Written on the 3rd of August, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro
It seems as though we are waiting for the invasion to happen. Walking down on Leme beach you see foreigners with credentials around their neck. Looking a tad more stressed than the general tourist.
We have waited for years now, on what is the last huge mega event in a long chain of events that has taken place in the last decade, from the World Youth Day in 2013 to the World Cup in 2014.
Strolling by the beach one can see bigger groups of Olympic workers from overseas are setting up their stand. The house of Korea should be interesting and as expected it looks really high tech. House of Germany, also at the beach, Denmark looks smooth and Qatar House resembles the Brazil house in London 2012 as it will be in Casa Daros, an epic and beautiful venue in Botafogo. The world is coming to Rio and we can see, smell and feel the vibe.
Rio Olympics has been heavily criticized and is taking place in the middle of a political turmoil. We have had some grand delays. The preparation has not been short of scandals, from the pollution in Guanabara Bay to the cycle track to Barra that collapsed and caused a fatal accident.
For us who have been in Rio for many years, seeing the Brazilian army in the streets is definitely a change of scenery, even if we are used to the Military Police. This is something different. Military vehicles are everywhere and there are heavily armed men on most street corners in Zona Sul. This week I spoke to a Head of department at the “Policia Civil” who was very confident in the security scheme that is set up. According to him we cannot avoid a “lonely wolf”, but an organized attack from a terrorist group is very unlikely with the heavy operational and intelligence service that has been set up for the Olympics.
We still have hope that this will be a great Olympic games after all and that everything will happen on time. The COI president was reassuring on national TV this weekend that this will be a great “Olympic Games a la Brasil”.
With all that Rio has to offer, let us all enjoy the Olympics in Rio and make the best of it.
All the best,
Fanny Østmo da Costa
Editor & creator