2016 Rio Olympics: troubles in Brazil, are the athletes safe?

2016 Rio Olympics: troubles in Brazil, are the athletes safe?

With less than two weeks to go for the Rio Olympics, where thousands of athletes and tourists are expected to visit the country of Brazil, nothing seems to be in order. The situation begs the question, are the athletes at risk?

For months leading to the Olympic games, the Zika virus has been a lingering concern for international guests. Despite the guarantees by scientists that there is nearly a zero chance that one gets affected by the virus during the cool weather, the Zika issue has still become bothersome to many, scaring away top athletes.

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This happens at a time, too, when the economy of Brazil is at its worst in years. In fact, the government had to declare a state of financial emergency so it would be able to generate the funds needed for the games. Even so, it is way below the spending average amounts over the past events, especially taking into consideration inflation rates.

Due to budget constraints, and the plunging of the property market by 20% over the past year, there is a delay in turnover of projects at the Olympic village, which houses the athletes.

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Stress tests should have been done months ago, but contractors are still doing it now, and results show that many houses in the Olympic village are not yet ready to be inhabited.

The Guardian reports gas and water leaks, power outages, and plumbing and sewage issues. A fire was even reported in one of the buildings with exposed wiring.

The Brazilian police have not received their salary since May, and the new influx of funds will only be able to accommodate wages up to November. The traffic in the area is in disarray, and for months police officers have been murdered.

Last week, police arrested an IS-inspired terror group. On Monday, a Kiwi sportsman, Jason Lee claims he was kidnapped in Brazil, as reported by the NZ Herald.

What makes things worse is that the problems stemming before the Rio Olympics are expected to continue after the games are completed. There will be debts to pay, thousands of unemployed contractors, policemen, and staffs. There will be protests and violence.

In spite of guarantees by the government regarding safety and security issues, facts shed a different light to the situation in Rio.

Photo courtesy: Shawn Carpenter/Flickr.com