Breaking down the 2016 Summer Olympics
1. The State of Brazil in 2016
This is a tough one to talk about, but Brazil in 2016 is in a bad, bad place. While the Olympics are a major sporting achievement for the best of the best, the host nations for these events are often the worst of the worst (See Sochi Winter Games). Unfortunately, Rio Brazil is no exception. Among worrying reports of suspected terrorism, violent crimes, and the Zika Virus all running rampant around the country, conditions are expected to be horrible. One report suggests that swimmers will literally be swimming in human feces, and another says swimmers only need to swallow three teaspoons of water to contract a virus. How the hell was Rio selected to host this event? This seems like a disaster on all levels. Of course, we wish the best for all athletes and spectators, but the odds will not be in anyones favor as they live in this country the next few weeks.
2. The Opening Ceremony Promises to Be… Interesting
People take great pride in the Opening Ceremony. The Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008 were called a showcase of Chinese art and beauty, and Britain’s in 2012 was heralded as one of the most eccentric and memorable in the games history. This year should be quite different. For one, many countries, such as Britain and Australia, will send a very small contingent of athletes to the actual ceremony. Seeing the athletes march has been a tradition of the opening ceremony. However, due to events starting the very next day and over two and a half hour distance to get from the Olympic Village to the ceremony, many feel it is not worth the hassle. The Ceremony itself will feature an odd and controversial moment, where a “street mugger” will allegedly “Fake-rob” supermodel Gisele Bundchen. While the message is to promote peace and forgiveness, its an odd choice given the fact that Rio is rampant with street crime.
3. Meet the Newest American Sweetheart: US Gymnastics Star Simone Biles
It seems every Olympics, America has a new young gymnast that captures the nation’s heart. Past luminaries have included Gabby Douglas and Shawn Johnson, and this year’s iteration is Simone Biles, projected as a favorite in many events. Biles brings a swagger and determination rarely seen in the sport, and as a favorite to win many medals should take the country by storm. You will hear her name a lot over the next few weeks.
4. Does Michael Phelps Have One More Spectacular Medal Run in Him?
Phelps is one of the most decorated and dominant Olympic athletes of all time. He has more medals (22) and gold medals (18) then any other athlete in history. While he promised the world that the 2012 Olympics would be his last, the 31 year old Phelps returned to high competitive swimming in 2014 and has never looked back. This has the potential to really, finally be his last Olympic run, can he add to his impressive medal total?
5. How Much Will The USA Basketball Team Win By?
Since 1992 and the Dream Team, the US has been the heavy favorite in every basketball event. With star players such as Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kyrie Irving dazzling teams, the deep and talented US squad is locked and loading to run away with another gold. While some teams (Argentina, Spain) can actually compete with the US, many will likely gaze in awe as super athletes race up and down the court. It should be a fun event to follow.