Love The Country, Hate The Games

The mixed feelings surrounding the olympics in rio has left many confused on what to think. to make sense of it all, we located some brazilians living in dongguan and listened to their opinions

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From as far back as I can remember, I loved watching the the Olympics. I would sit with my family in front of the TV, watching our countrymen compete and score endless medals. My God, I used to love seeing them collecting those beautiful shining medals!

I always felt proud of my country and the Brazilian sportsmen. Match after match, they played with vigor; their passionate hearts aimed to make us proud and show the world all the power our people can muster.

After the announcement about Rio 2016 some years back, I was flooded with emotion. All at once, I was happy, excited and hopeful about this very special thing happening in my country. It was amazing; the Olympics would finally be in Brazil, my home!

After the sheen of the news wore off, slowly, but surely, I began to start thinking about the bigger situation in Brazil. Would the country be prepared to host the Olympics? Questions came faster and faster as insecurity grew: Is Brazil an organized country? Is it a good place to be living? Are Brazilians satisfied with their home?

Here in China, I feel safe. I can walk alone in the street at night and feel confident nothing bad will happen. I don’t need to be afraid anymore

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the answers to many of these questions were simple: no. I begrudgingly had come to see that Brazil truly was and is not prepared to host the games. Brazil is not an organized country. Brazil does not offer a good place to live. And no, Brazilians are not happy about the state of things! Worst of all, most Brazilians are now incredibly angry about being forced to host the Olympics when there are so many other pressing issues.

It’s been consistently speculated on how such a crime-ridden country can offer adequate safety to foreign players or fans coming for the Olympics? Even for Brazilians, our nation is dangerous. Seriously dangerous. Each time I go home to visit my family, I always feel afraid. I feel pain and frustration as I hide my cellphone and anything of value when I leave my house.

With so much going wrong for Brazil right now, we have plenty of things to fix. How do things get fixed? Money. The amount that Brazil has invested in the games is too much. Maybe now it’s standard to open the banks and spend erratically, but that’s a luxury, and one that we cannot afford.

Following the Olympics, many buildings will be abandoned. Such myopic waste when we can very easily see rundown hospitals and schools is incomprehensible. Our transportation needs improvement, our streets are dangerous and our economy is floundering. We want our taxes to be invested in these things! We demand a better life!

About five years ago, I was wondering whether I should leave Brazil due to the many disappointing conditions there. Things are very expensive and the taxation is high. Are things getting worse? Probably.

I strongly feel that Brazil is such a beautiful country with exceptional people. When I think back to when I just heard the news of the Olympics to now, I really want to be proud of Brazil and Rio, but unfortunately, I cannot.

I used to think I would only leave my homeland for few years and then come back. Now, I have no plans to go back to Brazil anytime soon. Here in China, I feel safe. I can walk alone in the street at night and feel confident nothing bad will happen. I don’t need to be afraid anymore.

Deep down in my heart, I hope Brazil will improve. I so strongly wish the people of my country will never lose hope and carry on their well known zest for life! We as a country have made some bad decisions, for which we now pay. But someday soon, Brazil will shine again.

What Do Others Think?

Rampant corruption, problems with venue preparation, very serious political turmoil, defection of top athletes (some scared by Zika virus, some expelled by international regulation body), I still believe that by the very end, the 2016 Olympics will be successful, based basically on the natural importance of this event, the full coverage it will receive from all kinds of media and the whole attention that the international community will give it, as well.

We still encourage people to support the Olympic Games because this might be the only chance for our generation to see an event with such importance being held in our own country.

– Ari Filipini

The games are good for the country because they expose Brazil to the rest of the world, assuming that the event will be successful. If they are not, then we will see the opposite effect and they will instead be shameful.

– Otavio S. D. Oliveira

Category Op-Ed