Whether Brazil is ready or not, the Olympics officially begin this Friday. This year, there have been many competing stories that have tried to upstage the games. Communicable viruses, faulty toilets, dirty politics and insufficient funds have all tried to steal a place in the spotlight. Hopefully, after this Friday, the athletes and the spirit of competition will be the focus of everyone’s attention.
Here are a few of the objectives that the Rio Olympics need to achieve in order to not just be a news story about Zika viruses and broken bathrooms.
Objective #1: Distract from all the negatives; Have memorable opening ceremony uniforms
Admit it. You channel your inner Michael Kors, from Project Runway, during the Olympic opening ceremony. No hideous fabric is safe from your commentary. No unflattering cut can withstand your witty comments.
Making fun of the opening ceremony outfits can bring you great joy. Just enough joy to help you forget about all the other Rio shenanigans that are going on outside of the building that was built specifically for this moment.
Objective #2: Scrap the plans were Gisele makes social commentary with mixed messages.
This Sunday, the Olympic coordinators did a dry run of the opening ceremony. In the initial run, there were some confusing messages in the section with supermodel, Gisele. In THIS article, there was some confusion about whether she was robbed by a “black kid from the slums” or if he was just trying to take a selfie. Either way, the scene has been pulled from the opening. While this catastrophe would pull attention from all of the other problems Brazil has had with the games, it might not be the kind of attention they would want.
Objective #3: Be anything other than politics
From now till August 21st, we will all have something else to discuss other than Trump’s chicken or the Clinton’s love of balloons. Anything will be a welcome distraction from the dumpster fire that is this year’s election.
Objective #4: Create new celebrities
Everyone loves getting to know an Olympic Canoe Slalom-er(?) or a Handball savant. We might not know the correct terms for their sport, but becoming more acquainted with the rules of a new game is mesmerizing. Watching two hours of a Judo match/set/game/event can make any viewer forget, for a little while, all the drama that happened behind the scenes.
Objective #5: Inspire.
All of the pageantry of the Olympics come second to the stories of the competitors in the games. For example, this year there is a team of long-distance runners from refugee camps. In THIS article, Thomas Bach discusses why he wanted to organize this specific type of team. Bach said, “this will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis.” Stories about these refugee long-distance runners are what make the Olympics worth having.
Object #6: Consider a new format
If the first five objectives fail and the Rio games are a complete disaster, then maybe we should consider the plan that Megan Greenwell presents in THIS Wired article. The new format would be to have the Olympics in multiple cities where events could take place in a venue that is already built. Greenwell states that it would be better to “Let each country bear the cost of one set of events at a time instead of dozens.”
Until then, all we have is Rio.