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4 Reasons The Rio Olympics Are Already A Disaster

The Rio Olympic Games start tonight, and there’s no use worrying about an impending disaster, because the event is a disaster already. Thanks to the leftist government running the country, the inherent problems that face the state of Rio de Janeiro have already manifested themselves. The Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) has run the country since 2003; President Dilma Rousseff was elected in 2010, when Brazil’s GDP grew 7.5%, but in 2014 Brazil’s credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s to BBB in March 2014, just one notch above junk, and the economy shrank 3.8% last year, the biggest contraction in a quarter-century, according to The Wall Street Journal. As a result of the country’s financial crisis, Rio state has slashed the budgets for police and firefighters. The Heritage Foundation states, “The onerous regulatory environment hinders needed economic transformation and undercuts realization of the economy’s full potential. Growing public debt and higher debt service costs have kept fiscal pressure high, and burdensome taxes further crowd out private-sector growth.”

Here are four examples showing why the selection of Rio for the games was a miserable failure:

1. The Zika epidemic. The Harvard Public Health Review warned: “The outbreak that began in the country’s northeast has reached Rio de Janeiro, where it is flourishing. Clinical studies are also mounting that Zika infection is associated not just with pediatric microcephaly and brain damage, but also adult conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which are debilitating and sometimes fatal. Simply put, Zika infection is more dangerous, and Brazil’s outbreak more extensive, than scientists reckoned a short time ago. Which leads to a bitter truth: the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession.” The Review continued, “Rio de Janeiro’s suspected Zika cases are the highest of any state in in Brazil (26,000), and its Zika incidence rate is the fourth worst (157 per 100,000).” When you factor in the fact that athletes from 190 countries will compete and then go home, the prospects of the spread of Zika are indeed terrifying.

2. Filth: Forty-nine days ago, the governor of Rio de Janeiro declared a state of financial emergency, pleading for federal support to avoid a “total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management.” Because of a lack of funding, the sewage and other pollution in Guanabara Bay, where the yachting events will be held, was not cleaned up. Thus sailors will be navigating among plastic bags, human excrement and other waste, according to The Guardian. According to The Atlantic, the Bay has 78 times Brazil’s legally allowed limit of fecal pollution, and 195 times the U.S. limit. Irish sailing team performance director James O’Callaghan said he could see the sewage in the Bay last year, admitting to the Irish Times, “As a result we have asked that a doctor come out with us when we travel back later this year … It is a concern for us. Even if the boats don’t capsize you are getting spray because of your speed across the water. If you have a cut we want to know what the chances are of infection.”

Health experts have told competitors to keep their mouths closed so they don’t contract a terrible virus. According to the National Post, “Thirteen rowers on the 40-member U.S. team came down with stomach illness at the World Junior Rowing Championships — a trial run for next summer’s Olympics — and the team doctor said she suspected it was due to pollution in the lake where the competition took place.” ESPN reported, “U.S. Olympic rowers will be given a new, high-tech training suit with anti-microbial features designed to protect them against water pollution in Rio de Janeiro.”

3. Violence: Rio’s problems with violence are well-known; now there has been a cut in the public security budget, which has stimulated a resurgence in violent crime. And the police are reported to have committed numerous extrajudicial killings; they have killed more than 8,000 people in the past decade, including at least 645 people in 2015. According to The Washington Post, “The homicide rate in Rio is up 15% through the first four months of 2016, while street robbery is up 24%.” There have already been numerous incidents of violence involving Olympic athletes; a man vomited on a Chinese hurdler to try to rob him; during a fire evacuation at their Olympic housing, someone burglarized the Australian team, stealing a laptop and Zika-protective team shirts.

4. Terrorism. Brazilian authorities arrested 10 people who said they were loyal to ISIS and were allegedly planning violence during the Games. Social media sites used by ISIS and other terrorist networks have become more active, and much of the language has been into Portuguese, Brazil’s native language. As The New York Times reported of Rio’s security measures, “They lack experience with the issue and don’t have sufficient human and financial resources. In addition, the structure of public security in the country is weak.”

As Rodger Sherman noted in SB Nation:

Brazil is inexperienced in dealing with terrorism threats. And it hasn’t exactly inspired a lot of confidence. First, we were told the private security firm in charge of securing venues couldn’t identify guns or bombs. Then, that firm was replaced with Brazilian police forces with just a few days before the Games. Then I remembered that these were the same Brazilian police who publicly complained about how they haven’t been paid. My fears have not been helped by the fact that it’s reportedly possible to get into Olympic areas without passing through any sort of security checkpoint.

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