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Many people expected the Olympic Games here in Rio de Janero this year
to be a complete disaster, perhaps even the worst ever.
There were concerns over pollution, violent crime, the ZIKA epidemic,
protests, shoddy infrastructure, and terrorism.
Brazil is also facing its worst recession on record.
And the country's president is likely to be impeached shortly after the closing ceremony.
However, so far the worst predictions haven't come true.
Sure enough, there have been problems.
The U.S. gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte was robbed at gunpoint over the weekend,
while several athletes have even complained of theft within the Olympic village.
However, the majority of the visitors here in Rio are pleasantly surprised.
We heard that was going to be dangerous, overcrowded and dirty, and a mess.
Really, that's what we heard before we had come.
It's fabulous the people've been very welcoming, and it's been clean.
We felt safe everywhere we've gone.
It's been great since we've been here.
Really, a one eighty. I mean It's been fabulous. I would come again for sure.
And it helps of course, the main Olympic park is situated in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods over an hour's drive from downtown Rio.
Most of the Olympic venues are here in Baja,
which you can see it's very different to the rest of Rio.
The avenues are huge. There are big shopping malls. It's relatively safe, clean, and organized.
In fact, the Brazilians call it the mini Miami in Rio.
However, even seasoned Olympic visitors are impressed,
drawing comparison with the London Games in 2012.
I believe it's quite a good one. I have been four years in London.
I was surprised also from the English organization.
I think it's as good as the English organization.
We are very very comfortable here in Rio.
Brazilians' friendly nature has also helped charm visitors.
As this one fan from South Paolo explains who has come dressed as a Pokemon in spite of Rio's boiling temperatures.


I came down for the Olympics and I heard the food is really good.
I heard the people were friendly.
All the Brazilians that I know in the States are always so friendly.
Love to talk, love to sing, love to dance, and love to eat.
Even so, there have been many empty seats in some of the events.
While foreigners were put off coming to Rio,
many Brazilians living in the city have also chosen to stay home.
The tickets are too expensive they say or they're simply not interested enough in sports other than food ball.
Jaggo, who lives only 50 minutes bus ride away from the Olympic park,
watched many of the weekend events on TV with his family.
However, organizers said local tickets sells at beginning to pick-up.
As medal wins spur last minute sales.
So would Rio games be a success after all?
As a spectacle, perhaps yes.
However, for Brazilians, it all depends on what happen to these stadiums and the city after the visitors finally go home.
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Rio Olympics wins over fans | FT World Notebook

71 Folder Collection
Kiara published on August 18, 2016    Kiara translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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