Does time fly faster in Brazil? Watching the ruins of the once crowded Rio Olympics stadiums certainly makes one feel like that! The desperate outcry and protests by the anti-Olympics party in Brazil seem to be validated, as the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics have ended with the multi-million sporting facilities left at the mercy of petty thieves to devour and dismantle them bit by bit.
The decades of inequality and urban decay in Rio portrayed that the city was never capable of hosting such a massive event. So although it is heartbreaking, yet, it is not a surprise that they have been unable to sustain the backbreaking expenses of maintenance. This lack of upkeep has resulted in the stadiums looking like a tornado-stricken area just six months after the games.
The extremely expensive facilities have fallen into utter disrepair, as the recent photos seem like something from a horror movie of a ghost town. The tired and ragged Olympic Village is in tatters, while Rio’s largest slum, Rochina, literally has flowing feces in small rivers between the houses which are locally called “sewage waterfalls.”
Rio even failed to clean the human waste out of the areas where Olympic swimmers and rowers had to compete, while the administration soon declared a state of “public calamity” when it failed to muster out the massive funds required to build the infrastructure from scratch.
As the critics predicted, Rio is completely broke after the Olympic games, so there is little hope of the situation ever getting better. The city is also suffering from skyrocketing crime rates due to extreme economic disparity, which suggests that the upkeep of the irrelevant Olympic stadiums will be of the least concern to the authorities.
As with most of the problems around the world, the “Hotshot” officials who are entirely inept and incapable of assessing and responding to such crisis are mainly behind the perilous situation. Daelcio de Freitas, a spokesperson for Maracanã stadium management, revealed some shocking things when inquired about the degradation of the stadium,
“There are things that you can see on the surface that are damaged, like the grass and the seats,” de Freitas told CNN.
“However, what we are most concerned about is the safety of the people who are coming to Maracanã and we need to make sure things, like the stadium’s roof, weren’t compromised. Power company shut off the electricity to the Maracanã stadium this month, because nearly $1 million in unpaid bills.”
In the last 40 years, only a few cities have done well in hosting the Olympics while the rest of them are often, left with massive debts and useless ‘venues,’ taking years (if not decades) to recover the costs.
It is about time that we either build permanent Olympic venues somewhere or at least stop picking cities which need to construct over half of the infrastructure, necessary to run these games.
What are your thoughts on the miserable condition of the Rio Olympic stadiums? Comment below!