The Olympics are about100 days away and this year they are hosted by a Brazilian town. It’s the first time a South American town will host the grandiose event and it’s only normal for the organizers to feel pressured, but the situation is somewhat worrisome: Brazil is currently experiencing a profound political and social crisis, as they are frightened by the Zika virus.

On May 3rd, the torch begins its journey on the South American land. Up until August 5th, it will visit more than 300 Brazilian cities and it will enter the Olympic Stadium Maracana, where the first Summer Olympics is to be held.

A word from Thomas Bach

Beyond the symbolism of the Olympic torch’s journey, the XXI edition of the games is overshadowed by the problems the host country faces. Moreover, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach referred to Brazil's situation in his ceremonial speech, and called for solidarity. He stated thatin these difficult times for Brazil, the Olympic flame reminded us that we are all part of this weeeorld. The flame is an ancient symbol of peace and harmony, of the power of people to stand united despite their differences. Earlier this week, Bach said at Lausanne that Brazil’s economic and political situation would be problematic for the Olympics final preparations. But he promised spectacular Olympic Games, even in such conditions.

Brazil’s current political crisis

Brazil is mainly passing through a political crisis. President Dilma Rousseff is threatened with dismissal, a situation which drew tens of thousands of supporters as well as those who want her out of commission, into the streets. Dilma Rousseff is currently fighting for her political survival and she has also addressed the United Nations regarding her removal based on procedure.

The economy is in decline, and inflation goes up every month. During these times of recession, Brazilians do not easily accept the fact that their government invested over 20 billion dollars in the 2014 Football World Cup and in the Olympic Games. Halls, stadiums, and other sport-related infrastructure were built from scratch or upgraded.

Despite all these, the Rio subway extension has not yet been completed.

At the moment Brazil is confronted with the Zika problem, the virus spread by mosquitoes. According to the official data released by the international press, the budget for this is 16 times smaller than the one invested in the Summer Olympic Games.

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