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Olympic games anything but smooth sailing

A city vibrant with culture, festivals and sunshine would seem to be a perfect fit for the summer Olympic games. Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the event in 2009, when Brazil was on the top of the world in terms of economic prosperity. The magnificent location was an ideal spot and the excitement was prevalent amongst all olympic athletes.

What could go wrong? In a paradise like Rio nothing too awful could ever happen.

Or could it?

Over the past few years, way before the games even started, the tide began to turn in Brazil. Political turmoil rose when the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, was accused of altering the country’s budget to cover up how poorly the economy was doing to help her in the election.

People began to lose their jobs and the economy tanked.

Matters became worse as a new disease also began to appear in the country. By 2015, it was confirmed to be the Zika virus. It passes from victim to victim through mosquitos, and has emerged as a huge threat in the nation. Thousands of people started to get sick and pregnant women would give birth to babies with deformities. Many athletes from across the world opted out of playing in the Olympics because they feared they might catch the disease.

Other athletes, like the United States Women Soccer Team’s goalkeeper, Hope Solo, chose to play, but made comments about how the country was infected on her social media. Solo was booed when she took the field and every time she kicked the ball in a game the crowd would yell, “ZIKA.”

Many fans who attended the games in Rio said offensive things to the athletes. There were many reports of individuals who either threw things or ran onto the long distance routes to try and distract the athletes. I don’t think this really showed what the people of Rio are all about.

The city was chosen because of the pride it took in its sense of community. The paradise city was believed to be one filled with hospitable people who exemplified the best of Brazil. The opposite was discovered as fans and athletes quickly became exposed to polluted and run-down streets and rivers, dirty stadiums and unfriendly people.

What was supposed to be one of the most anticipated games of all time turned out to be one of the most disappointing in terms of how the host city presented the event.

The United States athletes came into Rio with gold on their minds and left with a total of 121 medals, 46 of them gold. The U.S. dominated the games and it was exciting to watch as our athletes showed the world why we are the best.

Now that the games have come to a close, we fans can look back at them and discuss how exciting some of the events were. Usain Bolt made history with his three-peat (gold in three straight games in every event), Brazil won gold in soccer for the first time in their history and Michael Phelps won his 23rd gold medal, proving he is one of the greatest athletes of all time.

The Olympics are fantastic; they bring the world together as we cheer on our athletes, and we should be proud of how our Americans competed. What we should also see is that, while Brazil is considered a beautiful country, something must be done before paradise turns into something quite the opposite.

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