To What Cost? Social Issues of 2016 Olympics

Hello everyone! Today I am writing this post to encourage a discussion about sustainability issues, more specifically how several issues of social sustainability were handled during he 2016 Olympics on Brazil.

We are all familiar with how the Olympic Games run their events in the host cities. One of the roles in IOC’ mission is:
"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."
The OG in Brazil brought many advantages for the country and its citizens: the access to high quality transportation increased from 18% to 63%; there were developed new metro lines and expanded train rales; 50,000 volunteers were part of the OG 2016 and were offered a one-year English course and specific training; record numbers were broken in the tourism industry; 1,100 tons of waste were recycled during the Games.
However, if we think about the last Summer Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, we clearly saw that that this role was not totally accomplished. More than 600 families were evicted from their houses only in Vila Autodromo, in order to bring the plan of the Olympic park to life. Even though this community was only on sidelines of the plan, they are disrupting the image of what would in the future be an appealing and modern location. In total, more than 8,000 families were offered a small amount of money to move to another zone of Rio. Unfortunately, this episode created physical confrontation between the families of the Favelas and the local police, but they were still forced to leave their houses and neighbourhoods.

So, after this reflection, my question is: Where is the line? Where do events draw a line between every possible action for economic revenue, and considering the host communities and its social values?
All of these families are now 60km away from the city centre. A part of their neighbourhood is destroyed, and the other is used as a parking lot. But to what cost?

“Not everybody has a price”

Vila Autodromo Homeowners
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Really interesting (and sad) thoughts… do you think that events are learning from examples like Rio 2016, or are events ignoring the negative legacies left by other events?

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Unfortunately things like this happen in most (if not all) the Olympics, and is not only related to social issues, but also environmental and economic. Just in 2018, for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, tens of thousands of trees were cut down just to create a new downhill track (which ironically only had artificial snow). The IOC might be taking some sustainable actions, but there is still a lot that can be done!

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Really interesting post. Thanks for bringing awareness to this topic!

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It was very interesting to read this! The truth is that social issues like this one deserve more attention from event planners…
Sustainability has been a topic of emerging importance in the events industry, however, I believe that a lot more can be done, and I am sure it will be in the near future!

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I’m sure in the near future, more sustainable measure will be taken to protect and prioritise host communities. :smiley:

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:smiley:

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Shocking that this happened just a few years ago, hopefully in the future the Olympics, and many other mega-events, will find a way to become more sustainable and give back what they take from society!