Olympics of unequals with equals

Probing Eye

Every four years, the galaxy of world sports assembles for one of biggest sports parties called “Pinnacle of sports” that leaves many poor and developing nations guessing why cannot they produce champions like Michael Phelps. And why they should remain without a single medal even after 120 years of Olympics especially when a country like the US is touching 1000 Olympic medal mark.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), that governs the sports world over, claims it provides even playing field to all its 200-odd members for participation in the Olympic games.If 80 per cent on total Olympic medals since 1896 have gone to a select band of 20-odd countries, how could the IOC could be blamed for it. If 15 to 20 percent of total IOC member nations have not won even a single medal to date, how the governing body of the sport be blamed for it.

Olympics is an event of unequal. Countries fighting poverty cannot compete with countries from whom they expect charities to alleviate the misery of their starving people.

Many countries cannot think of providing the basic infrastructure, including synthetic playing surfaces, modern technology in training their athletes or use medical and health advances in training their teams. As such even if they have best of athletes, they cannot compete with advanced nations for want of funds, infrastructure, and technology.

As one of the biggest entertainer of the world, sport has been assuming the role of a financial swinger. It has cost Brazil a whopping 10,6 billion dollars to host this mega event. Piqued by an economic turndown, the hosts had no choice but to do severe flab slashing to hold the most economical games of modern times.

Facilities were reduced to bare minimum and some of the essential and conventional parts of the games got sacrificed. For example, there are no Cultural Olympics as has been the convention.

Rio also cautioned the world against global warming by dedicating a part of the opening ceremony to the environmental hazard of global warming. It wanted to send a strong message on maintaining ecological balance by putting small children carrying plants in their hands with each contingent at what the organisers described a “cool” opening ceremony.

Whatever be the case, Olympics are becoming mammoth and beyond the control of poor or developing nations. South America had to wait for 120 years to get first opportunity to host them and Africa may take another 100 years to join the select band of Olympic cities. It is, after all, a game of the big and the rich.