The following quotes are from the Associated Press’ investigation.
The Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, which was largely cleaned up in recent years, was thought be safe for rowers and canoers. Yet AP tests found its waters to be among the most polluted for Olympic sites, with results ranging from 14 million adenoviruses per liter on the low end to 1.7 billion per liter at the high end.
By comparison, water quality experts who monitor beaches in Southern California become alarmed if they see viral counts reaching 1,000 per liter.
As part of its Olympic project, Brazil promised to build eight treatment facilities to filter out much of the sewage and prevent tons of household trash from flowing into the Guanabara Bay. Only one has been built.
Ok, I get the idea of sending the Olympics and the World Cup to “non-developed” countries but this is exactly why they shouldn’t.
The 2012 Olympics in China certainly had it’s issues, the winter in Olympics in Sochi were a disaster and all the money Brazil put into the World Cup is basically being wasted now with empty, unused stadium across the country. And Qatar…..are you kidding me?! It’s not even a playable climate for soccer! The infrastructure and resource control is not to the standard it needs to be for the World’s most important international events in these locations.
I know it sounds unfair to narrow the list of “potential countries” to host these events down to 20 or so but they happen every four years. If you cycle through just 15 countries, every country gets to host the Olympics or the World Cup every 20 years. So the argument that “countries would host too many events” is absolutely ridiculous.
Of course I would love to see a World Cup/Olympics come back to the USA, but I’m not lobbing for that here. I’m pushing for these committees to get off their “this country deserves this” platform and look at these events realistically and from a global good perspective.
Did anyone consider the water quality in Brazil when choosing the Rio to host the 2016 games? Of course not. Who cares. It’s the Olympics and we’re sure the country will fix any issues before the games start. We game them plenty of time.
Yeah….that only works if the country has 1) Money to spend on such necessities (Boston would even agree to extra money to build temporary stadium required for the 2024 bid – and Rio has way more issues than any city in the United States), and 2) has the INFRASTRUCTURE to initiate and complete projects to meet the standards of the Olympic Games.
And that’s exactly what happen.
But maybe it doesn’t matter. The conditions in Sochi were nearly unlivable but the Winter Games still went on. But that was Russia; a more established country than Brazil by leaps and bounds as far as infrastructure (although it has it’s own issues). If Sochi was that bad, can we even fathom how terrible the 2016 games will be? It’s one thing to host a World Cup where every event is held in a similar arena (all games played on a soccer field obviously). The Olympics are a whole other beast entirely in that each event basically needs it’s own venue.
I’m so over these international committees and there placement of the games. The Olympics in China were passable (surprisingly made money), but Greece and Russia were disasters (as will be Rio). Canada went well and London was the best in the past two decades. The World Cup has been the same way. Germany went great (aside from the head butt in the Finals). South Africa was rocky but we got through it even with those damn Voovoozellas. Brazil was a train wreck. Russia might be a smidgen better (doubt it) and Qatar would have been awful in 2022.
Basically – QUIT SENDING THE GAMES TO COUNTRIES WHO CAN’T HANDLE IT. It really isn’t that hard everyone. Hell, I’ll do it for you.
United States – Canada – England – France – Germany – Spain – Japan – Australia – Norway – Sweden – Finland – South Africa – Portugal – Switzerland – Denmark(maybe)
That’s it. Each country gets a World Cup or a summer/winter Olympic games every 20 year cycle. After 20 years, you revisit the list and add/subtract countries as necessary. Of course some countries will be more likely to host one event over the other (summer v. winter climates/venue limitation) but there is no longer a worry of facilities, resources, capital, and most importantly the safety of the athletes.
Time for a change to international selection committees across the board. When we start jeopardizing the health and well being of athletes and fans alike, corruption and individual voices need to be put in check and thrown out of the system. Case closed.
Authors note: This started out as a reply to a Facebook post and I just never stopped writing. Guess I was more frustrated than I thought…..
Ullestad is from the great state of Iowa and recently completed his MBA degree at Florida Atlantic University. He is a basketball and hockey junky, as well as a proud/tortured Dallas Cowboys supporter.