The Rio Olympics are taking place in the middle of a carefully orchestrated domestic political coup against the Brazilian Workers Party, a coup that the world media, including the Brazilian media itself, have singularly refused to comment on. This is the same Brazilian monopolistic media empire that openly supported the military coup way back in 1964.


2. Despite some superficial facelifts, the Rio Olympics, along with the Brazilian World Cup have done nothing to alleviate the desperate living conditions of the city's impoverished citizens, many of whom live in degrading conditions in the sprawling favelas that surround the wealthy European centre. Brazil is one of the most unequal societies on the planet and its much heralded decade of sport has not affected that inequality one iota.


3. Like so many Olympics before them, the Rio Olympics has seen billions of dollars spent on sports stadia, the majority of which will become derelict white elephants soon after the conclusion of the games. Rio is officially bankrupt and required an emergency loan from the Federal government in order for the Games to proceed.


4.The Rio Olympics has been carried out under the long shadow of doping, cheating and corruption allegations, many of which have been proved to be state sponsored.


5. Success in the medals table has, like all Olympics before it, a direct correlation to the amount of state money that has been thrown at the respective national squads. Team GB's impressive medal tally is a case in point. Mirroring the Soviet era, that equated sporting success with national wellbeing, Britain has cynically targeted those sports with the best chances of medal success. This at a time when Britain is in the middle of an obesity epidemic and general participation levels in sport are actually declining.


6. The IOC, like FIFA, is perpetually mired in allegations of corruption and undemocratic practises. What both organisations have singularly failed to do is materially help those host nations that most need it. Instead of being a willing partner in the development and legacy of the Games, both organisations have stood on the side-lines, imposing draconian sponsorship conditions, whilst pocketing huge corporate remunerations.


7.The Rio Olympics, like all those that have preceded it, have become an exercise in cheap national chauvinism. Rather than celebrate the sporting achievement of the individual athlete, each national broadcaster has placed the emphasis on national self-aggrandisement. The BBC has been particularly adept at this, allowing itself to become the unquestioning cheer-leader of the British State rather than an independent source of unbiased news.


8. Brazil's inequality invariably takes the form of racial inequality. Those of African descent take second place to those of European descent. Those of indigenous descent are condemned to be third class citizens within their own country where their ancient communal land rights are continually being destroyed by the agro-industrial giants. The Rio Olympics has done nothing to acknowledge let alone address these stubborn features of Brazilian society.


9. Brazil, like its Venezuelan neighbour, is in the grip of a major economic crisis brought on by the collapse of the global price of oil. Instead of coming to the aid of the Brazilian economy, the world financial agencies have sat back and lectured Brazil on the need for neo-liberal economic policies which have been proven to exacerbate the economic crisis.


10. Despite the continued advancement of women's Olympic sport, the TV coverage of Olympic female athletes has continued the cultural norm of the objectification of womens bodies, bordering at times on the pornographic.� In contravention of the professed Olympic ideal of equality based on merit, we have instead seen a tacky perpetuation of the stereotypical, European idealised female form.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 May 2018 08:57 )