The rolling disaster that is the Olympic Games continues to escalate in Rio, as the burgeoning Zika virus has prompted 200 doctors to urge the postponement or relocation of the Olympic Games this August. This is on top of widespread turmoil in Brazil.
I've grown increasingly weary with the politics and corruption involved in the Olympics, and it is increasingly clear that no city should ever subject themselves to them again.
But they are two months away. At this point, what would you do? Brazil has already spent basically all of the money to produce the massive infrastructure the IOC requires (which is a huge part of the problem, because bids are built upon
systematic mega-dollar kickbacks the promise of massive and expensive building programs to make the host city a showcase for the Games, making this an absurd proposition for most locations). Traveling and television production plans have been made. The tickets have been purchased.
But even beside all this, where would you put them on short notice? I sometimes speculate that the World Cup should be moved from Qatar to the US, because that's obviously smart and logical. But that works because the US has so much sports infrastructure that the only question would be which $500 million stadiums would lose out in a bid. Everything is there.
But the Summer Olympics require an infrastructure that is virtually impossible to find in existence anywhere, let alone produce on short notice. Obviously, logical options would include previous hosts of the games, but even many of those cities can no longer hold them on short notice. Just finding a stadium with an Olympic-sized track is a chore, because stadiums that size have very poor sightlines for other sports and are often modified or destroyed. Atlanta, for example, turned theirs into a now-about-to-be-defunct baseball stadium. The LA Colisseum has been modified for football. Turin built a brand new stadium with track for World Cup 90, and it was such a disaster that local team Juventus eventually bought the thing just to demolish it.
This is not even considering the many other sports that need to be held. Gymnastics needs at least half of a basketball arena, and there aren't many Olympic swimming/diving complexes that also have a lot of seating available.
There's always a delay... but how long would it last? Zika might not cease to be a problem in 12 months.
Feel free to drift here and discuss other Olympic "issues."
Kind of a random topic but watching basketball tonight has made me think of Nik Stauskas, and for whatever reason I've been in an Olympics mood, so this thought came up. Obviously the US has the best national team, but I was thinking about it, and Canada could be really good in the coming years. Looking at the best players of their roster:
F/C Dwight Powell - Plays for Dallas
F Tristan Thompson - Cleveland
F Andrew Nicholson - Orlando
F/C Kelly Olynkyk - Boston
F Andrew Wiggins - Minnesota
G Nik Stauskas - Sacramento
G Tyler Ennis - Phoenix
G Cory Joseph - San Antonio
F Trey Lyles - Kentucky (Still in college)
And a few others.
The biggest thing I notice is that most of the players tend to be on the younger side with minimal NBA experience, but many of them have the potential to be top players. I could very well see this team qualifying for the 2016 Olympics and becoming a serious contender to the US in the coming years, much as the way Spain has been recently. The team also might lack some depth, but certainly the starters and some of the bench will be plenty talented.
A bit random of a topic, I admit, but I just thought I might share it with you all. Thoughts about this?
Both teams come off of devastating losses to their neighbors and rivals. Sweden and Canada are off to the Gold medal game. Finland and USA need to put yesterday's games behind them quickly and get focused today. The bronze medal game is still hugely important, and the difference between 3rd and 4th is massive. This is also big for the US in that it will affect the total Olympic medal count.
Let's hope the boys in red, white, and blue get back to work. Maybe score some goals, eh?
Bronze Medal Game: USA vs. Finland, 10:00 a.m. EST
All-time hockey medals: USA 2 gold, 8 silver, 1 bronze; Finland 0, 2, 3
USA's lone bronze medal came in 1936.
Coach Jillert Anema is talking about football, and he does have a point. If the US dropped football and had everyone instead focus on speed skating, I'm sure the US would be better at it than it is now. I don't think it's a stretch to think that someone like Denard Robinson, if he were a speed skater from childhood, would be quite good at that sport. .
"You have a lot of attention on a foolish sport like American football and you waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. ... You're so narrow-minded, and then you want to compete against the world [in other sports] when you waste a lot of time, good talent on a sport that sucks," he said.
OTOH, I doubt football linemen would have much success as speed skaters, and of course there's the whole thing about his claim that the most popular game in the US sucks. To each his own I suppose.
This is what hockey is all about. Two fierce rivals going head to head with a chance to play for Gold on the line. Sweden has already defeated its rival, Finland, and awaits the winner of USA vs. Canada.
I certainly haven't forgotten about 4 years ago, as I imagine is the case with every fan of US hockey. "Zach Parise out of a net-bound scramble, and the game is tied..." Pure elation followed by devastation. As one wise commenter on the blog stated, the effects of that game were clearly shown on the players faces. The aftermath of the final in Vancouver did not have the feel of friendly congratulations that were seen in Salt Lake City 8 years prior. Let's hope this team wants revenge as much as us fans do.
Olympic Semifinals: USA vs. Canada, Noon EST
Tv: NBC Sports
USA! USA! USA!