+Next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, are less than a year away, and there are concerns around stadium readiness and water cleanliness.
+In the U.S., Boston will no longer bid for the 2024 Summer games, and an American bid looks increasingly unlikely.
Rio needs the world’s biggest Brita filter
An AP report on the water conditions in Rio’s Gauanabara Bay intensified latent speculation that Rio’s hosting of the games may not be silky-smooth. Water tests from the bay, which will host sailing and rowing events, are reportedly 1.7 million times levels that would be considered hazardous. And the Brazilian government has already spent a cool three billion trying to clean up the water. Eek!
Brazil’s readiness to host the 2014 World Cup came down to the final minute (and wound up being a financial albatross for the country), so we’ll keep our eye on this story throughout the year.
But hey, in other water sports news, at least we can look forward to Michael Phelps back and swimming fast again!
Boston has better ideas for its $8.6 billion than hosting the 2024 games
After beating out L.A., D.C., and other cities without 2-letter abbreviations to be the designated U.S. city to bid on the 2024 games, Boston has announced it will no longer pursue the right to throw a sporty international boondoggle. Costs got completely out of hand and city leaders were never fully bought-in to the effort. There are rumblings that Los Angeles may try and fill the void, but our guess is that that the U.S. takes a collective pass.
And honestly, you can’t blame America, or any other rational country, for shying away from mass tournaments like World Cups and Olympics (which is why the 2022 Winter Olympics will be in Beijing, chosen narrowly over Kazakhstan??) The demand stipulations from governing bodies FIFA and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) require countries to build costly facilities and surrender hotel blocks to the point that the games cannot be justified financially.
The worst part is, it just doesn’t have to be this way. A collection of major-player nations could get together and re-design a system where the games are awarded based on meritocracy and logical plans based on existing facilities rather than one-off construction. Where the massive economic upside is regulated and distributed to participating countries and their Olympic programs/athletes. The world could use the Olympics as a biennial celebration of togetherness and progress, rather than a nagging reminder that even our best games are driven by the irrational steering of an almighty greenback.