The 31st version of Olympics starts from today in Rio de Janeiro. After much anticipation, criticism and controversies the inauguration ceremony will took place today at the Maracana Stadium.
Athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team are in Brazil to compete in 31 sports and billions of spectators around the globe will enjoy the game.
The opening ceremony is at midnight BST on Friday but the game has started two days ago with the women’s football.
Keeping in mind the Olympic tradition Greece will be the first nation to bear the flag and being the host nation Brazil will enter last and the other countries will enter in alphabetical orders in the language of the host country.
But before the ceremony, before the sporting spirit will kick off; let’s take a sneak peek this year’s Rio Olympics’ much talk controversies.
Russia and dope drama
The massive dope scandal left a scar on Olympics’ history. Over 100 Russian athletes tested positive and the country tampered the original sample of their athletes. However, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) investigated this case and stated this doping began during the Sochi Olympics. And WADA at first decided a blanket ban on the nation. But later, Russia got a clean cheat and 271 athletes will participate in Rio Olympics.
Russia’s Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov said that Russian team is the ‘cleanest team’ as they had to go through multiple tests and checking.
Brazil is severely affected by the virus. On February WHO declared a global health care emergency. It spread a global threat. Generally, the virus spreads via mosquitoes but it can also be transmitted sexually. Several athletes expressed their concerns over the issue.
Earlier on February officials were daily checking Olympic venues for mosquito breeding grounds. Brazilian government planned to send mosquito killing troops door-to-door to combat with the disease.
The Associated Press conducted a test which showed Rio’s Olympic waters were polluted with human sewage. Rio organizers promised that they cleaned up the water with proper sanitation facility but Brazilian officials claimed the water will not be as clean as it was planned.
The athletes have been warned not to swallow the water. Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida advised the Rio swimmers “Don’t put your head underwater”.
The pollution level is so high that three teaspoon of water can cause stomach and respiratory illness and heart and brain inflammation.
The water events begin today and more than 1000 athletes compete in these events.
To host an event like Olympic is a proud moment for any nation. This time it’s not only Brazil’s proud moment but the whole South America is celebrating the historic moment. But if we look the economic condition of Brazil then the scenario is not so well.
Brazil’s economy is facing its worst recession since 1930s. The GDP of the country has fell down, unemployment rises to 9% and inflation has risen over 10%. The Brazilian government is struggling with the public finances and unemployment.
May be it’s a proud moment for Brazil but most of the civilians are not happy with the decision. Various polls revealed the Brazilians apathy against this. According to Datafolha, 63% people think that this would actually cause more trouble as the country is already facing a crisis period. Only 16% think this will actually benefit the nation.
Brazilians protested all over the country and raised various issues like budget cuts, delayed salary payments and corruption scandals.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is suspended for the allegation that she illegally manipulated government accounts. She will remain suspended for 180 days.
The Brazilian government and Rousseff have also faced trouble with the state run oil company Petrobras which has been in a massive corruption scandal. The issues include bribery, price-fixing and political kickbacks.
Security arrangement concerns most after ISIS threatened to attack Rio during the Olympics. Also the city is ‘undergoing a security crisis’. According to CBS news report, almost 47,000 police officers and 38,000 soldiers are deployed in the city which was twice a size, the number of security deployed in London Games. The budget for public security has been cut by $550 million which couldn’t have come in that worst time.
After the participants are entering the game village the complaints against the infrastructure facilities started popping up. The first one came when the Australians complained in their accommodations they had plumbing and electricity problems. Soon after that authorities arranged over 600 plumbers and electricians. Indian Tennis player Leander Paes has not been granted a room in the Game village.
This is an embarrassing moment for the Brazil authority.
Despite all the problems the fact is that The Biggest show on The Earth ‘2016 Rio Olympics’ will kick off from today 5th – 21st August. It’s time to boost up the sporting spirit, forgetting all the controversies.
You can catch it live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop, connected TVs and app, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.
You can watch the opening ceremony on BBC One and online from 23:40 BST.
All the best to all the participants.