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2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro


StanBalaban
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Considering the amount of potential talking points so far, I'm surprised there isn't an existing thread for the summer games.

Before we even talk about medal hopes, we have health issues with Zika, the Russian doping and subsequent weak punishment plus apparently now the athlete's accommodation is not fit for purpose.

The troubled Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games have arrived at their first major crisis, less than two weeks before the opening ceremony.

The Australian Olympic Committee confirmed on Sunday evening that the athletes' village has been deemed uninhabitable in the short term due to significant plumbing and electrical concerns.

"Problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean. 

Chiller added that Great Britain and New Zealand contingents had been experiencing similar problems.

The Rio organising committee has sent in large teams of cleaners and repair staff, but could not say when the village would be open.

Team Australia refuse to live in "uninhabitable" Olympic Village. Rio mayor says it's nicer than the one in Sydneyhttps://twitter.com/mattoso_camila/status/757236816386859008 

"I almost feel like putting a kangaroo in front of their building to make them feel at home," says Rio mayor.https://twitter.com/mattoso_camila/status/757253410089500672 

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/olympics/rio-2016/rio-olympics-2016-athletes-village-unliveable-20160724-gqcqxy.html

 

I'm sure there's plenty of positive talking points ahead of the games too, so feel free to pop them into this nice, shiny new thread.

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It's pretty much standard for these things that the accommodation is not finished on time.

In previous games and major events they seem to just about get away with the incomplete infrastructure, i have a fear this is the one that fails.

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2 hours ago, mjmooney said:

Can't seem to work up much enthusiasm for it. Then again I said the same thing before London four years ago, and that was great. 

I get what you mean Mike, but I think London 2012 was a special games. Got it right from the opening ceremony through to the close. I'm the same as you about this one, probably not helped by the fact that I couldn't tell you who's in contention from our lot this year either.

Are the British medal winners from 4 years ago still at the top of their game? 

Plus, are we still known as "Team GB"? Awful marketing nonsense. 

Edited by StanBalaban
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2 hours ago, Genie said:

It's pretty much standard for these things that the accommodation is not finished on time.

In previous games and major events they seem to just about get away with the incomplete infrastructure, i have a fear this is the one that fails.

I went to Sao Paolo to watch England v Uruguay in the World Cup two years ago. The game was in a barely completed stadium which made me shit myself when the crowd got lively. Really did feel like it was going to fall apart at any moment. Then there were protests against the government about the amount of money a "broke" country spent to host the tournament which could have turned nasty. Thankfully, neither came to fruition.

I really hope I'm wrong, but with incomplete infrastructure, some competitors pulling out because of the Zika virus and an already foiled potential terrorist threat, this year has the recipe for disaster written all over it.

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38 minutes ago, StanBalaban said:

I get what you mean Mike, but I think London 2012 was a special games. Got it right from the opening ceremony through to the close. I'm the same as you about this one, probably not helped by the fact that I couldn't tell you who's in contention from our lot this year either.

Are the British medal winners from 4 years ago still at the top of their game? 

Plus, are we still known as "Team GB"? Awful marketing nonsense. 

Farah is better than ever, JEH not on great form, has fallen below KJT in recent times. Should win a ton of medals at cycling as per usual, that'll be where a very large proportion come from I would assume.

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Controversy is boiling up over Caster Semenya, who is easily going to win the women's 800 metres (at a canter) and probably the 400 metres too. Ross Tucker has a very long and detailed explainer on his blog, but be prepared for this to be the story of the games:

'There is no more certain gold medal in the Rio Olympics than Semenya.  She could trip and fall, anywhere in the first lap, lose 20m, and still win the race.  There is also no more certain a controversy at the Rio Olympic Games than Caster Semenya.  Her story began in 2009, with the sex-verification controversy of Berlin, and then it progressed over six years during which she was subject to a new rule that governed intersex athletes by limiting their testosterone levels.

CAS overturned that rule last year, when an Indian sprinter called Dutee Chand took her case to them.  The result is that all intersex women no longer have a limit on testosterone.  Semenya is certainly not the only one – rumours of other runners exist, though none were so shamefully “outed” as Semenya in 2009.  However, she is proof of the benefit of testosterone to intersex athletes – having had the restriction removed, she is now about 6 seconds faster than she’d been over the last two years.

And the way that she is running those times suggests much more to come.  The 1:55.43 yesterday could well have been a world record, in my opinion.  When someone finishes in 28s, there’s a lot in reserve.

After the Monaco meeting, she confirmed that she will run both the 400m and 800m in Rio.  Considering that she’s run a sub-50s 400 split in a 4x400m relay, and a 50.74s on a day in which she won a 400m, 800m and 1500m within three hours, there’s reason to think Semenya is a real medal chance in the 400m.  In fact, I would say the best barometer for her potential is probably Kratochvilova, the world record holder in the 800m.  She ran 1:53.28, a time Semenya is capable of, easily.  She also ran 47.99s for 400m, and while that may be out of reach (for now, maybe), I think Semenya will run 48.x in Rio, and win that gold too.

That means beating Allyson Felix, who is the darling of the USA Olympic broadcast campaign – every second advertisement over here has her in it – and that means the discussion, and all the vitriol that characterised it in 2009 will be even bigger than it was then.'

http://sportsscientists.com/2016/07/caster-semenya-debate/

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14 minutes ago, TrentVilla said:

What little credibility athletics had has gone now for me, the Olympics will be tarnished.

Yes, a major opportunity missed by the IOC here.

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Love the Olympics. This has sort of crept up on me this year, probably because of the lack of fanfare in this country compared to 2012. But once it starts I'll be engrossed as usual and be an expert in all sorts of random sports after watching them for 20 minutes :D

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59 minutes ago, Chindie said:

I usually enjoy the Olympics but the farce around this year is making me struggle for enthusiasm.

But I might feel different once it kicks off.

The 4 hour time difference to the UK, (7 hours to us here) might see some of the more prestigious events such as the 100m final not being watched live for a lot of the audience, as they tend to be later in the evening IIRC. 

I have a feeling this year's games is going to bypass me to a large degree.

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I've never been less-enthused by any major sporting event (I don't count the Commonwealth Games FWIW).  For a variety of reasons.  The news that the opening ceremony will, ahem, use as little clothing material as it's possible to get away with means I'll probably watch the opening ceremony.  Other than that, it'll be the men's 100m final and that's it.

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http://www.newstalk.com/New-Zealand-athlete-kidnapped-in-Rio-ahead-of-the-Olympics

New Zealand athlete kidnapped in Rio ahead of the Olympics

Jiu-Jitsu athlete Jason Lee was taken to ATMs and forced to withdraw cash

olympics, rio, ireland, brazil, state of calamity, state of emergency

Picture by: Felipe Dana / AP/Press Association Images

 

Although Jason Lee will not be representing New Zealand at the Olympics, his story has already grabbed headlines despite the fact that the Games haven't started yet. 

Lee, who is a Jiu-Jitsu athlete (which is not an event in the Olympics), has been based in Brazil for the last ten months. 

With the start of the sporting extravaganza just two weeks away, his story may well be another tale to add to the difficulties which Rio is experiencing in the buildup to the Games, from construction delays and financial issues to the Russian doping scandal.

Lee was driving on a highway this past weekend when he was pulled over by two police, according to what he told Stuff. Although it at first seemed to be a routine stop to check his vehicle for weapons or drugs, Lee said that one of the officers told him that "'you can't drive in Brazil as a foreigner without a passport,' which I now know isn't the case at all. The rental car company hadn't mentioned that to me."

He was then told that he would need to pay a fine of about R$2000 (just over €550), which Lee stated he didn't have on him. As a result, they told him he would need to go to an ATM with them to hand over the cash, forcing him to drive down the wrong side of the highway and then into an unmarked car which had been parked near an underpass.

They then drove to a number of different ATMs to withdraw the money, where Lee claims the officers stayed in the car to avoid being seen on security cameras. 

"These guys have pulled me over, they have weapons. I'm not in any position to negotiate," said Lee.

After the ordeal, Lee took to Twitter to announce that he had been kidnapped ahead of the start of the Olympic Games, when athletes and supporters from around the world will be flocking to Brazil. 

Journalist Laura McQuillan, who is Lee's partner, also took to Twitter to state that the Policia Militar had been the ones who pulled him over, and that his only statement on the matter was through Stuff, the outlet she works for.

Writing on Facebook, Lee said "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 bulls**t on a daily basis. This place is well and truly f***ked in every sense of the word imaginable."

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