Sunday August 14, 2016

Why are The Olympic Games dirty, corrupt, wildly expensive, and absolutely irresistible?

Meaghan Benfeito (left) won the 10m synchro bronze with partner Roseline Filion (right) at the Rio Olympics on August 9, 2016.

Meaghan Benfeito (left) won the 10m synchro bronze with partner Roseline Filion (right) at the Rio Olympics on August 9, 2016. (Kevin Light/CBC)

Listen to Full Episode 1:39:16

It's the greatest show on earth—a world sport spectacle that truly is spectacular. But it comes with a taint of corruption, cheating and excess. Why are The Olympic Games so compelling? With host Duncan McCue.

The budget required to host them would drain the treasuries of most nations. These Games in Brazil have been tarnished by doping scandals, allegations of bribery, toxic water, and the Zika virus.

Are those messy troubles dampening your enthusiasm for the dramas unfolding on fields and tracks and pools? Are you watching?

If you are a fan, you've been treated to incredible performances by Canadian athletes: the ascendance of teenage swimming phenomenon Penny Oleksiak, and trampoline gymnast Rosie McLennnan did it again… winning her second consecutive Olympic gold. What do you think has been the defining moment in Rio so far? And what events are you looking forward to? Is this spectacle of amateur sports sullied by commercialism and corporate sponsors… or is the Olympic spirit alive and well… thanks to athletes who give it their all?

Our question: "Why are the Olympics, dirty, corrupt, wildly expensive ...and absolutely irresistible?

Live online chat:

Guests

​David Common, covering the Olympic Games for CBC in Rio
Twitter: @davidcommon

Penny Oleksiak, swimmer, 4 medals (gold in 100m freestyle, silver in 100 m butterfly, 2 bronze in team relays)
Twitter: @OleksiakPenny

Rosie MacLennan, Canada's opening flagbearer and second time trampoline gold medalist
Twitter: @RosieMacLennan

Stephanie Nolen, South America correspondent for The Globe and Mail
Twitter: @snolen

Links & Articles

CBC.ca

National Post

The Atlantic

The Walrus

Toronto Star

The Guardian

The Independent

Daily Beast

LA Times

Reuters