The 2016 Summer Olympic games need to be reevaluated
By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor
Every four years, the best athletes from across the globe get the chance to compete in front of the world on an international stage at the Olympics. This August these athletes that have trained all of their lives for their specific events will gather in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 games. Controversy has surrounded these games since the International Olympic Committee announced the host country in 2014. The vice president of the committee John Coates said the preparation for the games has been the worst he has seen on several occasions. Challenges such as the Zika virus, polluted waters, the construction of the stadiums and problems within the country have all arisen. The question is, will the games actually be ready in time and be safe for the athletes?
If there is doubt with any of these questions, the games should be reevaluated. The safety of all athletes should be the top concern and the Olympics should be cancelled due to these safety hazards.
One issue arising is that many U.S. female athletes are concerned by the Zika virus and are considering passing on the Olympics. The Zika virus is spread through mosquitos and has caused a spike in Brazil in recent months of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by an abnormally small head. Women who are pregnant or those considering becoming pregnant are advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization to avoid areas with Zika outbreaks.
Another major concern with the city itself is the debris that congests the waters where events will be held. According to bigstory.ap.org, the waters designated for the outdoor swimming events and triathlons and also where spectators will be boating, are contaminated with human waste. High levels of bacteria and viruses were found in the waters when tested by scientific experts. Swimming in the contaminated waters will cause those to fall ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea. Brazil officials have assured that the water will be safe by August, but time is running out.
The country is also in the midst of an economic crisis that has caused the economy to slump and face the worst recession since the 1930s. Budgets, including that of the Olympics, are getting slashed. This is causing the actual arena’s construction to be put on hold or built with cheaper materials to save money, causing the concern that they will be unsafe and not structurally sound for the thousands that will occupy them for the duration of the games. Brazil has assured that all stadiums will be completed on time, a feat that seems impossible with just months to go.
In addition to the ever-growing list of problems, the country has faced a massive political scandal that extends to the country’s top office. A congressional committee is considering the impeachment of Brazilian President, Dilma Rouseff for allegedly violating budget laws to increase spending during her 2014 re-election campaign. The government and the president are in the midst of a state run oil company corruption scandal. Petrobas, a multinational energy corporation were allegedly involved in political kickbacks, price fixing and bribery. This scandal has affected the Olympics due to the construction company constructing a majority of the Olympic infrastructure projects being implicated in the scandal as well.
With all of these catastrophes, the Rio games ultimately are anticipated to be a disaster. The games should have been relocated to a new location when these problems first arose, but with less than five months to go, it’s too late to consider an alternative. The games need to be cancelled instead of endangering the lives of the athletes and spectators from around the world traveling to the country to watch this historical event.