That in recent years the Olympic Games, both Winter and Summer, has become less associated with excellence and the upper limits of human achievement than with physiological deceit, base corruption, and an unparalleled venality, where the purity of amateur athleticism, and ideal of international cooperation – if only on a playing field and for a short while – is now entirely transmogrified by the corporatist, win-at-all-cost ethos is news to no-one. It’s hardly worth mentioning, but what is interesting in a macabre way is the accelerating sense of global doom, both past and present, the biennial circuses have come to mirror.
Whether the tremendous environmental price of industrial hyper-development, as glimpsed through Beijing’s choking smog shroud, the spectres of Sochi’s ethnically cleansed original inhabitants, or Rio’s erased favelas and emergent Zika contagion, it’s almost as though the five rings have become Karma balls, dread omens for a human civilization that has lost its way.
If so, nothing seen so far can compare with the potential horror lurking just below the surface of the next planned Summer games in Tokyo, Japan.
Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He’s also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change and has written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.