Friday, February 13, 2009
Rio for the Olympics in 2016!!
If you live in Tokyo, there is no mistaking that they are making a bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016 - there are signs about it everywhere with this fruity looking rainbow ribbon thingy as seen above. The nationalistic right-wing mayor of Tokyo has been fighting for this forever... since they failed to get the nomination in 2012 at least. Their competition this time around? Madrid, Chicago, and Rio de Janeiro.
Up until recently, I was rather indifferent to the whole issue and wished Tokyo best of luck - I mean why not, right? Well I'll tell you why not. You see, there's this park in downtown Tokyo - the biggest one, actually - known as Yoyogi Park. This place is amazing, and you can find just about anything going on there during the warmer months of the year, from bands, drum circles and performances to people practicing all manner of hobbies from capoeira and juggling to... stand up comedy and fake sword fighting choreography. You can find people playing all sorts of sports, and it is a premiere spot for hanami in the Spring as well as host to any number of cultural festivals throughout the Summer. This place is like my haven - a place of solace to protect me from going mad when I'm feeling stressed from living in this uber-urban concrete environment that is Tokyo. It's got it all, and I'm not even going into the full details of this place by far. Here's some videos I found of a guy walking through Yoyogi on a typical Sunday - check them out.
What does this have to do with the Olympics? Well I'll tell you what. They're talking about ruining this park to make way for new Olympic facilities!! Concreting over even a section of this party would be a travesty - I don't care what they build or how much added traffic and revenue this place gets, sacrificing this park is not worth it and I can't believe they'd even consider it... oh wait, this is Ishihara we're talking about, so yes I can.
So in short, to all this I say Rio for the Olympics in 2016!! I'll be rooting for you all the way as I think S. America is ready to host the Olympics. Sorry Chicago, but they've already been in the US enough times to give Brazil a shot and I'd like another excuse to go down there... besides capoeira, Carnival and the World Cup 2014 that is. Maybe next time.
By the way, BBC seems to agree with me that Rio is the right choice - there's a precedent for World Cup hosters to follow up with the Olympics as well: Mexico '68/'70, Germany '72/'74, and Atlanta '94/'96.