Some are already calling Rio’s 2016 Olympic games the worst ever before the opening ceremony, which is next week.
An athlete has already been kidnapped in Rio, drug dealers are selling Olympic branded cocaine, and Zika virus fears are making many fans second guess coming to Brazil.
Jason Lee, a jiu-jitsu athlete from New Zealand, tweeted that he was kidnapped. The worst part of this story is that he was kidnapped by two people in police uniforms during a traffic stop. He was then forced to give the kidnappers money, which was withdrawn from an ATM, according to BBC Sport.
What did you guys get up to yesterday?— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 24, 2016
I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!#Rio2016
Although Jason Lee is not an Olympic athlete (jiu-jitsu is not one of the sports), it sent shivers down the spine of many who are already apprehensive about coming to Rio due to its reputation.
On the topic of kidnappings, billionaire and Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law was reportedly kidnapped in Sao Paulo. Ecclestone is married to model Fabiana Flosi, and the kidnappers are demanding a large ransom.
Sao Paulo is not in Rio — in fact, it is another city in Brazil. However, it plays into the narrative of crime in the country hosting the Olympics.
Another upset in this year’s Rio Olympic games is that some athletes don’t have decent accommodation one-week shy from the opening ceremony. The Australian Olympic team stated that their building was inhabitable. Brazilian organizers have had to launch an operation to fix the plumbing and electricity problems in the Athletes’ village.
Why did the Australian Olympic team refuse to move in to Rio's Olympic Village? https://t.co/0UuziHXZbU— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 27, 2016
Other teams competing in the Olympics have complained about the poor living conditions. Some athletes are renting apartments nearby due to problems in the village. Many Swedish athletes left their accommodations, and a Kenyan Olympian demanded that her toilet gets fixed.
Not everyone has it bad. Team GB’s section of the Olympic village looks like it is up to par with the conditions and it appears like an Olympic village is supposed to.
Brazil is going through several issues while hosting the Olympics. These problems have been going on for a while, and some even suggested that another country host.
The Washington Post sums up Brazil’s problems.
“This is the latest upset for an Olympics taking place amid a severe economic recession, a Zika epidemic, the impeachment process of suspended president Dilma Rousseff and a spike in crime in Rio state — which is so broke it needed a central-government bailout to pay police salaries in arrears.”
Although fears of Zika virus spreading due to the Olympic games are over-exaggerated, some believe it will affect the turnout of fans and athletes.
According to Joseph Lewnard, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University specializing in infectious disease, the risks are low.
“Based on our calculations, a visitor’s chance of becoming infected with Zika at the Olympics and then importing the virus to his or her home country is low. Our outcomes support the position of the WHO that cancelling the Olympics, or relocating the games, is not going to alter the international spread of Zika. In a world connected by travel and migration, opportunities for the virus to cross borders extend far beyond sporting events.”
In what many consider a sign of Brazil’s unpreparedness, Rio drug dealers decided to brand their cocaine with the Olympic rings.
Rio cocaine dealers now using the Olympic logo, plus the warning "don't use near children," which is very thoughtful pic.twitter.com/8M0e551eej— Alex Cuadros (@alexcuadros) July 26, 2016
This is another bad sign about Rio and crime, which many visitors fear may be an issue during their visit. Foreigners fear that they will be targeted by criminals who expect Olympic visitors to have money or other items of value.
Brazil will have to reassure visitors and athletes that Rio is a safe city. The beautiful city can help boost the economy if visitors are not in fear of kidnappings, Zika, and crime.
[Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images]