Chariots of F**k
Rio 2016 is here and it’s going to be a shitshow.
The Summer Olympics were founded in 1896 after a Frenchman decided it would be a good idea to foster international co-operation and competition. You might find that notion a bit ironic considering the current political climate. Russia is corrupting democracy and drug samples, Turkey are staging the worst Eurovision Song Contest audition ever and Donald Trump, other than being the newest member of Anonymous, is at war with Islam and Mexican infastructure. Not to mention, France itself is suffering through an annus horribilis with terrorist attacks scaring the bejesus out of everyone.
Maybe it would be good for the world to have the Olympics be a spectacular event for the ages that will help take everyone’s mind off this crazy year.
Nope. Never going to happen.
Brazil has had it’s own annus horribilis. First of all, President Dilma Rousseff won’t be attending the Games and it’s not because she’s busy watching Season Two of Mr Robot on Amazon Prime. It’s because she’s been BANNED FROM ATTENDING! She’s banished for being involved in her own corruption scandal in the Amazon. Operation Car Wash (possibly led by an animated fish & shark) was an investigation into money laundering at an oil company called Petrobras. Their executives would accept bribes in return for construction contracts and it’s believed that the former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (he goes by Lula) and members of his party, including Rousseff, were complicit. So, she was impeached and banned from office for 180 days and now the Vice President is in charge…until he’s impeached. Good luck with that.
Speaking of construction, there are concerns about the Olympic Village being uninhabitable. I’ve been reliably informed that means people can’t live in them, which is kind of what you build accommodation for. Blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors are among the reported problems. It’s so bad that the Australian Olympic team will be boycotting the facilities. Australians are people too.
Then there is the sanitation issue. Sidebar, if someone tells you:
We have a sanitation issue…
It’s never good news. The Guanabara Bay whose waters will be used for sailing and windsurfing competitions, is heavily polluted. It’s estimated that only 60% of the sewage in Rio will be properly treated. It’s believed that there are drug resistant bacteria in the waters and the athletes will be sailing in the same water as “tires and dog carcasses”. Like I said, not good news.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to the Games itself is the latest doping scandal. The Russian track and field team were found to be running a doping program and so they are stuck in Olympic detention with Dilma Rousseff and the Canadian guy who looked like the Hulk.
Luckily for Russia, the International Olympic Committee decided not to go full Cold War on their arse and have allowed them to compete in everything else but athletics. But now every one of their participants will be a under a higher degree of suspicion and the integrity of the Games itself will be questioned if further cheating is found.
Finally there’s the white elephant in Rio, the Zika Virus. Before I get to why the virus is so scary to potential visitors and athletes, here are just some of the top names to have pulled out of attending because of it.
- Jordan Speith
- Rory McIlroy
- Milos Raonic
- Tomas Berdych
- Tejay Van Garderen
- Jason Day
You might have noticed that most of them were golfers and so their absence from the newest Olympic sport is not particularly impactful. However, the Zika virus is believed to render young men infertile and/or likely to cause birth defects in future offspring. You can understand why some men might be cautious about risking their chances at having a family in order to win a piece of jewelry.
Add to this already volatile mix, the millons of vistors to Copacabana Beach who could potentially spread the disease around the globe faster than Dustin Hoffman can find the monkey to cure it and the laser-focus attention of the international media.
Rio 2016, where dreams come true. More like a nightmare.