The Olympic Games have come and gone, and I think that Rio de Janeiro has put on a fairly acceptable showing. Maybe the waters weren’t the cleanest, the city the safest, the fans the nicest, or the diving pool the clearest, but at least nothing catastrophic happened, right? Brazil is going through a rough time. Corruption is still the main player in its government, its people are poor, and its streets are filthy. These Summer Olympic Games offered the country a great opportunity to reinvigorate itself and inspire a diverse population into fanfare.
With the Men’s Soccer (Football) tournament, Brazil managed to reignite its people. When Neymar converted the gold-winning penalty kick against Germany, the entire nation erupted in happiness. The Brazilian U-23 national men’s soccer team burst into tears of joy, for they had won the most desired medal of the Games for their country.
In the end, that’s what the Olympics is all about. Does Fiji care that they didn’t win 20 medals? Nope. They care that they won a gold medal in rugby. Does Brazil care that they put on a fairly embarassing performance given the number of athletes they brought and the fact that they were the host? Nope. They just care that they won a gold medal in soccer. The Olympics are about bringing the world together to celebrate sports, and despite all of Rio’s shortcomings, these Games did manage that one thing, at least.