“Taking the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro was always considered a bit of a risk. Now that South America’s first games are done, the question is: Did the gamble pay off?
The answer, according to experienced Olympic officials and experts, is a mixed bag.
Yes, Brazil managed to pull it off under difficult economic and political conditions, with the sports competitions, venues, athletes, friendly hosts, television images and Rio’s scenic backdrop all rising to the occasion.
Yet, behind the scenes, these were also troubled Olympics that fell short in other areas — empty seats, ticket fiascos, organizational mishaps, spread-out venues, green water, street crime, traffic chaos and lack of a clear Olympic feel in the parks.
“This has been probably a little below the expectations of the experts, but will have televised well for the 99.9 percent of the population of the world that experiences the Olympics,” senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said.
For Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, attending his 17th games, the shortage of volunteers, lack of Olympic signage and other logistical glitches have outweighed the well-run competitions and welcoming Brazilian people.
“I think these games will be seen in the continuum of Atlanta, Athens, Rio — the ones that didn’t work out,” he said. “One just hopes the lessons are learned.”
But the games must also be judged from a local perspective. Many Brazilians and Rio residents — known as Cariocas — will feel pride over how they’ve put on the world’s biggest sports event and will cherish their moments on the global stage.
“Going forward, the IOC has to learn from the experience in Rio if it wants to take the games to places other than settled, affluent cosmopolitan cities,” IOC vice president Craig Reedie said. “We should train the city well in advance. We have to work out how better to prepare them and help them.”
Imagine your company’s strategic plan, daily workings, balance sheet, and client reviews being televised to the world. What would you want the world to see (or not see), and what would you want your employees to say? I think this above excerpt on the Olympics is interesting enough to share how perspective is everything.
Excerpt from NBCNews.com
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