For better or for worse, Rio de Janeiro will introduce the 2016 Summer Olympics to the world from the Maracana Stadium, at this evening’s opening ceremonies.
The Americas Society/Council of the Americas estimates the total costs of the 2016 Summer Games is $11.1 billion dollars, with the Brazilian government’s portion approximately $7.1 billion (the government has committed to raising funds for its commitment through public financing.)
A 16-month study funded by the AP has raised concerns over the health risks to athletes who must compete in Brazil’s waterways; in June, the state governor of Rio de Janeiro issued a state of emergency authorizing emergency funding to fulfill the city’s financial obligations to the Games; several American athletes have opted out of participation for fear of contracting the Zika virus; the IOC Executive Board cleared the Russians to participate a mere 12-days ago; and, reports vary as to the state of completion of the construction on sporting venues.
With all the negative press about Brazil’s preparedness, it seems reasonable that some Brazilians are beginning to bristle under the criticisms.
By the time Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s soccer team posted a photo of herself to social media wearing a hat with mosquito netting, Brazilians had declared enough: jeers of “Zika, Zika” accompanied Ms. Solo’s entrance to the field, as the match between the U.S. and New Zealand began.
This evening, beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST on NBC, Brazil will either prove its critics wrong, or, serve as a live demonstration of the importance of clean water – at this point, these Games could go either way.
As NBC, which holds broadcasting rights from the Olympic Broadcasting Services, will provide coverage on a one-hour delay for its broadcast and online coverage, the search is on for live streams from broadcasters outside the U.S.
Google offers an interactive schedule of events, games, medals and athlete bios.