The Olympics have begun. I know this because I saw Michael Phelps carrying the American flag and leading a large group of folks dressed in red, white and blue. The bright lights and fireworks of Rio, highlighted by the routines of hundreds of dancers tells me that also.
Of course, I am watching on TV which is probably the safest place to be. I am not thinking terrorists though that is a possibility these days. I am talking about the danger of various diseases due to the raw sewage flowing through the city and into the bay. Any participant in an open-water event is exposed to serious disease. Bryant Gumbel’s HBO show presents this in detail.
Despite knowing this, the majority of the best athletes in world are in Rio. That is the magnitude of the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. It is the prize equal to winning a medal. Representing one’s country and doing so against the world’s best athletes is an amazing experience. Meeting people from all over the world might be just as amazing.
The structure and politics of the Olympic games are a mess. Getting picked to be a host city and country is huge. Yet, many times, the aftermath is a disaster. Unused and broken down facilities are legendary. There are only a small number of cities in the world that have the necessary facilities to host. Most cities have to build them from scratch.
The Olympics could be a possibility for how the world could work. It is currently a mirror-image for how the world is working. Graft and corruption is the model. The “rich get richer” is the operating mode. Fire the “current gang members.” Pick a site that is permanent and already has what is needed. Every country pays a portion of the bill. Profits (if any) are distributed to the needy. It’s time to be an example of a “world that works.”
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