With the Rio Olympics less than two weeks away, it’s natural to get excited about the Games and the athletes who will participate. However, as Rio de Janeiro races to get its facilities and security ready for the massive operation of the Games, there are several problems that have come into the spotlight. Over at our sister site, The Comeback, we’ve chronicled the issues that could plague the Olympics when they begin next week.
For the first time, HBO’s Real Sports will spend an entire program investigating one topic and that one topic will be the Internatonal Olympic Committee. The program called “The Lords of the Rings” will air on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. It will look at two past Olympic hosts, Beijing and Sochi, probing the human cost and the white elephants left behind that have been barely used or not used at all since the Olympics left.
But the most interesting report will investigate how Rio de Janeiro which won the Games in 2009 promised to improve its sewer, public health system and infrastructure did neither of these and is also hit by the Zika virus as well as massive government corruption which has left the people resentful and angry.
We have some clips from tomorrow’s program. First, Bernard Goldberg looks at the white elephants left behind in Sochi from the 2014 Winter Olympics, the cost to maintain them and how they have been hardly been used or not used since the Closing Ceremony:
Jon Frankel spent time in Rio de Janeiro reviewing the conditions of the city’s sewers and hospitals. As you can see from the following two clips, Brazil did not improve them as it promised when it w0n the Olympic bid. The sewage clip is quite distressing.
Here’s a promo for the program:
But for one Olympic athlete, she’d rather have the media not focus on these stories and not ruin the Olympics for her, but as these issues linger, it’s hard to ignore them and they may dominate the narrative for 17 days instead of the athletes.
The Real Sports investigation into the International Olympic Committee airs Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m. ET/PT.