11
   

Should the 2016 Olympics be ditched in its entirety?

 
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2016 07:15 pm
@tsarstepan,
Nods.
0 Replies
 
mwinslow
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 07:29 pm
@tsarstepan,
And now the entire security company has been fired less than 2 weeks out from the Olympics. Yeah, that sounds safe.... http://sports.yahoo.com/news/rio-olympics-security-firm-fired-maligned-police-force-takes-over-221722153.html
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 11:28 pm
This kind of musing in the US media happens almost every time a non-first-world country hosts the Olympics. Remember Sochi was supposed to be awful too? And China? And Mexico City? And the World Cup that Brazil just hosted?

Rio has many problems, and even Brazilians will tell you an earful about them, but a good part of these reports is just first-world sneering at developing nations.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:25 am
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/2c9894db31b74fc081d7f1ee3f0cf673/expert-rio-athletes-dont-put-your-head-under-water
Quote:
Expert to Rio athletes: 'Don't put your head under water'

By JENNY BARCHFIELD, Aug. 1, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Just days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by The Associated Press.

Not only are some 1,400 athletes at risk of getting violently ill in water competitions, but the AP's tests indicate that tourists also face potentially serious health risks on the golden beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.

The AP's survey of the aquatic Olympic and Paralympic venues has revealed consistent and dangerously high levels of viruses from the pollution, a major black eye on Rio's Olympic project that has set off alarm bells among sailors, rowers and open-water swimmers.

In light of the findings, biomedical expert Valerie Harwood had one piece of advice for travelers to Rio: "Don't put your head under water."

The most contaminated points are the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, where Olympic rowing will take place, and the Gloria Marina, the starting point for the sailing races.

Sampling at the Lagoon in March 2015 revealed an astounding 1.73 billion adenoviruses per liter. By this June, adenovirus readings were lower but still hair-raising at 248 million adenoviruses per liter. By comparison, in California, viral readings in the thousands per liter set off alarm bells.

Despite a project aimed at preventing raw sewage from flowing into the Gloria Marina through storm drains, the waters remain just as contaminated. The first sampling there, in March 2015, showed over 26 million adenoviruses per liter. This June, over 37 million adenoviruses per liter were detected.
Quote:
Danger is lurking even in the sand. Samples from the beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema revealed high levels of viruses, which recent studies have suggested can pose a health risk -- particularly to babies and small children.

"Both of them have pretty high levels of infectious adenovirus," said Harwood, adding that the virus could be particularly hazardous to babies and toddlers who play in the sand.
Quote:
The testing also revealed alarming spikes in fecal coliform levels -- the very measure the state government uses to determine the safety of Rio's recreational waters.

"If these were the reported values in the United States, let's say in California, there is definitely an indication of a problem," said Dr. Kristina Mena, a waterborne virus expert at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

According to California's bacterial tests standards, 400 fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters is the upper limit for a beach to be considered safe for swimming. AP's tests revealed that Copacabana Beach, where the marathon and triathlon swimming are to be held and thousands of tourists are likely to take a dip, exceeded California's limit five times over 13 months of testing.

Nearby Ipanema Beach, which is not playing host to any Olympic sports but is among the city's most popular tourist spots, exceeded California standards five times over 12 months, once spiking to nearly 50 times what would be permitted in California. One of two testing spots along the beach in the Olympic hub neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca once hit more than 60 times that limit over the five months testing was conducted there.

"If we had exceedances that consistently were in the thousands like I'm seeing here, there would be a high likelihood that that beach would be put on our list of impaired water bodies," said Rik Rasmussen, manager of surface water quality standards at California's State Water Board. That would lead to water quality warnings posted on the beach, possible beach closure, and the development of a program to root out the source of the contamination, he said.

The beaches even violate Rio state's own standards, which are much less stringent than those in California, many other U.S. states and beach-loving countries such as Australia and New Zealand. In Rio, beaches are considered unfit if bacterial tests turn up more than 2,500 fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters -- more than six times higher than the upper limit in California. But Copacabana and Ipanema even violated those much higher limits on three separate occasions. The state environmental agency, INEA, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
This kind of musing in the US media happens almost every time a non-first-world country hosts the Olympics. Remember Sochi was supposed to be awful too? And China? And Mexico City? And the World Cup that Brazil just hosted?

I don't remember Mexico City, but I remember that in Sochi Russian cheating was rampant, and I remember young women being horsewhipped in public at the Olympics for peacefully protesting for democracy.

I remember in Beijing Chinese cheating was rampant, and I remember elderly women being sentenced to "reeducation in a labor camp" for daring to publicly protest when their homes were demolished to make way for Olympic venues. I also remember the suppression of the artist who designed some of the major venues because he hopes for Chinese democracy.

The Olympics are a corrupt institution. I don't mind sneering a bit.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 05:56 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

This kind of musing in the US media happens almost every time a non-first-world country hosts the Olympics. Remember Sochi was supposed to be awful too? And China? And Mexico City? And the World Cup that Brazil just hosted?

If you read what I wrote here and elsewhere, I'm not a fan of the Olympics anywhere (first world or otherwise). Certainly not a fan of the World Cup or anything soccer.

Socchi was a disaster. #coughcough
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 10:52 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
The Olympics are a corrupt institution. I don't mind sneering a bit.


It's an incredibly corrupt institution but that's not what I'm talking about. Ever since I've been alive the US press has sneered at the developing countries hosting it and their infrastructure and each time they host the Olympics just fine. Tens of millions of people live every day in these cities, and while they may not be as safe or clean as some developing nations the games will be fine. People exaggerate the hell out of the problems of developing nations due to their culture shock in encountering life that is not all perfectly first-world. It's due to living in a bubble that is the exception and not the rule globally.

Separately, to the issue of corruption: the corrupt IOC isn't going to just shut the Olympics down either, so that's not happening. I want to see the corruption fought instead (the US has been doing great work with FIFA's similarly outlandish corruption) and I agree that the costs have gotten out of hand (to the point where it's no longer clear if hosting the Olympics is a net economic positive).

But I fully expect that every time a major event like this (World Cup or Olympics is all that reaches the scale) is hosted in a developing nation we will hear dozens and dozens of stories about the apocalypse to come and for the most part the games will go off just fine and we'll all forget about the doom and gloom we spouted off beforehand.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 10:58 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
Socchi was a disaster. #coughcough


No, it wasn't. Just the same sneering at developing nations that always happens yet the games went off without a hitch. Sneering is not a disaster. An odd sign (first example in your second article) is not a disaster.

There are two types of people in the world, the kind that goes to a developing nation and encounters something not to first-world standards and then proceeds to feel superior about themselves over it and sneers at the developing nations as if they simply choose to be this way and it is not a simple factor of a difference in resources and the kind that realizes they live in a bubble that billions of fellow humans do not share and is understanding about the realities that their fellow humans face.

This sneering is a first-world problem. Sochi was not a disaster in any way except that some athletes had culture shock from visiting a developing nation.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 07:13 am
@Robert Gentel,
But Russia ISN'T a developing country. It's a slowly collapsing/devolving country. You're mixing up your political metaphors because the initial definition for 1st World/2nd World/3rd World wasn't a straight on definition created to discuss developing countries and their burgeoning economies. It's a cold war system depicting the clash between 1st World: US and its cold war allies VS 2nd World: USSR and its cold war allies while 3rd World: being any other country attempting to remain neutral in that decades long political, cultural, military clash.

You can also take the flipside to your argument. There are two types of people in the world. One group that has high standards for civil and political rights and another group which lazily or (far far worse) takes pride in or for other reasons fully accepts the petty corruption, violent tribalism, quasifeudalism, etc... often seen in allegedly developing countries and ... well... gives them a free pass or worse gives them a political high-five and say ... they should be allowed to do whatever nasty thing they're presently doing because... it's their culture. They're in their learning adolescent stage (despite the fact their country or cultures are centuries if not millennia old).

And before you call me a hypocrite, I am very critical of my own culture, government and society.

According to your broken logic: If 1st world scientists have proven that eating copious amounts of lead or mercury can lead to toxic death, you have to stand behind the notion that ... underdeveloped and developing societies/countries don't have to heed said warnings. They can disregard those warnings ... because... not really sure. They need to learn that lesson by themselves?! I'm not the one claiming that people in third world countries should take pride in ingesting dangerous levels of lead, mercury, in this present day Olympic case, copious amounts of pollution and FECAL MATTER exposure.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 08:05 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
This sneering is a first-world problem.

I think first world sneering can be a good thing. I'm sure that plenty of times it is done unfairly. But sometimes developing nations are lax in standards that even a developing nation should adhere to. In those cases I think sneering is entirely justified.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Sochi was not a disaster in any way except that some athletes had culture shock from visiting a developing nation.

It certainly was novel for Russia to have young women horsewhipped in public at the Olympics (to punish them for peacefully protesting for democracy and human rights).
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 09:09 am
@oralloy,
Highlights of the 2014 Sochi Olympics:

http://pix.avaxnews.com/avaxnews/52/35/00013552.jpeg
http://pix.avaxnews.com/avaxnews/55/35/00013555.jpeg
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1619610.1392825350%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/sochi-olympics.jpg
http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/shared/npr/201402/280968953.jpg
http://media.salon.com/2014/02/Screen-Shot-2014-02-19-at-1.31.24-PM.png
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1024/media/images/73091000/jpg/_73091759_73091757.jpg
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/CrkM84jsx1w/maxresdefault.jpg
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 09:34 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
No, it wasn't. Just the same sneering at developing nations that always happens yet the games went off without a hitch.


That's one way of putting it. I think the state sponsored doping at Sochi is a huge hitch.

Btw, Romney slagged off the London Olympics when he came over here for his aborted run at president. The London Olympics were very successful. For once it's not the West it's America, London beat New York for 2012, and that's what riled.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 09:45 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

London beat New York for 2012, and that's what riled.

I thank you guys for your sacrifice. I actively protested the Olympic bid here in NYC for that period. AT the time, I wrote letters to then Senator Hillary Clinton as well as the Governor of NY, the head of the NY State Assembly, Sheldon Silver (who turned out to be a corrupt prison-bound buttplug) but that's a different story), to the Village Voice, the now defunct New York Press, and to my US congress person Caroline Maloney, and maybe one or two more politicians.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 11:31 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
But Russia ISN'T a developing country. It's a slowly collapsing/devolving country.


Russia is one of the BRIC nations and yes is a developing country.

Quote:
You're mixing up your political metaphors because the initial definition for 1st World/2nd World/3rd World wasn't a straight on definition created to discuss developing countries and their burgeoning economies. It's a cold war system depicting the clash between 1st World: US and its cold war allies VS 2nd World: USSR and its cold war allies while 3rd World: being any other country attempting to remain neutral in that decades long political, cultural, military clash.


The precise label is not important to the point I am making which is that you live in a much richer country than the countries you are criticizing and that things like a funny bathroom sign (one of the top 20 "disasters" of the Sochi Olympics according to one of your articles) is just not a big deal and doesn't impede the games in any way.

Quote:
You can also take the flipside to your argument. There are two types of people in the world. One group that has high standards for civil and political rights and another group which lazily or (far far worse) takes pride in or for other reasons fully accepts the petty corruption, violent tribalism, quasifeudalism, etc... often seen in allegedly developing countries and ... well... gives them a free pass or worse gives them a political high-five and say ... they should be allowed to do whatever nasty thing they're presently doing because... it's their culture. They're in their learning adolescent stage (despite the fact their country or cultures are centuries if not millennia old).

And before you call me a hypocrite, I am very critical of my own culture, government and society.


My point is not that they should not be criticized, it is that the weight you place on the criticism is nonsensical. Acting like this is going to be "apocalyptic" is just irrational hyperbole. In my first post on this thread I mentioned how much there is to criticize but the notion that these things add up to a "disaster" is silly.

In the US people have been bombed and killed in an Olympics. In Sochi the worst were the dumbasses whipping people but otherwise all these inferior buildings are just not going to get in the way of the games and a much bigger deal is made out of them than makes any kind of sense.

Quote:
According to your broken logic: If 1st world scientists have proven that eating copious amounts of lead or mercury can lead to toxic death, you have to stand behind the notion that ... underdeveloped and developing societies/countries don't have to heed said warnings.


That's not representative of my logic at all. These things should be criticized, but for the millions of people who live there every day. Not for some temporary games that will go just fine anyway. The notion that the games will be a "disaster" and that this is "apocalyptic" is the silliness. The criticism about pollution etc is legitimate, if overblown.

Quote:
They can disregard those warnings ... because... not really sure.


You aren't "warning" them, you are just screaming that the sky is falling. I am not saying they are beyond criticism, I am just saying that the "sky is falling" routine that happens every time a developing nation hosts the Olympics is silly.

Do you not at all get that I am speaking to proportionality? When someone says that some criticism is hyperbolic it does not mean they are advocating that no criticism be offered.

Quote:
They need to learn that lesson by themselves?! I'm not the one claiming that people in third world countries should take pride in ingesting dangerous levels of lead, mercury, in this present day Olympic case, copious amounts of pollution and FECAL MATTER exposure.


Oh get off of it, I never ever said they should be proud of anything, just that you are acting like the typical chicken little that comes out every time a developing nation hosts anything significant.

The overwhelming majority of the time the event goes off fine, and so far real Olympic disasters have taken place in developed nations more often than the developing ones (terrorism etc). There's "FECAL MATTER" in pools too! It's just at perhaps a lower concentration and millions of people swim in waters near Rio every year. While some certainly is too polluted there is water suitable for these games to be found. These concerns are real, but they are being inflated to Biblical proportions.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 11:32 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
It certainly was novel for Russia to have young women horsewhipped in public at the Olympics (to punish them for peacefully protesting for democracy and human rights).


And that should legitimately be criticized. Some idiots were whipping others. But when the US hosted the Olympics once an idiot bombed and killed people. You didn't call those Olympics a disaster and some idiots whipping people certainly doesn't make a games a disaster either.

The point is not that there is nothing to criticize, it is the notion that this amounts to a "disaster" that should preclude the games that is the hyperbolic conclusion I am saying is silly.

It's just a prejudiced way of thinking that when developed nations have real disasters, like having a bunch of athletes kidnapped and murdered during the Olympics, few of you say that they should be precluded from hosting again. But if some developing nation has too much pollution or they build a funny-looking bathroom, or have weird signs that no this is where we must draw the line, the games just cannot possibly go on. This is risible.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 01:55 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

But when the US hosted the Olympics once an idiot bombed and killed people. You didn't call those Olympics a disaster and some idiots whipping people certainly doesn't make a games a disaster either.


It's interesting how you're picking and choosing your arguments. I never said the Atlanta Olympics was a success. Security is now a greater issue than back in 1996.

Athens, Atlanta, and London lost millions of dollars. In London's case? Billions. That makes those games a disaster as well.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/30/news/economy/olympics-cost/index.htm
http://www.forbes.com/sites/sportsmoney/2011/08/05/how-does-londons-olympics-bill-compare-to-previous-games/#11daee826d0f

Quote:
And while Brazil may be eager to signal its economic might, the Games can also tarnish a host country’s reputation. The enduring image of the Munich Olympics is a man in a ski mask; decaying venues from the 2004 Olympics became a metaphor for Greece’s economic crisis. Sochi’s legacy was overshadowed by security concerns and warm weather — even before Russia ended hopes for a tourism boom by annexing Crimea.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/magazine/does-hosting-the-olympics-actually-pay-off.html?_r=0
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 02:05 pm
@tsarstepan,
You're not Mitt Romney. I'm sure a lot of New Yorkers didn't want the hassle. As for Sochi being hitch free.

Quote:
Athletes at the Winter Olympics have reported yet more embarrassing - and dangerous - problems with the accommodation in Sochi.

Paula Walker, Team GB's women's bobsleigh driver was nearly missing her brake women after they found their hotel room's lift doors wide open, exposing a perilous drop down the lift shaft.

American Olympic star Johnny Quinn had to use his bobsled training to break through a hotel bathroom door, after getting locked in the shower without his phone to call for help.

Slovakian Ice Hockey player Zdeno Chára was up against a different problem - being too big for his bed.

At 6ft 9in, he's too tall for the twin beds in his hotel room and was forced to improvise - adding a footstool at the foot of the bed.


http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/sochi-winter-olympics-2014-athletes-3124024
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 03:37 pm
@tsarstepan,
Canada did pretty well with Vancouver.

Quote:
Furlong said all the buildings and infrastructure are currently in use and board chairman Ken Dobell said the Games left a debt-free legacy for the country.

"First of all, it cost what it was supposed to cost," Dobell said.

Significant capital upgrades were made that had to happen sooner or later, and the host communities now have recreation and community facilities for residents.

"Was it a worthwhile endeavour? The way Vancouver did it, for sure," he said.


New facilities. Good events. No debt once the books were settled.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-2010-winter-olympics-debt-free-vanoc-final-report-says-1.2695994


The results were pretty similar when Toronto hosted the Pan-Am games last summer (which are apparently a bigger event than the Winter Olympics)

http://www.toronto2015.org/about-us/pan-am-games
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 03:53 pm
I have mostly liked the Olympics, even now. And I probably have whined re disasterous situations, even recently.

I will say that I have been interested in Rio since I was nine, so now sixty plus years ago. I'm obviously plenty ignorant. Corruption seems rampant, but I get some of the whys of that.

There was a good link on the news on this for the future -

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/08/a-cheap-easy-fix-to-rios-sewage-problem/494354/ -
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2016 05:25 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
There's "FECAL MATTER" in pools too! It's just at perhaps a lower concentration and millions of people swim in waters near Rio every year. While some certainly is too polluted there is water suitable for these games to be found. These concerns are real, but they are being inflated to Biblical proportions.

Concentration matters. I don't think this issue is being inflated. If anything, I think it isn't being covered enough. The rowing events are being held in raw sewage, as are the sailing events.

The beaches that tourists swim in, and where some athletes will swim at, may not be at the level of raw sewage, but the concentration is still unacceptably high. There is a good reason why first world countries close beaches when they have concentrations at that level.
 

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