Rio Olympics – Athens Olympics: Same Strategy; Same Failure

Go Lean Commentary

It’s simple: learn from mistakes or you repeat them.

This applies to other people’s mistakes as well.

There is the funny anecdote of an insane asylum located in the inner boroughs in some unidentified city. The inmates forced a hole in a border fence and one day they shouted out “Four, four, four …”. A stranger walked by, heard the shouts and peeked in the hole. An inmate poked him in the eye, then shouted “Five, five, five …”.

Mistake made, no lesson learned!

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many countries, in particular “poorer” countries that have hosted the Olympics. There was the clearly documented mistake – “bad” experience – of Athens-Greece hosting the 2004 Olympics. They built many permanent stadiums that were never used again – “white elephants” – they cost a lot of money to build and a lot to maintain. Fast forward to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro-Brazil Olympics and we see the Same Strategy; Same Failure – “the stranger unwisely peeks in the same hole and gets poked in the eye”.

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The Rio De Janeiro-Brazil city, state and federal governments ignored the sage advice and built permanent stadia (plural of stadium) and venues for the 2016 Olympic Games and now are suffering the same “black eye”. See the details of this Same Strategy; Same Failure phenomena in the article and VIDEO here:

Title: Scathing report on 2016 Rio Olympics: venues ‘White Elephants’
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A federal prosecutor looking into last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics says that many of the venues “are white elephants” that were built with “no planning.”

The scathing report offered Monday at a public hearing confirms what was reported several months after the games ended. Many of the venues are empty, boarded up, and have no tenants or income with the maintenance costs dumped on the federal government.

“There was no planning,” federal prosecutor Leandro Mitidieri told the public hearing on the Olympics. “There was no planning when they put out the bid to host the Games. No planning.

“They are white elephants today,” Mitidieri added. “What we are trying to look at here is to how to turn this into something usable.”

Rio de Janeiro spend about $12 billion to organize the games, which were plagued by cost-cutting, poor attendance, and reports of bribes and corruption linked to the building of some Olympic-related facilities.

The Olympic Park in suburban Barra da Tijuca, which was the largest cluster of venues, is an expanse of empty arenas with clutter still remaining from the games. The second largest cluster, in the northern area of Deodoro, is closed despite plans to open it as a public park with swimming facilities for the mostly poor who live in the area.

Patricia Amorim, the undersecretary for sports in the city of Rio, said highly publicized plans were on hold to dismantle one arena and turn the remains into four schools. The arena was the venue for handball.

“It will be dismantled,” she said. “We are just waiting to know whether we will actually have resources to build these schools on other sites, or whether we will dismantle it and wait for the resources to come. Our schools need to be reformed and that’s our priority, not new schools.”

Nine months after the Rio Olympics ended, the local organizing committee still owes creditors about $30 million, and 137 medals awarded during the games are rusting and need to be repaired.

Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, the moving force with the International Olympic Committee behind organizing last year’s Olympics, is being investigated for allegedly accepting at least 15 million reals ($5 million) in payments to facilitate construction projects tied to the games.

He denies any wrongdoing.

Organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said more than 100 medals awarded at the Olympics showed signs of rusting. He said many were bronze medals, and said many of the tarnished medals had been awarded to Americans.

“Most of the problems were due to handling, poor handling,” Andrada said. “Either they fell on the floor or they were touching each other so, it was a problem of handling. Whatever was the problem with the poor handling, it took the gloss off the medal and then you see rusting.”

He said the medals would be repaired at Brazil’s mint, called the Casa da Moeda.

He said more than 2,000 medals were awarded at the Olympics and said “several other games had problems with medals.”

Source: USA Today Daily Newspaper. Posted May 22, 2017; retrieved May 24, 2017 from:


VIDEO – Rio 2016 Olympic Venues Just 6 Months After The Olympics –

Published on Feb 13, 2017 – Summer is over for Brazil’s ‘marvelous city’. In a series of eerie and depressing new photos released last week, the 2016 Summer Olympic venues in Rio de Janeiro are seen filthy and deserted just 6 months after the end of the games, including the legendary Maracana Stadium. In a city that hoped desperately to be lifted out of poverty and debt by making back the money they spent, these are the ruins of a shattered dream.

Rio 2016 was boiled in scandal before it had even began, including a Zika virus outbreak, reports of doping by Russian athletes, and the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff due to corruption. The second largest city in Brazil is millions of dollars in debt with international creditors, and now also owes over 900 thousand dollars to a local energy company.

Murky pools, worn terrain, and vandalism can be found all over the Olympic park. Seats have been torn from the once-iconic arena. The future of these shockingly neglected buildings remains uncertain, but they’re unlikely to be a high priority among Rio’s long list of coming challenges.

Temporary stadium over permanent stadium – this is a familiar advocacy for the publishers of the book Go Lean…Caribbean. These points are gleaned from this previous blog-commentary from June 5, 2014:

Learn from Greece – Why build expensive permanent stadiums for temporary (sports/cultural) events, when there is such an effective art and science with temporary stadiums?! This important lesson was ignored in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The subsequent article and [embedded] VIDEO (from the cable channel HBO’s documentary Real Sports) describes the folly for expensive permanent stadiums for short-term events; especially while the art and science of temporary stadiums is so effective.

The foregoing article discourages investment in permanent venues unless there is a solid long-term business plan. The Go Lean roadmap concurs – Greece did not recover from the flawed Olympic build-out for facilities that were never used again after the 2004 Games. On the other hand, here is the encouragement and recommendation to develop fairgrounds and deploy temporary stadia, arenas and theaters. Imagine a golf tournament; no one would expect bleachers and grandstands at the putting greens to be permanent structures. No, there is a place for temporary structures in the world of sports.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all the 30 member-states in the region. The roadmap asserts that there could be many economic and societal benefits by harnessing the potential from the world of sports.  While sports are not the roadmap’s primary purpose, related pursuits are recognized as important strategies. A mission of the Go Lean roadmap is quoted as “forge industries and economic drivers around the individual and group activities of sports and culture” (Page 81). But make no mistake, there is NO recomendation for the Caribbean to host the Olympics … ever.

Overall, this CU/Go Lean roadmap describes these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs; 21,000 direct jobs at sports enterprises, venues and fairgrounds throughout the region.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines – including the sports eco-systems – must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxii. Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism – modeling the Olympics.

The Go Lean book avoids the Same Strategy; Same Failure pitfall; it provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society, including the full opportunities in the world of sports.

There are a number of sports – Tennis, Auto Racing, Beach Volleyball, and Soccer/Football (i.e. 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany) – which fully explore temporary bleachers/grandstands. This is the wise course; the art-and-sciences of temporary structures is a best-practice.

Why would anyone consider expensive permanent stadia when temporary stadia is better? This would be stupid! But alas, a previous Go Lean commentary has posited that Stupidity persists when “someone is getting paid”. This is the lesson learned from Rio … and Athens.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean – governing institutions and the people (athletes and fans) – to abide by best-practices and lean-in for this Go Lean roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation; Same Strategy; Same Failure no more! Now is the time to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


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