...and just like that, the Olympic flame has been extinguished on the Summer 2016 Olympic Games.
While on vacation I did not watch the last week of competition, but have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on the latest news. I'm officially a Simone Biles fan and learned that race walking is a thing. I also discovered other sports like canoe slalom and handball.
The lowlights of the Olympics included green pools, whatever Ryan Lochte was up to, poor environmental conditions, political tensions...this Washington Post article sums it up nicely. The legacy of these Games has yet to be written, but the important piece is over- they happened. The highlight reels have been gathered, the photos shared, the seedlings planted. However, Rio will likely be in debt for years to come, the water will continue to be polluted, and the people of Brazil may not benefit even indirectly from this international spotlight. Additionally, Rio will continue to be under pressure for a few weeks to come as the Paralympics commence. It's been a rocky road and Brazil will need time to heal after such intense international pressure.
The attention span of the world is short, and we are already moving on to Tokyo 2020. The presentation at Rio's Closing Ceremonies was fantastic- and reminds us that though not all countries are ready for the Olympics, Japan just might be.
Japan has hosted the Olympics before, which may be the trend for upcoming Games. Those countries with pre-existing venues, experience, and infrastructure will win out when it comes to bidding for the Games. If I were to write my thesis again, I probably wouldn't argue that the Games can be used to "fix" issues that may plague developing countries in order to offer them hosting opportunities. The best thing for a country may not be the now seemingly unattainable goal of hosting the Games. Instead, should they reach for the gold with their athletes and put money into sport? Should they participate at all?
With that, my regular posts on this blog will subside for the time being. As news articles are shared about Tokyo 2020 and Pyeongchang 2018, I will post on Facebook and Twitter. For now, I bid you adieu and invite you to join me in 534 days...