“The legacy is incredibly poor,” said Theresa Williamson, executive director of Catalytic Communities – a Rio-based non-government organisation providing support to favela communities – in an interview with AAP in February.
“This all coincided with the economic recession but in Rio, just like the boom here was more intense because of the Olympics, now the fall is more intense because of the Olympics. Everybody here is suffering right now, of all incomes and all stripes and colours.”
The key Games precinct has been shut down, the city’s Olympic golf course is struggling and at the athletes’ village, of the 31 towers which were supposed to be sold as luxury condominiums after the Games, fewer than 10 percent of the units have been sold.
Deodoro Olympic Park [canoe slalom], situated in a poorer area of the city, was to be used as a park and recreation area after the games, but it closed in January.
Away from the disused Olympic village the favelas which overlook the venues and which were supposed to be cleaned up are in as bad a state as ever.
In Rio’s largest slum, Rochina, human feces flows in small rivers between the houses in what locals apparently call “sewage waterfalls.
Rio isn’t the only city to see venues decay after spending billions — venues in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia from the 1984 Winter games and Athens, Greece from the 2004 Summer games have resulted in similar fates.
But Brazil, which is in the middle of the country’s worst recession in recent history, and which saw president Dilma Rouseff impeached for manipulating the federal budget in order to hide the nation’s escalating economic problems is unlikely to fix the venues any time soon.
This article originally appeared on the online edition of The Daily Mirror.