Dear Rio,

Well hello there, little buddy! We heard you’ve been having a couple of problems preparing for the Olympics, and we’re not gonna lie, we were hurt when you didn’t come to us for advice after you won the bid. We have a lot of experience in this sort of thing, and we would’ve sorted you out, one BRIC bro to another. Now look at yourself.

We’re not here to gloat or to say we told you so. There will be plenty of time for that later. We’re here to tell you that we get it. We know, from our own Commonwealth Games disaster, what you had to endure preparing for this embarrassment-fuelled international shitshow.

We know what ails your sports system. We have the same problem. Everyone in the country pays attention to only one sport, so the facilities for other events are in worse shape than the set of a bootleg Bulgarian porn film. Your officials are so corrupt that most of your athletes have to raise money for uniforms on their own. And then you have the international media breathing down your neck, complaining about how there isn’t enough time left for you to build the infrastructure. It’s the most common Olympics news story, save said infrastructure falling apart two days before the torch lighting. But what these Western hacks don’t get is that the first rule of the BRICs club is that 90 per cent of the work gets done in 10 per cent of the time. Yes, that’s why bridges collapse and athletes fear attending for fear of squalid living conditions in the unfinished accommodation, or deadly insect-borne viruses.

Been there. Done that. Paid a 1000 per cent markup for the T-shirt.


But hey, Rio. Don’t doubt yourself. Two years ago, our BRIC bro Russia hosted the Winter Olympics. Do you think they cared about what people said about them? Their Olympic Village wasn’t even complete by the time everyone arrived. But they didn’t feel embarrassed. The food they served wasn’t edible, but they didn’t give a rat’s ass. They were like, “Here is room. Here is food. Now give me million dollar.” Do you think they sat around having an existential crisis about the lack of infrastructure? Fuck, no. They were too busy invading other countries when not practising naked horseback riding.

Look, you don’t need half the things the IOC has asked you to build anyway. So you don’t have a doping lab this year. Good riddance. Most of these boring-ass games need a shot of something anyway. Drugs just make everybody more competitive. And it’ll be more fun for the viewer. Win-win.

The best part about hosting the Olympic games in 2016 is that this is the Year of the Fuck-Up. Even if your thing is a Category 5 catastrophe, the week after, some other, crazier thing will eclipse it. This is a year in which Donald Trump being a candidate for the American Presidency is the fifth or sixth most insane thing to happen. Think you have a chance at stealing the world’s cameras from those tiny hands?

This is not even the worst event of the year in your own geographical backyard. Just look at Venezuela. No matter how badly you do, they’re going to make you look like you got your shit super tight. Just try and keep the food riots to Tuesdays. If South America were a telenovela, you’d be the elder brother who tries to keep the family together against all odds, and Venezuela would be the alcoholic who can’t stay sober enough for his favourite niece’s birthday party.

In fact, the Olympics aren’t even going to be your biggest fuck-up of the year. You impeached a democratically elected president and replaced her with a corrupt technocrat who is barred from standing for election. A couple of half-built stadiums are the least of your worries.

All this to say, no one is going to remember 2016 for the Olympics. When people think of 1914, they don’t go, “That was a marquee year for commercial aviation!” They always think about that dude getting shot.

So as long as the Jamaican relay team don’t wake up sharing their bed with poisonous snakes, or you don’t send the American rowing team home full of Zika, you’ll be fine.

Come to think of it, these Olympics are going to be such a mess, the Indian team has inadvertently already been very well-trained for the chaotic ineptitude. We might even take home a medal for an un-nerdy sport.


GQ India

To read more, subscribe to the print edition or get the single digital copy now.