The Rio Olympics is shaping up to be the most pivotal of recent times.

Not because the sporting action is any more anticipated than at previous Games - far from it - but because the Olympic concept has taken so many knocks in recent years that the very credibility of the Games is under threat.

In fairness Duke Dawson Womens Jersey , there has been criticism in the build-up to all Olympic Games in recent memory. This happens -largely -because the hordes of international -media are on site days before the Games kicks off and have to file daily stories with little or no sporting action to discuss. But the build-up to Rio seems worse than normal.

Locally, health has been a big concern with the Zika virus seeing a number of high-profile withdrawals - mostly notably the top four male golfers in the world - even though the official line from the IOC has been that there is nothing to worry about.

Additionally, the water in the bay in which some of the athletes will be swimming has been criticized for being filthier than swimming pool. More -recently, the sub-standard accommodation has been a favorite target - as it was in Sochi two years ago.

Safety has been another big area of concern, with the localized fears of kidnapping, robberies and scams added to the wider global threat of terrorism.

Unusually Sony Michel Womens Jersey , perhaps, Chinese athletes - and fans - have also been complaining on social media, with some joking that the athletes' biggest challenge will be simply to return home alive.

But the pressure has been building on China's athletes and officials alike, with Liu Peng, head of China's Olympic Committee, saying that the country will face sterner competition in some of the disciplines it traditionally dominates. China will still Isaiah Wynn Womens Jersey , no doubt, see success in diving, gymnastics and some of the other sports Liu mentioned, but his comments prove that - in China as elsewhere - funding has to be justified by medals.

But it is the issue of doping that has arguably created the biggest cloud for Rio.

By refusing to issue a blanket ban on Russian athletes for state-sponsored -doping, the IOC has transferred the -burden to individual sporting federations. While arguing that this is somehow more fair to those affected, the result has done nothing to repair the damaged reputation of the Olympics.

Athletics - the showpiece event of the Games - already has its credibility in tatters. If these Games fails to win over sports fans from around the world Malcom Brown Womens Jersey , the Olympics may lose its relevancy forever.


SINGAPORE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Coincided with 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence, the largest Chingay parade was launched at F1 Pit Building on Friday evening.

Although it's an annual event to celebrate Chinese New Year, this year's parade is very special because it also celebrate the city state's Golden Jubilee, said Nah Juay Hng, chairman of the Chingay 2015 EXPO.

"That is why this year's Chingay is the grandest Chingay Joe Thuney Womens Jersey , the biggest Chingay that we have in history," he said.

It is estimated that 160 performing organizations participate in this year's parade while 3,000 parade volunteers and 11,000 volunteer performers are also involved.

The word "Chingay" is phonetically borrowed from the dialect in Hokkien or Fujian, China, meaning the art of costume and masquerade. It evolved from celebrations in the southern part of China during the Spring Festival Deatrich Wise Jr. Womens Jersey , and has been held in Singapore each year since 1973.

Traditionally, Chingay parade is about color, song and dance. The theme of this year's event is "We Love Singapore." Beautiful site display of 600,000 "We Love Singapore" flowers, which are made from recyclable plastic bags, and eye-catching floats with performance from both local and overseas contingents highlight this year's celebration.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean led 100 representatives from performing contingents Devin McCourty Womens Jersey , as well as religious, grassroots sectors and international groups, and 25,000 audiences to do the "We Love Singapore" gesture, lighting up the carnival atmosphere.

Four segments, namely Celebration Singapore Stephen Gostkowski Womens Jersey , Memories Singapore, We Love Singapore, Dreams and Hope Singapore, composed the main parade on Friday evening. The "We Love Singapore" part converged good wishes from Singaporeans, ethnic communities, and overseas friends.

Just as Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew said about "a multi-racial nation" on Aug. 9 Dont'a Hightower Womens Jersey , 1965, Chingay has acted as an important platform for Singapore to bring people together, with 17 international contingents from 14 countries and regions taking efforts to specially choreograph their performance to wish Singapore "Happy Birthday" Friday evening, while showcasing their own culture at the same time.

The Indonesian contingent brought a colorful parade with 470 performers themed "Ethnature" - ethnic diversity and nature, while the Thailand contingent conveyed their best wishes to Singapore as the two countries have established diplomatic ties for 50 years.

Four contingents from China and one art troupe from China's Taiwan showed their own colorful culture.

The costumes of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city (SSTEC) contingent featured energy-efficient LED lights, which will "dance " to the rhythm of the music. According to He Congchao James White Womens Jersey , leader of SSTEC contingent, they specially designed three adorable mascots to convey the message of eco-development in a modern urban city. Three youths from the SSTEC contingent dressed up as the mascots and roller-skated alongside their float.

The contingent of Sino-Singapore Souzhou Industrial Park brought an 18-meter-long float to show the marvelous city of Suzhou. A group of 80 performers form the Suzhou Ballet Theater and the Chinese Dance Group of National University of Singapore presented elegant dance with traditional Chinese musical instruments.

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