It’s that time again and I am usually one of those up there cheering on the world and tuning to the opening ceremony and cheering for teams as they enter the stadium with their flags. I mean from what I’ve read Canada is doing pretty well. After all, summer Olympics isn’t our thing because we have #Iceinourveins. Penny Oleksiak killed it in the 100 M Butterfly with a silver medal – super proud of her. The men’s volleyball team slayed – Of course I’m over the moon excited for the red and white.
But, sadly, this Olympics I’m just not feeling it. I mean, you hear about the Zika virus and all the things that can go wrong in Brazil and I get scared for all the athletes participating.
It’s gotten so bad now that one US athlete declined to go because of fears of the Zika virus for her future children and people over there are so ‘patriotic’ they boo her now every time they see her. Is that not the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard? You want this woman to chose you and a piece of metal over the future health of her child and her happiness with her husband. That is not fair. No one is booing the male athletes who declined to participate in Rio. What’s up with the double standards America?
Within the first few days one athlete was robbed, there were pictures of deplorable living conditions, more reports about the polluted waters the swimmers would have to go through – one official telling athletes not to drink the water or open their mouths while swimming. I mean how disrespectful and dangerous is that? And who says things like that?
While Brazil is on my list of “must travel” places, I have to say hearing there is human waste in the water where the swimmers will have to compete bothers me and disappoints me. They had YEARS to get their acts together and the Olympic committee should have said “okay, you guys can have the next Olympics if you clean your crap up. But for this one, you’re just not ready so we will give it to Narnia.” That was what should have happened but we cannot expect a body of people who refused to do anything about Russian athletes’ alleged doping (I say alleged because I didn’t see the reports) because they’re a bunch of cowards, to stand up to Rio and say “clean your crap up or else.” The IOC has had a history of passing the buck. Their yellow-bellied approach to these dangers is frankly infuriating and someone needs to do something. Either they need to change the guards or there needs to be an investigation. Athletes are people too–they are someone’s lover, uncle, brother, sister, aunt, mother, father–and the deserve to represent their country in safety and in a healthy environment.
There are some amazing strides being made in Rio. I mean I don’t know if this is new but there is a Refugee Olympic team! I was so proud and happy to see a video of them entering the stadium to a standing ovation! Though they may not win a medal, that isn’t the point. The point in all of this, I think, is that they are free and they can show the world what a person can do once they have the ability to dream. This does my heart very, very well. Their country doesn’t matter, their spirit does.
Unfortunately, this whole thing with Rio is sadly taking the joy out of the games for me as I find myself worrying over these people who I don’t know.
I wish all the athletes luck and safety and health. I wish them great chances to overcome and love and laughter and light.