The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach has hailed the Rio Olympic Games for its success, describing it as the most consumed games ever.
The Rio Olympics, the first to be held in South America, was fraught with several challenges in the run-up to its commencement.
Organizers had to grapple with a protracted political crisis, the outbreak of the Zika virus which forced some athletes to withdraw from the games and Brazil slipped into its worst recession in more than 80 years.
In spite of the challenges though, the host city Rio, put up a spectacular event in its famed carnival atmosphere.
The competing athletes also put up stellar performances resulting in 100 world and Olympic records being set with several countries picking up their first ever Olympic medal.
“The Olympic Games Rio 2016 were a huge success beyond all our expectations in many respects,” said Bach.
“First of all it was the most consumed Olympic Games ever with half of the world population following the Games with half of the world population following the Games with seven billion views on social media only.
“Secondly, these Olympic Games sent a great message of unity in diversity to the world, with all the 206 National Olympic Committees participating and embracing the first ever Refugee Olympic Team which was highly welcomed by the world.
“And finally we can also see the great credibility the Olympic Games Rio 2016 enjoyed according to an independent study, we can realize that the Olympic values of respect of excellence and peace, for instance, that they were higher rated for Rio 2016 than for previous Olympic Games.
“So we can say, putting all this together, the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were a really marvelous Games in the marvelous city,” Bach added.
Rio was awarded the games in 2009 at a time when Brazil’s economy was booming.
But as the country’s economic woes kicked in, many Brazilians began to criticize the decision to host the Games when the country was in a recession.
Rio mayor, Eduardo da Costa Paes however believes the city has benefited more from hosting the games.
“I would say there is one Rio before the games and another Rio after the Games. Since we won them we said the Games would serve the city, there is always this issue about legacy, the change for the city, obviously Rio has not become a perfect city because of the Games but it has become a much, much better city inspired by the Games,” he explained.