< Go to Homepage

Olympic Uh-Ohs: 12 Reasons Brazil 2016 May Be a Disaster

Olympic Uh-Ohs: 12 Reasons Brazil 2016 May Be a Disaster

Sports RealClearLife Staff
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 23: Brazilian national teams mascot Ginga is introduced by the Brazilian Local Organizing Committee at Parque Aquatico Maria Lenk on June 23, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Brazilian national team mascot Ginga is introduced by the Brazilian Local Organizing Committee at Parque Aquatico Maria Lenk on June 23, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

At some point, most Olympics feel like a catastrophe in the making. (Who can forget the reports in 2014 of Sochi having to round up and poison stray dogs ahead of the Winter Olympics?)

Yet ultimately the Olympics happen, tend to go pretty smoothly, and leave the host nation with a lot of utterly useless buildings.

Brazil may be the rare Olympics that feels like it’s going to fail and actually does. Here is a quick list of reasons why Brazil could be a bonafide bust:

The World Cup Hangover. It’s hard to argue the Cup was a success for Brazil, either on the field (the national team was obliterated 7-1 by eventual champs Germany) or off it, as billions of dollars were wasted. Example: Brazil spent $800 million on a light railway track for the 2014 event. Intended to stretch 14 miles, by 2015 (a year after the Cup) one-half mile had been finished. As a result…

Many Brazilians Want Nothing to Do With the Olympics. Notably, soccer legend Rivaldo has urged Olympics fans simply to “stay home.” And Brazilians can’t look to their government to sort things out because…

There’s a President Problem. President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended from office, not actually removed (though that seems likely considering the initial margin of the vote for her impeachment). Her suspension from power remains deeply controversial largely because of…

The Criminals in Congress. Dilma was forced out by a legislative body where 60 percent of the members have faced or are currently facing criminal charges for offenses both expected (bribery and electoral fraud) and of the downright scary variety (kidnapping and homicide).

Of course, that’s arguably more a problem with Brazil than the Olympics itself: let’s focus on the Games. Starting with…

The Water. Here’s an actual New York Times headline: “Olympians Shouldn’t Swim Through Sewage.” The waters of Guanabara Bay and off Copacabana Beach have produced diarrhea and vomiting in sailors. Olympians are expected to swim in these waters. And if the waters weren’t already giving everyone reason to worry, consider…

The Super Bacteria. It’s confirmed bacteria have been found off Rio de Janeiro beaches that are both dangerous and resistant to drugs. Which is a shame because…

The Russians Are Remarkably Doped Up. Whatever happens with the Russian team here and going forward, that nation’s apparently systemic culture of doping will ensure every time a record is shattered this Olympics, it will be viewed with incredible suspicion. (Because the Russians can’t be the only ones doing it, right?)

Now back to the viruses.

The Zika. It can cause unusually small heads in newborns and has scared off athletes and potential visitors alike. In particular, it has decimated…

The “Return” of Olympic Golf. Golf hadn’t been featured in an Olympics since 1904, and the 2016 event was supposed to highlight the world’s elite players. Except Tiger Woods was already out with health problems and other golfers including Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy will also stay away. (Indeed, McIlroy has made a point of noting he will not even watch Olympic golf.) The irony is that athletes are worrying about the viruses when there are far more concrete threats they have to face like…

Much of the Olympic Village is “Unlivable.” Problems with fire safety and plumbing caused Australia to publicly proclaim they won’t let their athletes use the housing. That said, it’s still worth hanging around the Village, because when athletes leave it they encounter…

The Crime. Crime has been on the rise in Brazil, with body parts even washing up in front of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena. More directly disturbing for athletes, during a training session in Rio the Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch had her bike stolen by an armed man as several people reportedly watched. Then again, no one associated with the Olympics is completely safe, as proven by…

Their Murdering Their Own Mascot. Cartoon jaguar Ginga is the official mascot of the 2016 Brazilian Olympic team, which led to a 17-year-old live one being brought to the passing-of-the-Olympic-torch event, where the jaguar escaped. After tranquilizers failed to stop it, Brazil had to kill its own Olympic mascot.

If that’s not a bad omen, what is?

-Sean Cunningham for RealClearLife

 

TOPSHOT - Brazilian army special forces participate in the ceremony to present the integrated security forces for the ten Rio 2016 Olympic Games football matches that will be played at the Mane Garrincha national Stadium in Brasilia, on 22 July 20016. The security of the Olympic matches will be taken in charge from next Sunday on by 4,500 agents, between soldiers, police officers, firefighters and Traffic department personnel / AFP / EVARISTO SA (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
Brazilian army special forces participate in the ceremony to present the integrated security forces for the ten Rio 2016 Olympic Games football matches that will be played at the Mane Garrincha national Stadium in Brasilia. (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)