THE RIO OLYMPICS ARE TURNING INTO more and more of a disaster, and it has nothing to do with Zika. The games start next week, but the scandals keep rolling in. There are body parts washing up on the volleyball beach, the country is in the middle of its worst recession in 80 years, there’s a massive political crisis which may unseat the President, and in an effort to “clean the streets,” police are arresting orphaned street children, often with no probable cause.
Now, athletes are arriving. And it’s not going great.
What did you guys get up to yesterday?
I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!#Rio2016
— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 24, 2016
Jason Lee is a Kiwi jiu-jitsu athlete who has been living in Rio for the past 10 months. Just yesterday, he says he was kidnapped by men dressed as policemen, and was forced to go to ATMs with them to withdraw money. He wrote on Facebook, “I was threatened with arrest if I did not get in their private car and accompany them to two ATMs to withdraw a large sum of money for a bribe.
“I’m not sure what’s more depressing, the fact this stuff is happening to foreigners so close to the Olympic Games or the fact that Brazilians have to live in a society that enables this absolute bullshit on a daily basis. This place is well and truly f***ked in every sense of the word imaginable.”
This comes after two members of the New Zealand paralympic squad were robbed at gunpoint last month. Brazil as a whole is experiencing a crime wave, partially thanks to the political and economic instability. The crime has been bad in Brazil for quite a while, but had been improving until 2016.
Crime aside, there’s another scandal brewing in the Olympic village. The Australian delegation arrived in the city and refused to enter the village, declaring it “uninhabitable.” They found exposed wires, horrible plumbing that caused water to drip down the walls, and the smell of leaking gas in the village.
— Wyre Davies (@WyreDavies) July 24, 2016
This comes after months of concern that the city won’t be ready for the Olympics. It seems that Brazil is undergoing a perfect storm of catastrophes, just as the world’s attention is turning towards the beleaguered country.