Rio De Janeiro Declares Financial Crisis Less Than 50 Days From Olympics. Could Rio 2016 Be In Jeopardy?

Rio De Janeiro is facing a financial crisis according to its acting governor, Francisco Dornelles. The news of Rio’s financial problems comes as the world prepares to descend on Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

According to Yahoo Sports, Rio’s governor requested federal funds to help with the looming financial crumble. Fearing that the city will not be able to fulfill its obligations for the safety and welfare to both the Olympic athletes and an estimated 500,000 visitors, Rio has requested that Brazil release money from its budget to help offset some of the costs.

A decree in the Rio’s Official Gazette states that without the funds, Rio is financially looking at “a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management,” for the world stage of the Olympics.

Rio De Janeiro was announced as the host for the 2016 Olympic games by the International Olympic Committee in October 2009. Though Rio had made two other previous bids, this was the first time it had been chosen as a host. Part of the appeal to the Olympic Committee was reportedly Rio’s financial package and budget, with Rio estimating it would spend more than $14 billion for organization and infrastructure costs in preparation for the Olympics and Paralympic competitions. But Rio was not prepared to be affected by one of the worst economic recessions in their financial history.

According to the Telegraph, Rio’s financial meltdown came as a direct result of the bottoming out of the oil industry. Though the Olympics were primarily funded by private donations, the infrastructure to host them required a significant investment from Rio.

Completion of Rio De Janeiro's Metro Line, a main transportation source of the 2016 Olympics, is in jeopardy due to lack of financial resources. Image via Mario Tama/ Getty Images. Completion of Rio De Janeiro’s Metro Line, a main transportation source of the 2016 Olympics, is in jeopardy due to lack of financial resources. [Photo by Mario Tama/ Getty Images]Rio Governor Dorellenes indicated concerns over their financial capability to complete the metro line which is integral to transportation to Olympic Park. The impact of Rio’s crisis is reaching other, more significant areas such as their hospital system with one hospital threatening to close its doors due to the lack of financial resources from the Rio De Janeiro government.

With less than fifty days until the arrival of the Olympic athletes in Rio, the financial situation appears to be dire, however, the organizing committee has yet to respond to the request for the influx of funds. Today’s announced financial doom is just another in a growing list of concerns for the 2016 Olympics.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, five Rio venues tested positive this month for a “super bacteria” that is antibiotic resistant. The beach areas which are prominently used by tourists and are expected to host multiple water sports including canoeing, triathlon, and rowing contain microbes normally only found in hospitals.

The pollution of Rio De Janeiro's water ways poses a potential health risk for Olympic water sports athletes. Rio's financial crisis has prevented proper clean up. Image via Matthew Stockman/July 2015/ Getty Images. The pollution of Rio De Janeiro’s water ways poses a potential health risk for Olympic water sports athletes. Rio’s financial crisis has prevented proper clean up. [Photo by Matthew StockmanGetty Images]The issue has emerged due to the poor sewage system in place which pours from homes and hospitals in Rio into the local water resources. While Rio had stated that cleaning up the bodies of water was a priority when they placed their initial bid to host the Olympics, that hopeful legacy may end up a pipe dream or nightmare if they can’t secure the financial resources to meet their goals.

The “super bacteria” comes on the heels of the announcement of concerns for the health safety of female Olympics athletes with the rise of the Zika virus in Rio. The CDC has forewarned all female athletes of child bearing age that the Zika virus has been known to cause birth defects and those who may be considering pregnancy shortly after the Olympics were encouraged to reconsider their participation in the games.

Could the the culmination of the financial crisis and potential health issues in Rio be enough for the 2016 Olympics to change venues?

In March, the World Health Organization rejected the request of more than 100 leading scientists who requested either the move from Rio to a new venue or the change in dates of the Olympics due to the Zika virus according to the BBC. Perhaps the combination of Zika, “super bacteria,” and the rise in crime since the financial downturn would be enough to sway the opinions, but many have to wonder if it’s too late.

While the 1976 Olympics were originally awarded to Denver, Colorado, a failure to pass the financial bond necessary to build venues required relocation of the Olympics to an existing venue in Austria. This Olympic relocation, however, was given more than fifty days notice.

And while the most famous large sports event relocation on short notice was the FIFA Women’s World Cup from China to the United States due to the rapidly growing SARS virus in 2003, the move happened four months prior to the games taking place. The move of the Olympics from Rio due to financial and health concerns may just not be feasible on such short notice.

What are your thoughts? Should the Olympics be moved from Rio to a healthier, more economically stable environment for 2016 or is it too late?

[Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images]