Wry & Dry

Stultus Vastata Pretiosa: Rio's Olympic legacy

Citius, Altius, Fortius [1] has become Stultus Vastata Pretiosa [2].

It was only six months ago that W&D was watching the beach volleyball semi-finals at the Rio Olympic Games.  And wondering at the beauty of it all.  The golden beaches, that is.

Well, the $4.6 billion spent on the Games (and that ignores the attendant infrastructure spend) that was supposed to display first world development has now come to this...

The swimming arena, which was due to be torn down, still stands. Its fabric exterior is in tatters.

The handball arena was supposed to be taken apart and reconstructed as a public school. It hasn’t been touched.

One Olympic Park venue has been torn down, the press center, though the rubble hasn’t been hauled away.  It's been deemed a health hazard.

The tennis stadium, one of the few venues the government agreed to operate after the games, has been used to host beach volleyball. This is a city known for its beaches.

The 31 towers of the Olympic Village, meant to be sold as luxury condominiums, are virtually abandoned.  Less than 10% were sold, and some of those were returned.

The Canoe Slalom course was a legacy project, intended to become a giant public swimming pool. It closed in December and now sits empty.

But perhaps the city’s biggest sports cathedral, the Maracana, once the largest stadium in the world, is now a field of brown, burnt grass.  And thousands of seats, ripped from the stands, have been piled into a corner.

Broken seats have been thrown in a pile and the Maracana has been left in a state of ruin

It was a noble experiment. 

Actually, it wasn't.  The government wanted to throw a couple of unforgettable parties (World Cup and Olympics) for the sake of international hairy-chestedness [3], as it were.  

And in a country where cronyism is a national sport, it was surprising that the IOC didn't have cronyism as one of the trial sports at the games.  But with the Russians permitted to attend the Games, Brazil chances of medalling [4] would have been reduced.


[1]  Higher.  Faster.  Stronger.

[2]  Wasted.  Expensive.  Stupid.

[3]  A clearly politically incorrect metaphor.  But what the heck.

[4]  W&D is happy, in this case, using the exemplification of the disgraceful modern trend to create verbs from nouns.  Olympic examples, in addition to 'to medal', include 'to podium' and 'to final'.  On this point, W&D thinks that he has nailed it.