It is hard to tell if reality has set in for Brazil or just one politician has jumped to a conclusion. Rio de Janeiro’s acting governor has admitted something that the International Olympic Committee delegates could not imagine when the group was pushing so hard to put the IOC’s crown jewel, the Summer Olympics in Brazil during the lead up to the 2009 vote that gave Rio and Brazil the 2016 Olympics. A little less than seven years later, it seems that Brazil will follow the 2004 Athens, Greece Olympics as a financial catastrophe.
“I am optimistic about the games, but I have to show the reality. We can make a great Olympics, but if some steps are not taken, it can be a big failure” the acting Governor Francisco Dornells told a local newspaper. The state of Rio de Janeiro is broke and unless Brazil sends money Rio’s way, security for athletes, spectators and IOC delegates is going to become a big problem as there will be no money to pay the police. As is, there is a big crime problem in Rio and the IOC prides itself on having a safe and secure event.
Then there is the transportation issue. Will trains be ready for the opening ceremonies? The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency has cut ties with a doping testing lab in Rio. Russia may not field a team because of doping allegations, and Kuwait might not be there because of a dispute between the country and IOC. Money or lack of it, has gone to the head of the line in Rio’s problems although the zika virus and health should be the major concern. That line includes the impeachment of Brazil’s president, water pollution for those involved in sailing, and security. The IOC, despite saying otherwise, doesn’t particularly care about the financial wasteland the group’s event leaves behind. Brazil is learning that first hand.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.