Some athletes who planned to compete in the Olympics have cancelled, as has one prominent journalist. The Rio de Janeiro-based games are only weeks away. That does not mean several large nations will not pull out and ruin the games, nor that the games could be, and should be, cancelled altogether.
Some of the reasons to kill the games do not have historic precedence, because the Olympics have been held in politically troubled countries, or in effect dictatorships, particularly China. But the problem should be on the list.
1. The national government of Brazil is wildly corrupt.
President Dilma Rousseff has fought off impeachment and has been replaced for the time being by acting President Michel Temer. Similar accusations have been made about members of the nation’s legislature. Not a very good location for the pristine image of the Olympics.
2. Brazil’s major companies may be more corrupt than its government.
Huge nationally controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), better known as Petrobas, has suffered from accusations of corruption and resignations over the level of bribe talking and overpayment by executives. The practices, it is alleged, go back a number of years.
3. Several prominent athletes have already canceled, some for unspecified reasons.
Tennis player Feliciano Lopez is among them. So has Tejay van Garderen, a renowned bicyclist. Are the games really games without them?
4. The Zika virus has kept some athletes away.
Perhaps more visible, pregnant Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie will stay away due to worry about the Zika virus’s effect on unborn children.
5. Crime is rampant in Rio.
According to a Washington Post report:
The number of homicides in Rio state was up 15 percent in the first four months of 2016 compared with last year, although the figure dipped in May. Street robbery climbed 24 percent this year, according to the latest statistics, which run through April. And last month, the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a Rio favela made headlines in Brazil and around the world.
6. So-called super bacteria have been found in the ocean just off the coast of Rio.
The drug-resistant strain is a known killer. Whether the problem will harm Olympic swimmers or not, there is a great deal of anxiety.
7. Rio is broke, which could affect transportation and infrastructure.
Rio has sought a loan from Brazil to solve its financial problems. Financial problems could cause a shutdown of some services the city provided.
8. Parts of the country suffer from blackouts due to aged infrastructure and lack of capacity.
Nothing will drain power quite like an event that will draw millions of people.
The games are just weeks away, and still there is a chance the games could be ruined or should be cancelled.