Sunday, July 31, 2016

Here comes Rio!

Next week, the 2016 Rio Olympics kicks off in Brazil, after much controversy. The Russian team came ever so close to being banned for a rather vast doping scandal, Pakistan failed to get a single athlete to qualify and is now represented entirely by wildcard entries, several top athletes (including favorite Roger Federer) have pulled out for various reasons, the entire event is being conducted under the shadow of the Zika virus and the political and economic crises that Brazil faces, and the preparations for the games seems to be a little off.

No matter, a little controversy never hurt anyone! While it is true that the games could've been better, the host Brazil has clearly tried. The fact is that the Olympic games have become so expensive and difficult to host that very few countries can afford to do it, and even fewer can afford to do it without the gentle (!) hand of dictatorship to divert resources to it. Therefore, instead of constantly calling out Brazil for a sub-optimal job, the world must encourage it and help it. Of course, the economic and political mismanagement of the country is another matter.

For India, the largest contingent yet is being sent to the Olympics this year, and the country is obviously hopeful for a bigger haul of medals than last time. Yes, we are the superpower of South Asia, but that is hardly something to be proud of, given the other candidates. The country has worked hard since the last edition, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried the message of the people to the athletes, who come from every corner of the vast country to perform under one flag. Here's wishing them a good show!

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