The upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August might be a total disaster and embarrass Brazil on the world stage.
1. Less Money, Mo’ Problems
The Rio Olympics have been plagued by money problems for months and despite a promise of an almost $1 billion bailout from the Brazilian government to Rio de Janeiro State, where Rio de Janeiro is located. Rio’s state government has yet to actually receive any bailout money though according to Acting-Governor Francisco Dornelles. The acting governor went on to tell O Globo that he expects the money will come through by June 30.
2. Local Police Are Admitting Rio Is “Hell”
Rio de Janeiro cops are protesting against the Rio State government for prioritizing Olympic spending over state employee salaries. A group of cops held a huge sign Monday in Rio De Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport telling tourists, “WELCOME TO HELL: police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”
“We are in a meltdown,” a Rio police spokesman admitted when asked about the situation ahead of the Olympics. Several cops protested in front of the Rio State Assembly holding up a sign reading, “The police’s priority is the people, the government’s priority is the Olympics.” Several officers have said they have not been paid overtime for months and that their salaries have been slashed in the buildup to the Rio Games.
3. No Athletes
Several would-be Olympians are pulling out of contention to represent their countries in the global sporting event out of fear that they may contract the mosquito-borne Zika virus. American cyclist Tejay van Garderen will not be going to Rio because he fears he could get and pass on the Zika virus to his pregnant wife and their child could be born with the birth defect microcephaly.
World number one golfer Jason Day of Australia announced Tuesday that he will not be taking part in the Olympics because of Zika. Day said in part, “I just can’t put my family through that, especially with the future children we’re looking at having. My wife wants four kids, and obviously if we’re having four kids I need to make sure that the priority is family first.”
4. No Tourists
Fears over the Zika virus have been a major concern for Brazil in the months leading up to the Olympics as they try to attract tourists to Rio. It did not help the cause of the Rio Games when 150 health experts signed a public letter in May, expressing their concern over a potential global public health crisis from tourists getting Zika.
To make matters worse, Brazil lost its Tourism Minister, Henrique Alves, who stepped down June 16 over a corruption scandal. Even though Zika poses serious risks to tourists’ health, Brazilian Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani believes that visitors “will have a great time.”
One of the major reasons as to why athletes and tourists alike are hesitant about attending the Olympic Games is because of the Zika virus. Besides the horrible birth defects caused by the virus, a total of $180 million has gone towards fighting it which otherwise could have alleviated the Olympics budget crisis.
The 2016 Rio Olympics run from August 5 to August 21.
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