What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?

One might ask. After the too much excitement, fancy celebrations, and multibillion dollar gathering, what is next? What benefits did it bring to humanity?

What did the poor get out of the abundant wealth that was spent for these games?

It is sad to say that not only the poor didn’t get anything; some of them have lost their livelihoods and places of living altogether for the construction of the arenas.

In her article The Olympics Are a Colossal Waste and a Shameful Distraction Sonali Kolhatkar stated, “The poorest sectors of society within the host countries experience displacement and other forms of oppression as authorities work hard to impress visiting athletes and spectators.”

In Brazil, the first South American country to serve as the international showcase, this was certainly true; more than 20,000 families were displaced to make way for Olympics-related infrastructure. In fact, the state of Rio de Janeiro, where the games are being held, is in such desperate financial circumstances that state workers are not being paid and healthcare centers cannot even afford to take on the Zika virus crisis. Rio declared bankruptcy ahead of the games, and the state’s governor declared a “state of calamity.”

The only benefactors were big corporations who have milked the cow to the last drop of the milk, not leaving anything behind for the destitute.

I wish such force of unity would have been mobilized for the betterment of mankind, to fight poverty, and help those who are living in deplorable conditions around the world and at own backyards such as the homeless and the Aboriginal people.

After the excitement there is nothing substantial on the table to change the deplorable conditions around the world even in the same country where the games were held.

People are dying of hunger; thousands are being killed like ants, no regard to human life of whatsoever. While we only view the terrorist killings– and rightly so – as awful, we hardly pay attention to the other type of systematic and targeted killings by drone’s attacks which terrorize civilians. The US drones have killed so many people in the poor countries. The number of the civilians killed in these attacks might never be known.

The excitement over the Olympics is artificial. It   is like a balloon filled with air and then bursting and losing  all its power into the thin air.

What should we be excited for when the same country where the Olympics is held have abandoned its poor people and driven them out of their homes as reported by the Daily Mirror?

Why should a black man run, when he has been running for over 400 years from pain, humiliation, and suffering?

Why should a black man kick the football when he has been kicked for half a millennium?

How could Canadians get excited about these games when we have abandoned our own Aboriginals who living in crisis as documented by a United Nations report?

Who cares weather athletes wear a bikini or burkini? This is nothing but a distraction to the real issues.

Humanity ought to come back to its senses and stops arbitrary killing, be it by bombs, bullets, pathetic individual acts or state sponsored ones, be it by engineering seeds of crop to suffocate the poor of its food supply.

The 4.6 billion which was the estimated cost of the Brazil Olympics would have benefited almost the entire human race.

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Abubakar N. Kasim lives in Toronto.

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