Rio Diaries: Vijay Goel's missed photo op, journalist woes at MPC, and the Zika 'scare'
Rio Diaries reflects on Vijay Goel's missed photo op, journalist's woes at MPC inside the Games village, and the Zika virus 'scare'.
Rio de Janeiro: Indian swimmers may not have grabbed the headlines in the Olympic Pool, but our athletes are making waves at the pool inside the Games Village. Keeping in view the Indian 'parampara' and 'sanskriti', some of the Indian women residents at the Village are taking a plunge in the village swimming pool in tights and tees, much to the surprise of athletes from other countries. The other day, several German athletes took pictures of the Indian girls taking a dip. Later on, they were busy finding out if it was some sort of 'Ayurvedic' treatment or some such thing!
The other day, Indian sports minister Vijay Goel and his troupe were present at the archery venue, hoping that Deepika Kumari and co would give them a chance for a two minutes photo op, in front of the Indian electronic media. They quietly beat a retreat, after the Indian girls failed to feature among the medallists.
Then, they decided to ride on Abhinav Bindra’s probable medal. In fact, a meet-the-press was arranged at the Games Village post Bindra's event. But here also, they were left disappointed. And on top of that, they had to serve tea and samosas to the visiting journalists for no free TV time whatsoever!
It is surprising that in the land of coffee, there is none available most of the time at the Main Press Centre or MPC. "Coffee will be available after 15 minutes," is what a notice has been saying for the past three days! Journalists are generally accused of bagging freebies. But at the MPC, nothing is available, not even if you are willing to pay for it.
Rio, it seems, is setting an organisation model for the third world countries. Here, it is pertinent to mention that most journalists who attended Delhi’s Commonwealth Games in 2010 are fondly reminiscing over the event. So what if one certain Mr K had to pay a heavy price for the courtesies!
Junk food and International Olympic Committee (IOC) are a classic example of contradiction. Top medicos of IOC Medical Commission educate athletes against eating junk food. Even coaches around the world warn their athletes on the same. But going by the crowd of athletes at the McDonald’s kiosk inside the Games Village, it seems burgers and fries are the staple food of the athletes! As one of the official sponsors, McDonald’s actually shells out millions of dollars to the IOC. So it all boils down to the monies. Who cares for the athletes? And it is not just burgers. Fries and burgers go hand in hand with Coca-Cola, another main sponsor of IOC.
Journalists covering the Games in Rio are wondering whether the Zika scare was real or made up by the western media. The reason being that while visiting journalists and other delegates were strictly advised to wear full sleeves and trousers, many local women are on the streets, in typical skimpy Brazilian dresses! May be the local mosquitoes are also trained who to bite. But one enterprising Indian journo is willing to give his right hand to become a mosquito in Rio. No prizes for guessing why!
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