As Brazilian Resentment For Olympics Grows, Man Tries To Steal Flame

Many in Brazil do not see the Olympics as the harbinger of prosperity it is touted to be.

A man in Brazil stole the spotlight from the Olympic torch after he brazenly tried to make away with the iconic flame.

As the torch passed through the Brazilian town of Guarulhos in Sao Paolo, a man desperately pounced at the woman bearing the torch. The woman was surrounded by rallying police officers on both sides. As the man dived at her, he crashed into a police officer. The man, who has not been identified, was promptly wrestled to the ground and arrested by National Public Security Force on suspicion of assault and attempt to steal Olympic property.

The hasty heist could do nothing to affect the Olympic parade, which continued on the decided route.

The attempted theft was actually quite on point, considering. The Olympic flame represents the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus. It winds a circuitous route through the world in the months leading up to the games and burns throughout every Olympics.

The Rio Olympics have been marred from controversy from the beginning. Earlier, a jaguar names Juma was shot dead by the army. After participating as a mascot in the Olympic ceremony in Manaus, Juma bolted out of his cage. After vets were unsuccessful in tranquilizing Juma, the jaguar was shot dead.

Earlier in July, a man made a futile attempt to blow out the flame with a fire extinguisher. He was arrested.

It will not be wrong to say that many of these events are the Brazilian people’s deep-seated resentment against the Olympics boiling to the surface. A Datafolha survey revealed that 50 percent of the population is against the Rio Olympics, with 63 percent believing the event will do more harm than good.

It's not just economic devastation worrying Brazilians. The Zika virus could explode to global proportions, and there is the constant threat of terrorism — at every Olympics, to be sure, but especially now that terrorists seem determined to get the most attention for their evilness. 

There is plenty of recent history showing the Olympics are a prime target for attacks. In the 1972 Munich Olympics, terrorists from the Palestinian group Black September murdered 11 athletes and coaches from the Israeli team. The Centennial Olympic Park pipe bombing in 1996 in Atlanta killed two and injured 11. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chinese officials claimed they had foiled a terrorist attempt in Xin Jiang

The Olympics is an international event that are widely reported. Many terrorists, freedom fighters and frustrated common people see this as an opportunity to bring some international attention to their cause. It's a veritable tinderbox of instability, and Brazilians are right to be concerned as the Rio Games draw closer. 

Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters

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