Rio 2016

What a strange series of events this week. The Olympics are practically meaningless to me thanks to the constant doping and hyper-commercialization but I can see why many find it interesting. When Paris “lost” I was thrilled because the last thing the city needed was more tourists. During the 1998 World Cup, thieves from all over were in town and everything was too crowded. Even still, it was incredible to watch the right wingers take so much glee in pounding Obama before and then celebrate after the decision to award Rio de Janeiro. It will always be about the extreme hatred for them.

All of that said, it really was a happy day for Brazil to win this event. It’s hard to imagine that this is the first time the Olympics have been awarded to a Latin American country. Give credit to Lulu for winning over the IOC and advancing Brazil to this stage. It’s been a few years since I was last in Brazil and I hope that the personal safety problems have been resolved but it’s not as though the US is any prize in that category. Tokyo obviously would have been the winner if safety was the issue.

From the US perspective, you have to wonder about the US Olympic committee. Delivering the fourth out of four should raise questions and you wonder how much worse it would have been without Obama visiting. The Hail Mary rarely works. Another serious question that this raises is how the US treats foreigners.

Between the absurd tax that Congress is slapping on to foreign visitors and the generally horrible interrogations when arriving, maybe people don’t realize what an unattractive destination the US has become. I’ve watched it myself and have been floored with how nasty and aggressive US immigration can be compared to other countries. I’ve entered around 50 countries across six continents and can say the US is near the bottom. Nobody is asking for the US to drop safety procedures, but really, entering the US is a miserable experience for many. That needs to change.

In the end, winning the Olympics may not be the end all, be all that Brazil thinks but if that’s what they want, more power to them. It’s nice to see a change and why not let Lula celebrate with his country? Good luck to them and hopefully the new location will give the Olympics a new boost. For now, hats off to Brazil for delivering a great pitch and energizing their country. Well done.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

Share This Post

  • DuaneW

    “It’s hard to imagine that this is the first time the Olympics have been awarded to a Latin American country”

    The reason it’s hard to imagine is that it’s not true. Rio is not the first Latin American city to host the Olympics, Mexico City was, back in 1968.

  • UncleBucky

    This problem of nasty immigration goes back before Dumbya. In about 1998, we had gone into Windsor, ON from Detroit for a day of sightseeing, shopping and lunch. Now this was two senior citizens, two siblings (me and my sib) and kids. When we arrived in Canada, the young lady chimed: “Welcome to Canada, enjoy your visit!” Right?We went to the ethnic (Polish) district in Windsor, and found a lot of nice things. We bought some pierogies and some canned/jar ingredients not available anywhere in Detroit including in Hamtramck (which was such a wreck). We drove along the lake and saw some amazing neighborhoods, houses and scenery.On our return to the States, we came to the border. A male guard looked at my driver’s license (then, that was all you needed). “How long were you there?”, “What did you buy?” and a few other questions. We said “Lunch and pierogies.” “What?” he said, “what do you mean?” He stared at us with X-Ray eyes. We must have bought the wrong pierogies, it seems. “What are pierogies?” We said, “Polish food, made of kraut, potatoes and veggies. It’s already cooked.” “OH” he said. “Go ahead. GO AHEAD. M O V E F O R W A R D.”And that was it. We had done it. We had smuggled in delicious, home-made Canadian socialist pierogies, instead of buying the stale, hard-to-chew Mrs. Blitz American potatoe pierogues you could only get in Detroit supermarkets. Horrible persons we were…Ugh.

  • troy3

    heard part of Tokyo’s plan included demolishing, among other areas, Ni-chome, which at one time had the highest concentration of gay bars in the world and has still the largest in the country.

    talk about yr unintended effects…

  • teammarty

    I thought that was the blue dog’s job, since they agree on policy so much.
    Sometime, O has to stand for himself.
    He will, but only when the Left of the Left reminds him of his promices.

  • Gary SF

    In an uncanny coincidence, this announcement on October 2 is the anniversary of the ‘Tlatelolco Massacre’ in Mexico City.

    In order to not have any appearance of social unrest during the Olympics in Mexico City, the first Latin American country to host the Olympics, on October 2, 1968, 10 days before the Olympics games began, the Mexican government killed hundreds, maybe thousands of peacefully protesting students and bystanders in the Plaza de Tres Culturas.

    The Mexican government cover-up of this was extensive. Shamefully, the IOC knew about this and allowed the games to proceed.

    Even our own government still has documents related to the massacre and refuses to release them.

    Another coincidence, I visited the Plaza of Tres Culturas yesterday.

  • woodka

    It wasn’t a treat even before 9/11. We flew into New York in 2000 after a long harrowing day trying to get through the pit that is Heathrow, ended up missing the last taxi out of the airport because it took so damn long to get through customs even though we were citizens, and ended up stuck in the airport overnight. At that time, there was zero security, and we were running around the airport anywhere we wanted, playing with everything. It was surreal. But it showed me how lax things really were then, so 9/11 just really didn’t surprise me at all. Americans seem to be either inattentive or overly paranoid, with nothing in between.

  • beaumec39

    I was off-line all Sept, and am now most bothered learning that the US Congress had even considered a US$10,- tax on entering visitors.
    Many of my friends will stop visiting. This is a top reason.
    The treatment by the customs is as bad as mentioned, the attitude they project to even US citizens is not acceptable. I still sting from my experience at US Customs in Toronto in 1997. Being slow to answer the questions due to aneurysm.

  • proudliberal1947

    I remeber back when the Red Sept. group was active in Germany I was flying out of Frankfort International, I was treated respectfully and with courtesy, yes we were removed to another room with our carry on luggage left were we intially, dogs brought in armed gaurds and explainations given, luggae on the aircraft that was suspect was removed placed on the tarmac aand those passengers asked to ID that luggage, courtesly and we were off. My trip to Panama was a delight as well, however on all returns to this country I was treated as a suspect, the people of color and different languages were seperated from me under the guise of suspect. Yeah I am a International traveler however when overseas I ALWAYS claim I am Canadian the Ignorance and Hatred of the Right Wing in this Country is more wide spread then these Ignoramusus know.
    I truly hope that Brazil treats my COUNTRY MEN like the DOGS they are and if at all possible ID all Right Wing Hate Mongers at the airport and cruxify them.

  • proudliberal1947

    Yup! The Hate Mongers Cheer and do not have a clue what is going on. As stated already the entry into this country is nerve racking. then you have the Hate Mongers, gleefully celebrating but these Morons I do Not have a clue.
    President Obamas (man its not to say that President), Un and forcing Sarkosy, and Brown to back down on the Iran secret base location announcement didn’t help.
    please do not forget the Hatred, and War Mongering on the Right because, Venesula and Argentina (remember their Oil belongs to the American Oil Companies).
    The fraud Lies Arm twisting of the Christian Right Morons in Utah in the last Winter Olympics.
    Please not forget the Out and Out Hatred of the EU and the UN, maybe you think some of this contributed to our losing. Remember if you are a RIGHT WING HATE MONGER failure is the ONLY OPTION. I thank the President and his Wife for stepping up and TRYING more than I can say for the PARTY of NO. Gutless, Spineless Cowards

  • dph

    At the rate things are going in this Country, our economy will probably be in the toilet long before 2016. We wouldn’t be able to afford to stage the Olympics anyway.

    The World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 had to be the best World Fair in history. But money was no object back then…

  • Lepanto

    You nailed it. Entering the US as a foreigner is a creepy experience. Only few years ago I visited the States for the first time, entering through JFK Airport. I remember immigration officers yelling at us in order to form orderly lines of no more than one person. We were a bunch of Europeans coming to see family, friends, see sighting and spend money. I’ve been in the military and spoke English, therefore, all that rude treatment did not move me a bit. However, I thought about the people who did not speak English and did not understand what those officers were yelling about: somehow most Anglophones believe everybody in the world should speak their lingo. In the recent years I noticed that this process has improved, yet still a lot needs to be done.

  • chris

    latin america? I thought Brazil was in South America.
    It is good for Brazil though. They have a booming economy and a great model to GET OFF FOREIGN OIL.
    Not like we can’t modify corn or sugar plants to grow here with current technology.

    I’m happy for them. America has had too much Olympic spotlight and it is the first time that continent will be hosting the them. Hopefully it will bring a more attention to preserving the Amazon and using Brazil as a model for the rest of the world in self-sufficiency.

  • AdmNaismith

    I was pissed because Obama said he wouldn’t spend the time going to Copenhagen for this because he had so much work to do on Healthcare Reform. And yet, as reform swirled down the drain, there he was in Copenhagen and completely ignoring the HC debate.Meanwhile, there is no time, just no time, so sign a DADT stop-loss order or tell his Justice Dept to stop defending DOMA (all of which wouild take 20 min, max, of his precious time- hell he could have done it on the plane to Denmark).Priorities, dude, priorities.Nevermind that the Olympics are just a money and resources pit for the host country/city.Just have them in Athens each time, and the cities can compete over who hosts the flame.

  • JustAGuy

    There’s an interesting discussion over on Slashdot about how US border security factored into the IOC’s decision to award the Olympics to Rio.

    In 2004, Brazil turned around and started subjecting US travelers to the same abuse the US was meting out to Brazilian citizens.

    If the Brazilian government plays it right, 2016 could be an educational year for American travelers.

    -S

  • davidasposted

    … why not visit Rio. I do not understand your conclusion.

  • nicho

    You don’t need to be a complete asshole to ensure security. US border guards haven’t gotten that message. I’ve gone through tight security in other countries and the guards were always respectful, if thorough. Some US agents seem to delight in being total jerks — even to US citizens.

  • Mr X

    How many street kids are they going to shoot in Rio before the Olympics? Hundreds are assassinated each year just before tourist season

  • AJ

    JJTTLL is right. Brazil isn’t the first Latin American country to host the Olympics. That honor goes to Mexico — the 1968 Olympics were in Mexico City. There was also a good bit of controversy about it because 10 days prior to the start of the games the Tlatelolco massacre occured.

  • Benhem612

    I don’t understand why the news stations are insisting on saying the IOC snubbed the US and is anti-US. It seems that we have had our fair share of games in past years.

    I am happy for Rio and I think our current political climate wouldn’t be able to handle the games, with half our country almost rooting for something bad to happen so that Obama would look bad.

  • lynchie

    does no one in our pathetic demcratic party not see the need to stand up for Obama. Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the hate the incessant lies. We have in total the worst elected officials in the history of this country on both sides of the aisle. I wish to God someone in the media would start questioning them about what they think their job is and who the represent and that is not who gives them the biggest t-bone or the most cash.

    I cannot login. in fact there is nowhere to do that this has gone on for the past two weeks

  • vkobaya

    serious question that this raises is how the US treats foreigners.

    Bigotry. Think we are so superior, we don’t need to treat others, especially foreigners with any respect, but still expect them to hand over their money. Actually wish they would stay home and just send over the money, preferably bank drafts so we don’t have to handle the dirty filthy stuff that they have touched.

    nasty and aggressive US immigration can be compared to other countries

    Also a lot of guilt, knowing villainous we have been waging wars of aggression on weak, small, brown nations. Therefore, fear their retribution and don’t want to give them the chance to blow us up.

  • Indigo

    Chicago can survive the Olympics, I don’t know about Rio. It was a disappointing decision for me because I’d thought I might go to the 2016 Olympics. That would be a first for me. I’ll be celebrating my 75th birthday in 2016, what a nice birthday present for a milestone that would be. But no . . . oh, well!

  • jjttll

    brazil isnt the first latin america country to host the olympics, that would be mexico. brazil is the first south american country to host the olympics. time to send another correction. or not.

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS