The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a celebratory close handing over the Olympic torch to the host of the 2020 Olympics-Japan. And while the skies clear and the waters turn blue (or green), the world can look back, one last time, at an Olympics that had its fair share of misfortunes, issues and controversies. Here are three of the worst talking points from the Rio Olympics-which, by the way, was still okay, all in all.
Months before the Olympics soaring street crime, violence, drugs and prostitution were already major concerns facing the local government of Rio. This forced them to deploy more than 85,000 security officers within the vicinities of Olympic event venues.
Despite these efforts, some visitors, including Olympic athletes, were still met with unfortunate experiences like theft and muggings. One such story was of Fernando Echavarri, along with members of the Spanish sailing team, who was robbed in one of Rio’s neighborhoods. The athlete spoke about his experience in a video.
Gold-medal sailor Fernando Echavarri of Spain speaks about being mugged in Rio at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/zqv7wiWa4K
— Stephen Wade (@StephenWadeAP) May 23, 2016
A similar incident also happened to Australian swimmer, Josh Palmer, who, after partying late at night, was robbed $1000 by an unidentified man. He was later found disoriented without his phone and wallet. European journalist Jacqueline Magnay confirmed that he was also banned from the closing ceremonies, for his actions.
Australian Josh Palmer robbed,''disorientated'' without phone, wallet early hours Rio Olympics.Banned from closing ceremony for rule breach.
— Jacquelin Magnay (@jacquelinmagnay) August 18, 2016
Another of the worst talking points from the Rio Olympics was Hope Solo’s “bunch of cowards” comment on Sweden, after their shocking loss in the women’s soccer event. Many criticized her words as the antithesis to what the Olympics stand for good sportsmanship. A firestorm erupted in social media.
As a 45 year long football player, that Hope Solo glove swap on the final penalty was the most cowardly thing I have witnessed in that sport
— Richard Ings (@ringsau) August 12, 2016
Even her own teammates voiced their frustration, with teammate Megan Rapinoe clarifying that Solo’s comments were never a representation of the entire team’s thoughts.
“That’s not our team, that’s not what this team has always been, that’s not what this team will be in the future,” Rapinoe said in her interview with NBC.
My dad about gymnast Gabby Douglas: "She ain't combed her hair yet. Lord, that kitchen. Bless her soul". 😂
— AH Childs (@hokukonane) August 7, 2016
— AnimalRescuer (@LghtUpTheWorld) August 14, 2016
But fans also immediately came to her aid.
All these girls are making nasty posts about Gabby Douglas' hair.. Like ok… Your edges are laid.. But you're sitting on your couch.. 🐸☕️
— major ki (@kiana_imani) August 11, 2016
To which the athlete responded with love.
Thank u so much for all the love! My heart is full! @Lesdoggg ❤️ I love you guys!❣😘😍
— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 15, 2016
Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno was also at the receiving end of body-shaming tweets, being called “fat” on Twitter. Her fans were also quick to defend the athlete.
— Spicy Latina Mom (@spicylatinamom) August 10, 2016
The worst talking points from the Rio Olympics truly made the recent games a memorable one, but hopefully, this will be overshadowed by all the good things, instead, to truly capture the meaning of the quadrennial event.
Photo Courtesy: Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape/ Flickr