Rio de Janeiro, April 16 (IANS) There are widespread apprehensions that the potential impeachment of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and the resultant political unrest may affect the South American country’s preparations for the Rio Olympics to be held in August.
However, this is not the first time that the host country has been beseiged by political or economic problems ahead of the Olympics. Similiar scenarios have taken place before but the Olympics have gone ahead with very little disruptions.
The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City was the first time that the Games were held in a third world, developing country. There is a similarity between the Rio Olympics of 2016 and the 1968 Games — both venues depended heavily on a bunch of promises to push their bid forward.
Before the 1968 Olympics, Mexican politicians had promised that the city’s alarmingly high levels of smog and pollution will be taken care of. But as the marathon runners were destined to discover later, efforts to clear up the pollution were far from satisfactory.
In Brazil, the government had promised that the highly-polluted Guanabara Bay would be cleaned so that the sailing events can be held without a hitch. But sailors taking part in the Olympic test event last year had discovered that the situation had yet to improve. Even recent reports indicate that the situation is far from satisfactory.
The situation at the Montreal Games in 1976 was also far from perfect. The extravagant expenses that went towards hosting the Games left the citizens of Canada with a tax debt they would be repaying for years.
Many of the stadiums and other structures planned for the Olympics were not finished on time and the construction costs exceeded initial estimates in most of the cases. The Games were dubbed the billion-dollar circus by the Canadian press.
It sounds awfully similar to the current situation in Brazil.