Editorial: scandals come and scandals go. Ideals not so

A man poses with replicas of Rio 2016 Olympic torch he was selling for 10 Brazilian reais (around USD 3) ahead of the arrival of the Olympic torch relay in Niteroi near Rio de Janiero on August 2, 2016. The pair drove to Rio from Recife in northern Brazil in five days after three months of work to make 2000 replica torches. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

PHOTO: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP

Today, it's all eyes on Rio de Janeiro and the legendary Maracanã.

On the one hand, doubtless the Olympics are a weighty event and a dream for any athlete (with a few sports excluded).

On the other, it’s a vast global media happening. For the reference: at London games four years back, 900 million people TV viewers tuned in to watch the opening ceremony.

And the interest shows no signs of waning.

Thirdly, as resulting from the above, the Games come with their own special chemistry to touch everything from politics to economy, fro technology to environmentalism etc.

The effect is the greater that the summer games only come every four years – an exception in this increasingly fast track world.  

Regarding Rio, many a problem has arisen in the press. Concerns range from security, health (Guanabara bay pollution, Zika virus), the economy and the political instability.

In it all, info noise does definitely play a part, partly due to the unique opportunity for interest groups to gain a vast audience.

But, then again, Olympics open opportunities to take a broader view of the world, including stuff the organisers do not want us to see. So let’s be critical as media consumers.

On the sports side, we are talking doping again and still waiting for the final say regarding Russians. Which brings us to the ideals still so important for the world today. To the virtues not only physical but of character, as were often underlined by Pierre de Coubertin, the Father of modern Olympics, in various wording.

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