Rio de Janeiro Olympics were special

Held in South America for the first time, with stunning scenery and with better picture quality and presentation than ever before.
Yep, harder for the British to follow cos of the past midnight viewing, and harder to appreciate more broadly cos of the BBC’s obsession with the medal table (once it was appreciated that Team GB was going to do well).  New ways of presenting the success was found (e.g. golds by sporting discipline) and old favourites (e.g. numbers of personal bests achieved) not even brought to mind.  The Chief Exec of our efforts said these rates of success could now be envisaged for the future, overlooking that other countries now know we’ve invested something like £4 million for each medal and some are likely to follow suit, especially the next hosts, Japan.
The weather disrupting the rowing, such as to threaten the chances of emerging countries to have more than one race, and consequently their resolve to take part in future, says that rather like Formula 1 has done, ways to recognise the efforts of others need to be found.
The problems with the games have been well highlighted – but beyond managing ticket sales, and some failures in judging technology – the Brazilian hosts cannot be held to blame for the fear of the Zika virus, doping and the challenges to eradicating it, the nature of those involved in the IOC.
riocauldron01It was always gonna be hard for the opening ceremony to compete with London’s, but in the cauldron, Rio 2016 excelled. The captivating, hypnotic wind-powered kinetic sculpture.  And another reminder about the role that art plays in making events special.
As for Britain and the original aims of the Much Wenlock Olympian Society, we remain challenged on public health, community development and sports participation.  Tragic, given how Team GB has shown in Rio 2016 just what the potential of a developed country, with the sixth biggest economy, is.

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