Rio Olympics deserves applause from us

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/4 23:58:53

Terrifying scenes played out in front of a Chinese journalist delegation in Rio on Wednesday, just as the city was in its final countdown to the Games. As the journalists were being transferred from the airport to their hotels, they witnessed a fierce gunfight. Six people died, but fortunately, none were athletes or tourists who were flocking into Rio for the Games.  

The gunfight highlighted what has been a whole train of discontentment against Rio's preparations for the Olympics. Blocked toilets, exposed wiring, no hallway lighting and leaking ceilings in the Athletes' Village, even if they were only occasional problems, seem to have represented the image of the Rio Olympics after they went viral among media. The Australian team temporarily moved to a hotel claiming the village was "uninhabitable." In some extreme cases, Chinese athletes and journalists have had their computers and cameras stolen, or cash and passports robbed. These events are not supposed to happen in an Olympic city. Some cynical Chinese netizens joked the Rio Olympics is actually a "Rio adventure."

The global media is mocking Brazil out of dissatisfaction against its facilities and service. Athletes and tourists, especially those from developed nations, are accustomed to the Olympics as a first-class international event usually offering the best conditions. It's not surprising they frown upon the Rio Olympics.

Satirical memes against Rio from Chinese netizens are mixed with proud memories of the 2008 Olympic Games. Eight years ago, Beijing staged an "exceptional" Games for the world, as former International Olympics Committee president Jacques Rogge hailed. If organizing an Olympics is testament to a country's strength and capabilities, then China is among the few in the world who can hold the Games splendidly. It's certainly something Chinese should take pride in. 

The Athletes' Village is uncomfortable and athletes and tourists are facing risks of robbery. Is it a big problem? We think the Olympics should engage with the real world.

The fundamental purpose of the Olympics is to promote the Olympic spirit as well as mutual understanding, friendship, and solidarity among the peoples of the world. Brazil is a relatively prosperous developing country. It has a sound base for economic and social development. The Olympics should also prepare to be hosted in cities with worse conditions than Rio.

The beating heart of the Olympics is the motto of "faster, higher, stronger." The Games has a great historical value in promoting peace and spreading understanding and respect. Confrontation and arrogance run counter to the Olympic Spirit. We don't wish the Games to become an occasion which is filled with prejudice and fights for interests.

Although some shortcomings around the Rio Olympics have been exposed, Brazilians are embracing the Olympics with passion, and it deserves the world to respond with the same passion. Chinese society in particular should give more understanding to Brazil.

As both are developing countries, we shouldn't forget the censure that we experienced before the Beijing Olympics. We wish and expect the Rio Olympics to display its own splendor. 

Posted in: Editorial

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