More and more athletes, journalists and specators announce plans to skip 2016 Olympics in Brazil   Leave a comment

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…Despite definative proof uncovered by researchers regarding the Zika virus, there are still no plans to move the event. By now, you’ve heard the travel advisory since last November: Women who are pregnant are advised to not travel to the epicenter of the Zika virus. Women who are planning on becoming pregnant are advised to wait at least a year before trying. The Zika virus causes microcephaly, a birth defect in which the fetus us born with a smaller head best or malformed skull at worst.

The outbreak, which began last summer in (wait for it) Brazil has since spread north through Latin America into the U.S. and Canada as well as to Europe. There is no treatment for the birth defect but it can be detected by ultrasound. Depending on the severity, women in the most effected regions are forced to terminate the pregnancy and then wait a year before trying again. Zika is transmitted by (you guessed it) mosquitos. Despite calls for it from everyone with sense, the IOC (International Olympics Committee) has no plans of moving the 3-week event. In short, if you chose to go you put your health at risk.

The Olympic Games have been under scrutiny since the 2004 games in Athens, which actually destroyed Greece’s economy. Greece declared bankruptcy a few years back. The facilities built for the 2008 games in Beijing have fallen quickly fell into disrepair. Same for the 2012 games in London and the 2014 Winter games in Socchi, Russia. Going back at least 30 years, The Olympic Games have a track record for devastating the economy of the host city. There was outrage when it was revealed housing was torn down to make room for the the Olympic Park in London. The IOC apparently promised city officials ample compensation but apparently changed their minds. Beijing was hard-pressed repurposing the facilities built to hose the Summer Games in 2008. If you wanna go further back, the Olympic Park from the 1996 games in Atlanta was eventually torn down after it became an eyesore.

The way I see it, both the Olympics and the World Cup have been given way too much leeway for far too long. The United Nations needs to step in and demand the IOC and FIFA Officials commit to paying at least half the costs of hosting events from now on. The 3 weeks of sporting events is not worth destroying whole economies for years to come. You guys might remember the strong anti-Olympics movement in Boston from last year. The way the IOC has it, the host city–specifically taxpayers–are on the hook for every penny. Yes, even if the costs go over budget. The cycle of greed needs to be stopped. Not saying I hate the Olympics or the World Cup. Only it’s time sweeping reform comes to how the events are planned and paid for.

 

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