So no, things aren’t quite going seamlessly. You want to criticize it? Feel free.
But you want to judge this the worst Games ever after five days, here’s what you base it on: You base it on the fact that it included the preventable death of an athlete in competition. That’s it. That’s the main criteria…
But if you’re scoring the rest, you want to judge these Games as worse than Munich, where athletes were taken hostage and killed? Worse than Atlanta, where in addition to logistical nightmares — and the fact that they gave homeless people one-way bus tickets — a bomb actually went off?
For that matter, what about Beijing? Well, in Beijing the transportation system was a marvel. The one time I was on a bus that broke down, the replacement driver drove like a demon all the way back into the city, his thumb constantly on the horn, as if his life depended on this one gaggle of international journalists getting home on time.
The problem was that it’s possible that was the case. Nobody judged the success of those Games on the fact that an estimated 1.5-million people were displaced for the Games, that censorship and human rights violations ruled the day, or that people who applied to demonstrate in the designated protest zones were immediately arrested, including 77- and 79-year-old grandmothers who were sentenced five years of re-education through hard labour.
There was criticism of these outrages, of course. But nobody called Beijing the worst Games ever, because the buses ran on time.