Op-ed: The beautiful landscape of Rio de Janerio would seem to make it the ideal venue for the Olympics.
But as they begin the country is troubled with crime, poverty, potential terrorism and a lack of money to hold games that have left richer countries with debt that took years to cover.
There is even fear it could be a target of ISIS.
Sixty-three percent of the population of 204 million oppose the games.
My home state of Colorado voted down the Winter Olympics and has become one of the richest states in the nation with far the best skiing and winter sports.
“Rioters pelted the Olympic torch relay with rocks as it approached Rio de Janeiro, while bumper stickers have rearranged the Olympic rings into a four-letter word. The country is in the middle of a political battle over whether its government should be replaced."
“Then there’s the anxiety: With gallows humor amid a crime wave and fears of terrorism, a bingo game is circulating for people to wager on which day during the Games an attack will occur,” the New York Times reported.
The decision to allow a team from Russia to compete despite its being caught using government-supplied drugs adds no glamor.
A writer for the Washington Post urged legalizing all drugs, comparing it to people smoke weed in Colorado.
She wrote: “It’s time to junk the World Anti-Doping Agency and throw it into the same bin with Prohibition. It’s a failed social experiment that has yielded nothing but a larger form of corruption, a crooked self-dealing bureaucracy headed by a bunch of careerist drones trying to legislate a morality they themselves do not possess.”
What she didn’t mention was that giving athletes drugs and then sending them to compete is dangerous.
Remember the scene in MASH when the two Army surgical teams are playing a sandlot football game. One team realizes it is losing so it sticks a syringe into the other team’s best player and he is out for the night.
True Sport has a list of what these drugs can do: “Doping has many short-term and long-term risks. Here are a few of the many serious consequences an athlete may experience.
Possible health effects include:
High blood pressure
Increased or flared acne on the body
Sexual side effects
Weakening of the immune system
Increased risk of stroke
But considered in a Roman gladiator way this could exciting.
Don’t people go to Formula Racing hoping to see drivers crash and die?
The question of honor doesn’t arise.
Russia already took care of that.
Caught in the act Moscow and Putin were still allowed to send two-thirds of their team to Rio. Their widespread doping has been known since the Cold War but Putin, friend of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, had the guns to drills holes in wall so phony specimens could be swapped for real ones.
Most professional and amateur sports are tarnished by the need for greed.
Hopefully if drugs are allowed on the tracks and other sites they will have doctors on hand to try to save some lives.
Great film though, news at 11.
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Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.
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