Do polluted Olympics have an upside?

Other than the crime, the Zika virus worries and the unfinished facilities for the 2016 Olympics, there’s one more item on this year’s gruesome checklist: the water.

A New York Times piece details the squalid condition of bays and rivers around Rio. The story tells of athletes being sickened after competing in events leading up to the Games.Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.18.49 AM

I won’t call it a silver lining, but the only good thing I can think about this Olympic lead-up is that it shines a light on an old problem. My first thought has been that they should abandon the Olympic Games if there’s this much concern. And realistically, if the water’s not clean now, it won’t get cleaned up after the Games are done.

But maybe being under the global spotlight will force change. It might not help the Olympians, but it would help the residents in the long run.

The IOC should address these kinds of issues openly before allowing countries to bid. If the water is a health risk to participants, don’t give a country the Games. And don’t believe the promises. Let that country bid after the problem has been resolved.

But it looks like business as usual for the IOC.

Rio is a darn pretty place to vacation.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.