We're nearly five months from the start of the Rio Olympics, and the controversies surrounding infrastructure delays, extremely scary viruses, water that might give you the plague, and a doping scandal surrounding a drug with a name that sounds like a metal from Star Trek are finally on the back burner.

It may be due to the fact that the entirety of Brazil is on fire, but still.

Chaos theory

Only nationwide protests involving millions of Brazilian citizens could push all of the other pre-Olympic issues to the margins — which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened.


It's not as if this happened overnight — this was a long-simmering pot that finally began to boil over, thanks to what accounts to a shady move by the maligned Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

If her name sounds familiar to you sport folk, that's because she is the same Dilma Rousseff who was in hot water two years ago during the lead-up to the World Cup, hosted by Brazil, when that tournament also went dramatically over its budget amid a growing national recession, which has only gotten worse.

Many pundits half-jokingly predicted that she wouldn't get re-elected if Brazil didn't win the World Cup (which, if you may recall, they did not). She did win, barely, and two years later faces an impeachment by congress and the biggest national protests in decades due to widespread corruption scandals and Brazil's worst recession in 25 years.

The straw, as it were, was when Rousseff appointed former president Ignacio Lula da Silva as her chief of staff last week. The same Ignacio Lula da Silva who has been accused of widespread money laundering and identity fraud. The move essentially makes him immune from prosecution for his crimes.

It's also something that was reversed by a Brazilian Supreme Court judge. So add it along with Brazil's congress to groups clashing with the beleaguered president.

The International Olympic Committee, for its part, told CNN and other outlets that it is "closely monitoring" the situation, which is exactly what you would say if you were standing right in the path of a fast-moving avalanche with no hope of escape. 

Alternative Olympics

If anyone wants a more relaxed view of sport, there is another "Olympics" that will surely fit the bill. And though it's a week away, it's safe to say there will be no angry protests going on around this event — or…any anger at all.


The organizers say on their website that the event's chief initiative is to quell the stereotype that people who enjoy cannabis are lazy and unmotivated.

In a lesser publication, this is where you would see a crass, predictable, pot-related punch line, but none of that drivel will be found here, as that joke is currently sitting on the couch waiting for the pizza to be delivered.