Death, Damage And Destruction : Is Rio Really Ready For The 2016 Olympics?

Zika virus, economic and political instability and and a truckload of sanitation/sewage problems. Is it a repeat of the classic Brazilian story which hampers another massive event such as the Rio Olympics, much similar to the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

With the Rio Olympics starting from 8th August, the city has been marred with plenty of controversies, some of which fuelled rumours of the games being postponed for some time in order to protect the travelling spectators and players.

The primary focus being the Zika virus outbreak, it has caused a global concern but the dismissals by the WHO gave some hope to Rio.

Experts worldwide have questioned the ethics and professionalism of the committees involved in organising the games, with inefficient sewage causing further problems.

The Brazilian Army has sent more than 200,000 troops to go "house to house" in the campaign against Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
The Brazilian Army has sent more than 200,000 troops to go “house to house” in the campaign against Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

The Guanabara Bay has resulted in accumulation of multiple bacteria which has caused a lot of health hazards.

Raw sewage has leaked into the bay and statistics show that only 17% of the sewage has been dealt with, whereas authorities in Rio say that 60-65% sewage has been dealt with.

Guanabara bay viewed from Corcovado
Guanabara bay viewed from Corcovado.

Notable athletes such as German sailor Erik Heil was found to be infected with multiple bacteria, with the sources being traced to the Rio sewage.

On 21st April 2016, a 50 metres (164 ft) section of the Tim Maia bike path collapsed after being hit by a giant wave. 2 pedestrians fell into the ocean to their deaths with 3 injured. This caused further concerns over the infrastructure of the city, with stark comparisons to 2014.

This only sounds like a rewind to the 2014 FIFA World Cup controversy, where construction workers died to finish the stadiums and people protested about the lavish budget spent on the tournament.

The condition is no better on the political front. President Dilma Rousseff has been impeached already with Brazil facing its worst economic crisis since the 1990s, it paints a nasty image of Rio and the Olympic Games, in general.

President Dilma Rousseff, who has been impeached prior to the Rio Olympics.
President Dilma Rousseff, who has been impeached prior to the Rio Olympics.

So is it really worth it? Putting the lives of the people at risk and trying to cover it up with ridiculous dismissals just to get money (laundered money), all in the name of being a country who encourages sports?

But isn’t the cost too much?

The same money spent on the Olympics in Rio could be easily used to fund schools and reduce the perpetual poverty in Brazil which has plagued it for ages or even find cure to the Dengue and Zika infested areas.

Sure, it would be a global hiccup, but sometimes, a hiccup is better than a full blown disease that sabotages the reputation of the country.

Will the Rio Olympics operate smoothly?

We will find out soon.


You’d also like to read : Creating History At Every Step, Indians Have A Lot To Expect Of The Rio Olympics 2016


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