Emerging at the Maracana Railway Station in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Olympics presented contrasting panoramas which together explained the problems that plagued the city before, during and ever since the Games.
To the south loomed one of the most iconic sporting arenas on the planet. Bearing the same name as the station, it had been the ancestral home of Brazilian football since hosting the 1950 World Cup final which the host nation contrived to lose in front of 199,854 disbelieving spectators.
Spruced up for both the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later, the stunning venue embodied the mesmeric magnificence Brazil had laid down as the foundations for bids to host the world's two biggest sporting events.
However, the alternative view confronting patrons upon leaving the stadium suggested why bids from Third World countries should be viewed in a different light.
To the north, in the Mangueira district, sat one of the many favelas which form the backdrop to Rio's numerous postcard locations from the Sambodromo to Sugarloaf Mountain.
Crammed precariously onto a hillside was a shanty town consisting of hurriedly-built structures with all the stability of a half-finished game of Jenga.
Throughout Rio could be found similar examples of luxurious expense splashed out on visiting athletes, spectators, dignitaries and journalists in close proximity to heart-breaking poverty and neglect of Brazilian citizens.
The huge coach park outside the media centre was another prime example. Organisers may have paved paradise to put up a parking lot, but never could get rid of the smell emanating from the open sewer which continued to flow beneath it.
So it was particularly disappointing to read recently that many of Rio's Olympic venues have been falling apart.
In 2017, the Maracana was pictured missing turf and seats, subject to repeated vandalism and cut off from power due to outstanding debts to the local energy company with daily tours ceased amid safety concerns.
And last month it was reported that a court in Rio had ordered the closure of the Olympic Park for similar reasons.
Associated Press stated that judge Rosa de Arajo claimed the Olympic Park had been "progressively battered by the lack of care".
A promise to clean-up of heavily polluted Guanabara Bay also remains unfulfilled.
Anybody who watched the brilliant BBC satire Twenty Twelve or its Australian fore-runner The Games will know that the buzzwords of any Olympic bid are legacy and sustainability - even though they appear to mean the same thing.
Legacy was pivotal to Rio's successful bid, and while events such as esport tournaments and music festivals have since been held at the Olympic Park, the ruling does not bode well for the future of a vast area which contained giant venues for tennis, cycling, swimming and many other sports.
Deteriorating venues are just one example of the failed legacy of the last Olympics and Paralympics.
In 2018, former Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes denied there were any debts left over from the Games.
In 2019 those non-existent debts were said to total $113 million - which was somewhat up on the 2016 figure of $32 million.
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All of which begs the obvious question of why Rio was awarded an Olympic Games in the first place when such astronomic expense would have been much better spent on the country's somewhat more deserving citizens.
Athens suffered a similar fate. A decade after hosting the 2004 Games, many of its venues had been abandoned and Greece was stuck in a crippling financial depression.
Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles are locked in for the next three Summer Olympics (each having hosted previous editions) and while the global festival should not be the exclusive preserve of the First World, considerably more consideration should be given to the real legacy for host cities.