As we get ready for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, we look ahead to try and predict the winners for each event.
Of course you’ve got the favorites like Usain Bolt competing the 100-yard trash dash and Gabby Douglas in the all-around mosquito killing competition. Or maybe you’ll have your eyes on Alex Morgan trying to lead the U.S. women’s speed vaccination team to a gold medal. I know I’ll be watching Kerri Walsh Jennings lead the United States to victory in doubles toxic mutated fish catching.
Only time will tell what magic will unfold on the beautifully polluted trash-littered beaches in Rio along with the warm and refreshing Zika carrying mosquito-infested air.
If you know anything about anything then you know that those aren’t real Olympics events.
But what is real are the conditions these athletes and fans will face come this August in Rio.
In 2009 Rio won the Olympic bid, the first by a South American country, after promising the International Olympic Committee that it would improve the water quality.
But nothing changed.
In seven years, the conditions, although improved, have not met the expectation set by the IOC and the water is considered highly alarming to U.S. and European standards. Athletes that swim in these waters have an extremely high chance of falling ill from water contaminated with adenoviruses, which cause explosive diarrhea, violent vomiting, respiratory trouble and other illnesses.
And then you have the risk of contracting Zika, a virus that causes birth defects, including microcephaly.
How can a country with such poor conditions host the world’s greatest athletic event without a thorough plan set in place to improve said conditions.
Now we are sending our young and healthy athletes to a place that could put their health and hopes of a family in jeopardy.
These athletes who have spent their entire lives training for this moment now have a lot more to think about than the individual events.
This year’s games are arguably forcing them to make the toughest decision of their young lives; strive to win gold and risk the chance at a healthy family and self or stay home.
And that’s garbage.