June 29, 2016
How Rio Should Prepare If the Olympics Flop
With the Summer Olympics only about a month away on August 5th, Rio de Janeiro faces some almost insurmountable issues that need to be resolved in that short period of time. And that may not be possible. So, what should the Brazilian government and the 2016 Olympic Committee do to keep the games as smooth as they can be even if many problems go unresolved?
Like most very difficult tasks, knowing what needs to be done and the order of priority is probably the first step. Here are some of the issues Rio faces with the Olympics just around the corner:
- Brazil is in the middle of a huge political crisis with claims of corruption being leveled at many in the government and top elected officials;
- Their economy is a wreck;
- The Zika virus is scaring athletes and possible visitors – and since Brazil is in the middle of the hot zone for the virus, there is reason for concern;
- The bays still have raw sewage though they were promised to have been cleaned – meaning water sports participants face more health issues than just the Zika virus;
- Approximately $850 million is needed just to bring various workers current on their salaries and other expenses – that includes police and gas for their vehicles, construction workers for the various Olympic projects, and even health care providers in the area;
- The metro line to events farther from the city was supposed to be completed, but is not.
That’s a list that could easily take more than a year to complete, even in perfect conditions. So what kind of a plan should they be working? First, make sure visitors will be safe and that essential services are available to locals, athletes, and the people coming to enjoy the events.
Next, might be figuring out alternative forms of transport for getting to events outside the city. Look for help from hotels and motels to provide transportation for their guests as needed, allowing the city to focus on other issues.
Approach non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross to establish treatment centers near events. And get workers paid so they don’t end up with a walk-out just when the city and all its visitors would be most vulnerable.
Finally, own the problems, as some are starting to do, face them, do what is possible and then start promoting all the positives of an Olympic event. The competition, bringing nations together in peace, celebrating the highest achievements we humans attain and make sure there are plenty of items, food, and accommodations to purchase for all who are there to wave a flag, cry a tear, or shout to the rooftops. Those sales will be necessary once the games have come to a close.