Let the show begin

Let the show begin

There is no room for doubt that from August 5 to 21 virtually all roads will lead to Rio de Janeiro, the picturesque city in Brazil, which will host the XXXI Summer Olympics. 

There is no room for doubt that from August 5 to 21 virtually all roads will lead to Rio de Janeiro, the picturesque city in Brazil, which will host the XXXI Summer Olympics.

A sporting spectacle like no other, Olympics puts to shade the crème de la crème of all popular disciplines like Wimbledon, football World Cup, the NBA, Golf Masters, Tour de France et al with the cricket World Cup or Ashes coming nowhere close to contention given the handful of countries it is played in.

The romance of the greatest sporting spectacle is such that athletes of every hue from the superpowers to the obscure island will give their best to corner glory because the popularity that it brings along is unfathomable.

Moreover, Olympics per se exemplify the highest and the best of standards even outside of sports arena to such an extent that words like Herculean task and Olympian effort are part of day-to-day lingo in every part of the world.

As a sports spectacle that brings together people from all walks of life, a major highlight of the apolitical Olympics was witnessed during the Seoul Olympics when sworn enemies like North and South Koreas shed their political animosity and took salute under a unified flag!

The surcharged and hugely vulnerable period when Adolf Hitler was plotting a global conquest, the IOC did not stop the Berlin Games in 1936; the US and USSR-inspired Moscow and Los Angeles boycotts did not mark the closure of the Games nor were they closed when there was a bloodbath in Munich.

Olympics survived every ordeal and every political upheaval for the simple reason that its spirit is larger and more endearing than any known soothing balm.

For sportspersons, an Olympic medal is the ultimate tribute to the individual’s talent. Living legends like Novak Djokovik and Serena Williams, the Messis and Ronaldos yearn for Olympic recognition as they, like thousands of athletes from all over, realise that it is only a top showing in the mother of all sports events that takes their popularity to newer and uncharted vistas.

They also understand that for all their exploits in their specialised fields, it is still a Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, who enjoys a larger adulation.

Of course, Olympics have had their share of shame with many athletes resorting to performance-enhancing drugs in their greed to attain worldly fame with at least one medal. There is uniqueness to the magical word Olympics.

The run-up to Rio 2016 has been melodramatic with controversies emerging every other day, including rampant corruption, political unrest in Brazil, deplorable economic conditions and of course, the outbreak of Zika virus and the doping scandal that has put Russia in an absolute poor light.

With just a day to go for the spectacular start, one is certain that all these will be away from people’s minds as they will be taken to a different but more fascinating world that will not be short of agonies and ecstasies. Let the show begin, as they say.

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