The city and state of Rio is a beautiful and intriguing place to be. The culture and lifestyle of Rio is unique to Brazil and everywhere else. There are common sense rules about how to live there, or survive there as a tourist, just as there are in other exotic cities and places. Rio has significant difficulties, but it would be unfair to malign it as a whole, just as it would be to look at Chicago only for its horrendous gun violence.
Nevertheless, as the NBC coverage of the Americans at the Olympics is about to end, and the USA’s mining of gold complete, it begs the question why the Olympics needed to be held there in the first place. The decline in Zika infections is probably the greatest post-Olympic benefit to Rio, because there does not seem to be any value that the Olympics have produced for Rio’s culture, economy, infrastructure, social equity, or world perception, and, certainly not for its architecture.
The International Olympic Committee, as well as their counterparts in nations around the world, perpetuates a thirst for hosting the Olympic games that etherizes away all economic common sense. In an inexplicable effort to do anything to get them, cities ignore what are their real needs to sustain and improve their urban environments. With few exceptions, the Olympics have done more to ruin host cities than to improve them.
If the Olympics are to perpetuate, they should be both economically and environmentally sustainable. Why not alternate holding the Olympics between two locations – Athens and Chamonix (the two original modern Olympic hosts, and in the case of Athens – its inventor)? All participating nations, and of course NBC, should share in building permanent facilities of great architecture, and maintaining them. It makes economic sense, environmental sense, and it would help thwart corruption, favoritism, and politics. For a change, it would be nice to focus on the sporting events of the Olympics.