment and have many issues to work on that have no relation to the Olympics, but they ultimately proved that they are working to rebrand their country and grow on the international level. They showed the beauty of Rio, and of their people, and even though there were definitely some negative images with that, such as the polluted bay and the booing crowds, it was at least authentic and hopeful. Not pretentious or stuffy.

Cons

  • Covering Up the City. I know I am contradicting my last statement, but it must be addressed. Rio spent a lot of money trying to cover up the bad parts of their city with walls, or by building over it, which seriously disrupted the city relations and destroyed communities. I know it doesn't look good when the whole world can see your poverty directly off the plane as they make their way to their hotel, but covering it with a wall completely degrades the people and their life. Wasn't with it when China, Russia, or anybody did it, not with it now.
  • Legacy plans. This is another huge thing for me, and it seems as though many of the legacy plans were either afterthoughts, or just icing on the cake to ensure winning the bid. This ultimately has led to a few white elephants, which Rio doesn't need. I know they did follow through with some, and most plans, but many of the venues are already falling into a decrepit state.
  • Zika. Although uncontrollable by Rio, this definitely got in the way of the Games.
  • Empty stadiums. Led in part from Zika, and another part of hosting the Olympics in a 2nd world country, empty stadiums are something nobody likes to see. It's one thing if it's a sport the host country has no athletes in, and/or no interest in it at all, but some of the events were very under-attended, and led to some very cheap tickets. Amazing for people who wanted to plan a last minute trip, but not good for the country, which struggled with deficits.
  • Deficits. Rio is going to be in a good deal of debt from this for a while

 

Overall, I think we love to talk about Rio in a negative light, and it is completely understandable. Rio 2016 had some moments and images that further proved to many cities across the globe that hosting the Olympics are not a good idea. A year later, we saw two Olympics awarded at once, a move made in fear of losing hosts entirely. However, with 2026, at the moment (knock on wood), some new host cities have surfaced, and with Tokyo, Paris and LA following behind Rio, the hope for a successful Summer Olympics should be restored soon. Rio did their best with what they had, even when it started to disappear amid Zika and political corruption. They managed to create an amazing set of ceremonies, a relatively smooth experience for visitors, and most importantly, a great display of culture to the rest of the world. Comparing it to Beijing and London is not entirely fair, as nothing has ever been like Rio, and won't be for a long time. I hope that someday, when Brazil is back on its feet, Rio can host again, because these Games easily had the potential to be one of the best in history, and I know they would've been without the economic downfall. Rio 2016 had a LARGE amount of unforgettable athletic moments, and will be remembered very long for them. Hopefully, Rio serves as a lesson to all future host cities that collaboration and a solid bid plan can ultimately save an entire Games --- and that maybe a beach day or two here and there won't hurt ^_^

 

Knowing what I know now, would I have awarded the Games to Rio in 2009? Eh. I have always been a Madrid cheerleader, and still am, but Spain's economic situation wouldn't have made the Games any better. Maybe much more attended, but there would still be empty venues and a marginalized city left over if Madrid played host. Chicago could've worked out well, and Tokyo was eventually awarded 2020, both of those would've been good Games. However, I still would've given it to Brazil. It was finally time South America played host, and in 2016, a year plagued by the effects of climate change and international cultural tension, none of those other cities would've been able to remind the world that better days are coming than Brazil. So again, 7 or 7.5/10. I am very optimistic for Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, and Los Angeles 2028! 

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