It takes a lot of information to fill a 24 hour news cycle, so I admit, when I saw headlines calling for the Olympics to be moved or postponed, my first thought was, No way is that even a thing. I mean, at this point the wheels are so deep in motion that it would take a miracle bigger than Moses parting the Red Sea to move such a huge event, right? After all, it’s not just an issue for the IOC, it’s also an issue involving Brazilian government, labor, public transportation, infrastructure, supplies, not to mention travel plans of over half a million people including state officials and diplomats, and of course the training schedules of all the athletes. Moving the Olympics isn’t like moving a Saturday night ball game.
Then last week, the Washington Post published an open letter to the director-general of the World Health Organization, signed by 150 public health experts, asking her to “call for the Rio 2016 Games to be postponed and/or moved to another location—but not cancelled—in the name of public health.”
The WHO says the Olympics aren’t going to significantly add to the worldwide Zika threat, but what about everything else? This letter comes alongside reports that athletes who compete in open water will basically be swimming in sewage, plus Dilma Roussef’s impeachment shining international light on Brazil’s corruption issues, plus economic problems all over Latin America. Signs all around seem to be pointing in the same direction.
Or are they? Are these just the normal problems of an emerging power in a struggling global economy?
What do you think? Is the news media blowing all this stuff out of proportion, or are the problems serious enough to change the course of the Olympic Games? Should the Games move?