Indiana Daily Student

EDITORIAL: The Olympic burden

With the upcoming summer Olympics, Brazil has been under a lot of pressure and has had a long list of setbacks including economic crises, dirty water and infectious mosquitoes.

Each of these hurdles has to be under control before Brazil will be able to successfully be host to the summer Olympic games.

Due to the mishandling of past issues, we, the Editorial Board, think Brazil, and the International Olympic Committee have to take responsibility for the poor choice of Brazil for this upcoming Olympic games.

Brazil has bitten off more than it can chew, but International Olympic Committee is the one feeding them. The most significant hurdle is the emergence of the Zika virus.

The mosquito-born virus normally causes flu-like symptoms, but with recent reports of a possible link between the virus and microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder, the World Health Organization declared a 
public health emergency.

Olympic officials are downplaying the health risks, USA Today reported, claiming workers are destroying mosquito breeding grounds and the number of bugs will be lower in the relatively cool month of August.

The presence of the Olympic games puts Brazil and its handling of this crisis on a world stage. So far, we haven’t been impressed.

Athletes and spectators from across the world will be flying to Rio de Janeiro in less than 200 days. Twenty million spectators traveled to the London Summer Olympics in 2012, according to

For two weeks of games, this number of people can only exacerbate the public health crisis, and will increase the spread to other nations. Hosting these games will make a bad situation worse.

In addition to the Zika virus, Rio is currently battling bacteria found in Guanabara Bay near the city. According to a BBC report, 
hundreds of gallons of raw sewage are leaking into the bay. If infected, people must be 

Instead of addressing these health concerns, Brazil is focused on completing infrastructure for the games, the Washington Post reported.

To be fair, building enough stadiums for the Games has always been a challenge, with even economically strong countries such as China, Japan and the United States struggling in the past to make deadlines and always exceeding their budgets.

Brazil also has yet to successfully bounce back from the strain that hosting the last World Cup put on its 

Large state of the art stadiums were built and have yet to pay themselves off. The Olympic games will be no different.

Brazil isn’t ready to host the games, but they aren’t the only ones to blame.

Since the 1956 Melbourne games in Australia, the games have been considered a significant way to bring in business, adding more than just prestige to the competition for the host city.

The International Olympic council needs to own up to the lie that hosting the games will be good for a city’s economic development, and not bestow the burden on countries that will be crippled by it.

The Brazilian government should be focusing on the health of their citizens.

They should be putting more money into research for a vaccine, programs that will help people avoid contracting the disease or pregnancy prevention until the disease is better understood.

They need to clean the infected waters surrounding the city, not for international athletes, but for the citizens who live and play by the sea.

Yet there remains a ray of hope. The Wall Street Journal reported a number of drug companies around the world are racing each other to find a vaccine for the virus, which is very much in the spirit of the Olympic Games.

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