Before a lot of Olympics start, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll hear stories about all the problems plaguing the host city. Construction projects running behind, rights violations in the name of corporate sponsorship, mistreatment of workers and citizens, multi-million dollar budget shortfalls that seem to take everyone involved by surprise…all kinds of fun stuff. So it’s no great shock that the news lately has been filled with less than rosy coverage of this year’s Rio games. Perhaps we shouldn’t even pay attention to it. I mean it’s always nothing but doom and gloom and then somehow, miraculous things happen and all the trouble disappears until what looks to be a seamless couple weeks of international competition are over. After that everyone goes into years of crippling debt, but what can you do, right? AT least nothing fucked up the hammer throw.
But perhaps we should pay attention this time, because something feels different. I mean Jesus you guys, just look at this list. I knew things were bad, maybe worse than I’ve ever seen them. But I didn’t know things were quite *this* bad. Here are all the things you can read about if you click there, complete with links to further reading if it’s not already depressing enough for you.
- The dead mascot
- The dead skydivers
- The dead bikers (Cyclists killed when a brand new bike path collapsed.)
- Security guards caught stealing
- Beached, disembodied limbs (Human ones, of course.)
- Unfinished construction
- Oil in the water
- Zika (Which sounds like the least of our worries by miles and miles and miles.)
- Deadly super bacteria in the water
- Poop in the water
- More crime than ever
- Disgruntled, unpaid cops
- Hospitals running out of meds
All of this has me so torn. I want the Olympics to go well, because as much as there is wrong with the terrible, corrupt system surrounding them, I enjoy them. But maybe if we’re ever going to start changing that system, a good old fashioned flaming disaster on a scale such that all the money in the world can’t possibly cover it up is just what the doctor ordered. Well, that and some basic medical supplies. Those would be nice too.