Brazil, India and Olympics

There have been striking similarities between the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and the 2016 Rio Olympic games.While the 2008 games were the first in Asia outside Japan and South Korea, the 2016 games have been the first ever of the South American continent.Both Beijing and Rio remained pre-games target of strong adverse publicity by Western media.Beijing was targetted for its polluted air or foggy sky and Rio was assailed for being the breeding ground of Zika virus. Slums of both Beijing and Rio also remained subjects of severe criticism.The Chinese authorities had attempted to hide their slums from the world eye by building walls around them, the Brazilians had to buy peace with strong Favela community to keep the games incident free. “Favelas” of Rio are notorious for their crime and as drug joints. Both — the Beijing and the Rio — were successful in their efforts. As all the pre-games adverse publicity build-up was not enough, the Western media did attempt last minute assaults on the host cities, both in 2008 and 2016. In 2008, some of the American athletes came wearing masks to launch a veiled attack on the Chinese authorities for holding the games in polluted Beijing, In Rio, the Americans threatened to anchor a ship in the Brazilian waters on the pretext of “providing secure abode” for their athletes. To prove their point about assailable street crime in Rio, a few American athletes reported an attempted daylight gunpoint robbery during the games.They held that their taxi was stopped and armed men tried to rob them. Like Beijing where American athletes subsequently apologised for wearing masks on their arrival, in Rio, too, the American athletes were sorry for making up the robbery incident after Brazilian authorities decided to book them for a false complaint. A couple of other reports during the Rio games, including one about a Media bus being fired upon, also could not be substantiated. Like Beijing, Rio also had the games conducted in the congenial, incident-free and friendly atmosphere. Brazilians, like Chinese, felt proud of proving the “biased” media wrong by holding the games successfully. After earth summit and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil has given the world a message that it is no more a push over but an emerging economic power as a part of BRICS.