Road To The Olympic Games


Rio Olympics in good shape, really, say organizers

Welcome to the other side of the Olympic Movement: the one that trips, falls on its face, and rolls down a hill of dollar bills. Brandon Hicks offers an irreverent look at Rio 2016.

Round-up of weirdest Olympic stories has nothing to do with greatness

Rio Olympic organizers still have some work to do when it comes to cleaning up the water in Guanabara Bay. Fake toilets are spewing up fake yellow arms. Apparently this is a sign of gross pollution. (The Associated Press)

The Olympics are usually associated with reverence, grandiosity, and the purity of sport. The following stories include none of these things. Welcome to the other side of the Olympic Movement: the one that trips, falls on its face, and rolls down a hill of dollar bills.

Half full instead of half empty

Less than half of all tickets for Rio 2016 have been sold, according to organizers last Monday. But the International Olympic Committee isn't too worried about it.

"I have no concerns at all there," IOC President Thomas Bach said to reporters when asked about the sales. "This is a different culture. Brazilians do not buy tickets at such early stage as the British or the Germans. I have no doubt when the time comes these numbers will increase."

So, in other words, the IOC is banking on the Brazilian penchant for not planning ahead to save its sales. Also, Rio's Velodrome venue is behind schedule and may not be ready in time for the Games.

New revenue streams

In news that is completely unrelated to the item above or the skyrocketing cost of putting on a Summer Olympics and World Cup within two years of each other, the Rio Games seems to have found a new source of income.

It's selling mosquito screens to Olympic athletes. Also known as the thing that prevents bugs currently carrying a very scary virus from flying into the place you live.

Rio would only have to sell around 25 million screens to recoup the cost of the Olympics.

How's the water?

Still filled with garbage…

…in addition to maybe a human arm.

(Wait, what?)

Welcome to obvious day

The IOC announced on Tuesday that it is doing the noble thing and will be removing itself from ruling on positive doping tests during the Games, instead relying on a group of independent sports arbitrators to rule on those cases. To answer your obvious question: No, the previous sentence was not written in 1950.

Getting ahead of the problem...

In a twist, the Tokyo Olympic brass is getting a head start and denying any corruption was involved in their 2020 bid, a full four years before the start of their Games. As we all know, those allegations usually come after the Olympics have left, when all of the nations are angry that they didn't get the judging scores they wanted.

…while inadvertently creating one

But nobody paid attention to the above story, because everyone was too busy noticing that the brand-new National Stadium was designed as one giant tinderbox. Which is bad if you want to put a torch in there. Or an Olympic flame. So the designers didn't include one, possibly hoping nobody would notice.

(They did.)

With files from The Associated Press

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