The Rio Olympics weren't the disaster we expected — for the most part


It's safe to say the performances of the thousands of athletes who competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro covered up most of the issues the weary city encountered during the games.

After the closing ceremony Sunday night, critics who were sure the games would buckle under the force of Rio's many problems were forced to admit defeat.

As a sports writer for USA Today put it: "Rio pulled it off. Who thought we'd be able to say that?"

>> Read more trending stories

So no, the Rio Olympics weren't as bad as we all thought they would be. 

But aside from the mysterious green diving well and the Ryan Lochte incident, there were still some difficulties most viewers at home didn't get to see.

First, there's the city itself. Rio is still in a steep recession, the water is still teeming with contamination and the Zika virus continues to spread.

Related: Ryan Lochte loses 4 endorsement deals in one day

But the televised coverage showed only this — beautiful panning shots of Christ the Redeemer, glistening ocean views and smiling Olympic athletes in all their glory.

It managed to hide the fact that despite low ticket prices, seats at many of the Olympic arenas were left empty.

And not a lot of people noticed that some venues had already been dismantled by Sunday morning to save the cash-strapped city some money.

There were scandals, too. International Olympic Committee member Patrick Hickey was arrested in his hotel room and charged with ticket scalping.

Photos: Closing ceremonies at the Rio Olympics

Speaking of crime, Ryan Lochte may not have gotten robbed with a weapon  but Portugal's education and sports minister did.

And not one, but two stray bullets tore through the equestrian center. Gunfire also hit a bus carrying journalists, breaking two windows and injuring two passengers.

There were plenty of other small incidents that didn't make the headlines, like a brush fire that broke out near several venues and an overhead camera that crashed into the audience in the Olympic Park. 

But at least the games did some good for Rio. There's a brand-new port, a new subway line and highway, and two museums to greet tourists as they enter the city.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

5 things to know as Reds start Cactus League play
5 things to know as Reds start Cactus League play

The Cactus League opens Friday as the Reds and Indians meet to kick off the rust of winter. Players compete for their baseball lives this time of year and now they have to do it in a bigger hurry. That’s because spring training is a few days shorter. Believe it or not, the Reds open the season against the Nationals on March, 29. Meanwhile, Joe...
SI predicts ‘contentious seeding’ for Sooners in NCAA Tournament
SI predicts ‘contentious seeding’ for Sooners in NCAA Tournament

No matter where the Oklahoma Sooners land when the NCAA Tournament seeds are announced, someone’s going to be mad about it. At least, that’s what Michael Beller of Sports Illustrated predicts. Because the Sooners have had such an up-and-down season — beating Kansas, Texas Tech and TCU to reach No. 4 in the nation ...
Report: Texas DC Todd Orlando’s salary now 1.7 million
Report: Texas DC Todd Orlando’s salary now 1.7 million

Todd Orlando’s defense was incredibly strong in Tom Herman’s first year as the head coach of the Longhorns, and Orlando is being rewarded for his performance. His new salary will be 1.7 million, plus a car. Needless to say, that is a literal truck-load of money. The Longhorns were No. 41 in the nation in total...
USC offers 2019 No. 1 Tight End, brother of Chargers Tight End Hunter Henry
USC offers 2019 No. 1 Tight End, brother of Chargers Tight End Hunter Henry

The USC Trojans have offered a scholarship to Hudson Henry, the No. 1 ranked Tight End in the 2019 recruiting class. Hudson Henry is the younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers Tight End Hunter Henry. Hunter Henry, who played college football at Arkansas, was drafted 35th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the then San Diego Chargers...
Final boys high school basketball power rankings
Final boys high school basketball power rankings

Here’s who we consider the final top boys high school basketball area teams. Division I 1. Wayne (20-1): d. Centerville 52-49. 2. Springfield (18-4): lost 79-72 at Trotwood-Madison, d. Middletown 70-57. 3. Butler (19-3): d. Tippecanoe 86-55. 4. Miamisburg (18-4): d. Northmont 68-61. 5. Sidney (16-6): d. Greenville 71-45. Others: Beavercreek,...
More Stories