Olympics painful to watch

Because I am Brazilian, people often ask me if I wish I was back in Brazil for the Olympics.

Because I am Brazilian, people often ask me if I wish I was back in Brazil for the Olympics.

I think it’s funny that people ask me that because, when I first heard that Rio would host the 2016 Olympics, I told myself that I wanted to be as far as possible from Brazil during the Olympic Games (I think it’s safe to say I am not very patriotic).

The reason I wanted to be as far as possible from Brazil was because I believed hosting the Olympic Games would be a complete embarrassment for our country.

Well, the games haven’t even started yet and I think it’s safe to say that my guess was right.

First came the Zika virus (and, surprisingly, that ended up being the least of our worries).

Since raw sewage flows into many of Rio’s Olympic venues, last year an Associated Press investigation found that waters were so contaminated with human feces that athletes risked becoming violently ill.

As if that wasn’t enough, a group of Brazilian scientists recently detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off some of Rio’s most stunning beaches.

Human body parts were also found in front of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena on Rio’s famed Copacabana beach (I don’t even know what to say about this one).

And as if we needed any other scandals, a jaguar was shot dead shortly after it was used in an Olympic torch relay. The jaguar had escaped its handlers after the ceremony and attacked a soldier (apparently four tranquilliser darts weren’t enough).

Wait, I am not done yet. Protesters have tried to put out the Olympic flame in nearly every city where the ceremonial torch relay has passed.

Oh, and maybe I should also mention that the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro State declared a state of financial disaster less than two months before the start of the Olympic Games.

But I guess that when Brazil was chosen to be the host of the 2016 Olympics, nobody could have predicted that the country would be facing its worst economic crisis in over 100 years (definitely not the best time to be hosting a worldwide event).

But many of the things that have gone wrong so far are not surprising at all to us Brazilians.

Violence, for example, has been a major cause for concern in Rio for decades. It’s gotten fairly worse over the past year due to the economic crisis.

Police in Rio have recently protested because they have no money to pay for gas.

And while billions of dollars are being invested into new Olympic venues, some hospitals in Rio have stopped operating because of lack of funding.

So when Brazilians attempt to put out the Olympic flame, it’s because they are outraged that government is so desperately trying to show off Rio’s beauty while Brazilians suffer with the lack of basic services.

I think that once the Olympic Games finally start this Friday, they will go on without any other major problems. As a Brazilian, however, even watching this event unfold from a distance has been a painful process.

 

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