Unfair: atrocities of tremendous proportions ruin Olympic pride

Frank Sumrall, Contributing Editor

Jessie Owens stomping on the Nazi regime en route to gold glory. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in silence after claiming victory. The USA men’s hockey team defeating the USSR at their peak. Olympic rings representing the globe’s continents set ablaze in front of roaring audiences. This international event creates a competitive platform to unite the world and let audiences forget about their vast differences. But the Olympics’ image is tainted by corruption; now creating schisms in our world instead of uniting our global tears.

Rio’s Copacabana region is the largest tourist attraction in the country, with Balneario beach engulfing the urban nightlife, history and culture. But the local population faced the wrath of Olympic cleansing. Beneath the glamourous exterior is poverty drenched in drug addiction and human trafficking. Children living in the streets begging for change or falling into gangs is a reality not fit for television.

Instead of helping the less fortunate, the Brazilian government spent swept its issues under the rug. It wanted to establish itself as a growing economy and used the Olympics as a stage. The games are now used for gloating accomplishments instead of acting as an example for unity in an ever separating world. The United Nations accused Brazil’s militarized police of killing children and young adults in their “Clean the Streets” program.

While Brazil tried its best to look pristine for national television, the country faced many issues beyond the Zika virus. A recession hit the country, political unrest looked to overthrow the government while the impoverished children fell to drugs and gangs. 

This is not a foreign issue either as the U.S. is guilty of similar acts. The 2016 Super Bowl in our big sister city of San Francisco failed to deal with its increasing homeless issue. Instead they were swept into a warehouse for the two week football celebration.

The inhumane actions toward homeless in the name of colossal sporting events ruins the integrity of competition. The amazing stories and heroic efforts from the nation’s best athletes are clouded by the organization’s ethics. 

The goals of the Olympics are polluted with a falsifying image. It’s irony at its finest of one-upmanship in an event of global unity through sports. The location of the games is treated as a showcase of culture, but it has turned into a competition in itself.

Homelessness will always be an issue and it’s apparent everywhere including our campus. While it’s inevitable to have a homeless population, nothing should be promoted to increase the vagabond issue in the name of entertainment. Not the Super Bowl. And not the Olympics.