“What they won’t show.”
As the Olympics games are in full swing in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, there is something most people don’t know or won’t ever see; favelas. For those of you who are uneducated in what this word means let me explain to you what it is. The favelas is the name of the slums where the poorest of people in Brazil dwell. When the games opened just over a week ago, there was a sight that people living in the slums witnessed that was a lot different than the spectators in the crowd or us at home.
The photo to the right shows the view of how most Brazilians saw the opening ceremonies. If you notice, the young people are observing the fireworks from slums. Their clothes are caked with grim and graffiti are sprayed on concrete blocks. From this view, the Olympic games seems like a world away. As a citizen of the United States, I have a better view of the Rio Games from my flat screen television than citizens in Brazil.
So that leaves the question, who is to blame? Why, in a country where such poverty and crime exist would a nation spend hundreds of millions of dollars just to prepare for sporting events. Events which will only last a little less than a month with athletes who most likely are never stepping foot in Rio again. Well, it’s not about the athletes, or the games, or even the citizens. It’s about the money generated.
The Rio Olympics are expecting to generate billions of dollars through a variety of corporate sponsorships and multinational television network deals. What you don’t see is the negative impact it has on its citizens. Well what do I mean by negative impact, I mean the money spent to keep the various facilities going after the games. It is estimated that millions of dollars will be spent just for maintenance alone on facilities once the games are over.
Now I ask the question, who built these facilities? Were the citizens in Rio offered an opportunity to work and build these facilities. This way income is generated for poor families who will then in turn contribute to their nation’s economy. My guess is very little if any opportunity was allotted to families living in areas like the favelas. Private contractors and private investment pumped money into these games and even dubbed the games, “The Green Games for a Blue Planet.” How dare they, how dare they promote green initiatives. All the while you walk a few miles up into the hills where children frolic in raw sewage. Drug cartels and municipal police face off in the streets and protestors take over the streets.
As for the athletes with a platform, why don’t more of them step up. Is it that they are aware and don’t want to lose their corporate dollars. Or is it because they don’t know at all. Whatever the case may be, we will have to add Rio to the list of many countries vying for an Olympics in 2024 and beyond consisting of poor citizens that will never benefit from the Olympic games. Nations where they come up with money for Olympic games, but not enough to feed and employ its own citizens.