The Sunday Post (Dundee)

It’s all over – now I’ll have a grumble


IT is wrong to voice opinions about things of which you have only a superficia­l knowledge. It is wrong to base your opinions on impression­s gained from second-hand sources.

But then, if we all stuck to those kind of rules, no newspaper columns would ever get written. So here goes.

I have never been to Brazil. I only know about it from TV documentar­ies, its football team and images of Copacabana and the Big Jesus.

But I don’t like it and I never want to go there.

I could have said this a couple of weeks ago but I promised my wife I wouldn’t be grumpy about anything to do with the Olympics and spoil her enjoyment. But they’re all done now so I consider myself released from my bond.

Here’s the thing. That Rio seafront that’s supposed to be so glamorous and exotic and stuff. Can someone tell me exactly how it differs from the seafront at Benidorm?

It’s a strip of sand backed by ugly high-rise buildings. And despite the occasional wannabe model lounging in a thong (which I have to say is a regular sight at Troon as well, when the ice recedes) the people on the beach are no more

The girl from Ipanema must be in her 70s by now

beautiful than the wobbly, ravaged tourists who litter the Mediterran­ean from June till September.

Then, once you get off the Copacabana, you enter a country that is mired in poverty, corruption and superstiti­on, where life is cheap.

Where the economy that was going to dominate the world is now going down the toilet and has, as a special bonus courtesy of its sleazy politician­s, been lumbered with a host of jerry-built sports stadiums that it will never use again and will plunge it even further into debt.

The girl from Ipanema? Must be in her 70s by now. Which reminds me that two Australian rowing coaches were robbed on Ipanema Beach so the whole Aussie team were banned from going there after dark.

OK, any country that can put the frightener­s on Australian athletes deserves respect – but only the kind you might give to a grizzly bear with piles and a machine gun.

Oh, and yes – the Olympics was a festival of juvenile jingoism and pointless effort.

Ahhh. That’ll do me for another four years.

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