After the party: Rio wakes up to an Olympic hangover

When Brazil won the Olympics in 2009, its future looked bright. Seven years on, as the Games come to a close, Rio’s residents are counting the costs. The Olympic Games are coming to a close, having demonstrated once again that Rio de Janeiro knows how to organise and promote big events. But after the party, and the billions spent to show the world that we deserve a place among the great democracies, comes the hangover; the bills begin to arrive, and we have no way to pay. As the festive air and the tourism subside, and with the Paralympics due to start in a matter of weeks, the old problems remain.It is now that the residents of Rio de Janeiro begin to wonder: what will the legacy be? As we present ourselves to the world, have we revealed our faults? Or has the power of our cultural creativity come to the fore? Therein lies the contradiction of Rio: the combination of beauty and poverty, hedonism and inequality, a carnival atmosphere and bloody violence.