The 2016 Olympic Games are shaping up to be one of the craziest Olympics in history. Not only are they being held in scenic, sewage filled Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, but every few days it seems like there’s a news report about the city being basically on fire. For those of us who don’t have to be there and represent our country via lifting weights, it’s a very exciting moment in time. But the Rio Olympics nightmares don’t stop at fires and sewage.
The worst things happening in Rio range from random body parts appearing out of nowhere to thousands of people being left homeless because of the city’s lack of civil engineering. Before the games are over, Brazil will most certainly be ensconced in their very own version of The Hunger Games.
There are a lot of reasons why Rio is dangerous, from governmental corruption to mismanagement in both the public and private sectors. But one of the main reasons that Rio has become so dangerous recently is because Brazil hasn’t been able to pay any of its government employees, including the police, so it’s slowly turned into a Frank Miller-like war zone. Prepare to cover your face in fear as you read the worst things about Rio.
Divers heading to the venue to compete found a strange site when they arrived. The diving pool turned a mysterious deep green color overnight, stumping Rio officials who rushed to test the water before competition. Eventually they determined that it was perfectly safe to dive in, and that the color was caused by algae that grew quickly do to the heat and lack of wind in the venue. For some reason, the same problem didn't occur in the water polo pool right next door. Divers like Canadian Meaghan Befeito said they didn't mind competing in the green pool: "The only thing we said is, 'Don't open your mouth in the water.' Just in case."
As athletes and fans began to arrive in Rio the week before the Games were set to begin, they were confronted with a horrifying reality: Pokemon Go was still unavailable in Brazil. Disappointed visitors like American diver Abby Johnston tweeted their lament: “Want to know the worst thing about the Olympic village? No @PokemonGoApp. Otherwise, it’s incredible,” Johnston said. Even Rio's Mayor Eduardo Paes publicly asked Nintendo to bring Pokemon Go to Brazil, saying in a Facebook post, “The whole world’s coming here. Come too!” Still, Niantic (the game's creator) had no comment on whether anyone would be able to catch anything during the Olympics.
On August 1, 2016, four days before the Olympic opening ceremony, a boat ramp built specifically for the games collapsed into Marina da Gloria. Rio 2016 spokesperson Philip Wilkinson attributed the collapse to high tides and stormy seas. Apparently the nature of water wasn't accounted for when the sailing ramp was installed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) offered a noncommittal shrug in response to the incident. "It would be wrong to make a great deal...In the run-up to the games, things happen," said Mark Adams, spokes person for the IOC.
What did you guys get up to yesterday?— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 24, 2016
I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!#Rio2016
Only July 24, 2016, Jason Lee, a New Zealander and jujitsu fighter living in Rio de Janeiro, tweeted, "What did you guys get up to yesterday? I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!#Rio2016" Um, what?
According to Lee, he was pulled over while driving a rental car and told by police officers he couldn't drive in Brazil without having his passport on him, which is in fact not true. The cops demanded 2000 reals - about $600 - or Lee would spend the night in jail. Because he didn't have the cash on him, the police drove Lee to two different ATMs, so he could withdraw the money.
Lee was hesitant to report the incident to the police, though did, in the end. "I was umming and ahhing about whether I should even make a complaint. One of the guys I was reporting it to said, 'We understand you are hesitant because we are the police, and that branch of the police is so scary, even we are afraid of them.'"
UPDATE: After reporting the initial incident, Lee was visited by military police at his apartment. This prompted him to call the civilian police, and seek assistance from the New Zealand embassy. Following that, more military police showed up at his apartment, this time at midnight. For Lee and his girlfriend, Laura McQuillan, the third time was the charm - they left Brazil for good five days after the initial incident.