From Usain Bolts golden triumphs to a green pool and Michael Phelpss herculean achievements, the Games were swept along by a crazy rhythm in Rio
On the seventh day of the Games, it seemed, for a brief, bewildering moment, as though a bomb had gone off in the Olympic Park. A thunderclap sounded around the aquatics stadium and echoed across the food court. No one fled. Instead everyone sped towards the scene. It turned out that Brazilian police had detonated a discarded rucksack they later explained that it had contained a jacket and a pair of socks and then opened the gates to the basketball arena, where Spain were about to play Nigeria. All those running people were just in a rush to take their seats. Otherwise, no one blinked because it was the third similar incident in a week. There had been another detonation during the mens cycling road race and a third outside the Maracan. That familiar phrase, controlled explosion, seems now to sum up the Rio Olympics.
If anything it implies that the authorities had more control than they really did. Brazil was in the midst of its worst recession since the Great Depression. In March the man who brought the Olympics to the city, the former president Lula Incio da Silva, was arrested as part of the investigation into government corruption. In May, his successor Dilma Rousseff was suspended after the senate voted to start impeachment proceedings against her. Neither were welcome at the opening ceremony of the very Games they had arranged, and which was supposed to have been their legacy. Instead, the interim president, Michel Temer, was there. He took the precaution of arranging for the music to be turned up extra loud when he took to the stage. You could still hear the boos.