Let’s be honest. When you watch the news, you never think about the preparation that goes into a live broadcast: finding that perfect backdrop, thinking about the hand on the microphone, or the eyes behind the camera. You certainly don’t think about the drivers, translators and fixers that make everything tick behind the scenes. Well at Rio 2016, that driver, translator and fixer was me. I occasionally found myself masquerading as a production assistant of sorts, but, for the most part, I was a good old-fashioned runner for the Sky Sports News team.
Brazil can breathe a great sigh of relief. Disaster has been averted. Despite the predictions that Rio de Janeiro was unprepared and with many expecting the Olympic Games to be an embarrassment, Rio 2016 has just about delivered. Sure, it was a little rough around the edges, with some accommodation not quite up to scratch and a few visitors finding themselves the victims of petty crime. But that raw, fresh Olympic experience was the main reason for bringing the games to South America: to give a continent of sport-loving people access to the world’s biggest sporting event.
Brazil is gearing up to host yet another international sporting event. The opening ceremony gets underway in a few hours and the eyes of the world will turn to Rio de Janeiro. If the World and Confederations Cups are anything to go by, these Olympic Games will run smoothly, despite the odd hiccough involving shoddy stadia and angry protestors. This is the ‘jeitinho brasileiro’ – the Brazilian way – at it’s finest: leave things until the last minute, but somehow manage to achieve decent results. As ever with Brazil, the situation is unpredictable. But what is the lowdown from Rio? Is the city ready for these Olympic Games?