Concerns about Rio de Janeiro being the location of the Summer 2016 Olympics began immediately after the city was chosen over Tokyo, Madrid, and Chicago in 2009. The city as long been known for its high crime and poverty rate. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes has addressed concerns that the city may not be ready for the Olympics which are scheduled to begin on August 5.

Crime and political uprising concerns.

Crime has always been a problem in Rio, particularly in the favelas, or slums. Lately, the city has had an increase in its crime rates. There are fears that some citizens will take advantage of the fact that the worlds' eyes will be on Brazil and incite more violence.

There is such a concern that Brazilian troops have already begun patrolling the Olympic venues. Political and unrest and economic problems have long been issues in Rio. Recently the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff was impeached due to poor economic decisions, while the country is in its worst recession in 25 years. The temporary President, Michel Temer is in danger of impeachment as well.

Fears of the Zika virus.

There is also the concern about the Guanabara Bay and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, two bodies of water where athletes are scheduled to compete. They are both filled with sewage which came from a local hospital and it is contaminated with dangerous bacteria and virus'. They are in the beginning stages of removing the sewage, which poses a health risk to the competitors.

Several American athletes including golfer Vijay Singh and cyclist Tejay van Garderen have withdrawn from the Olympics, citing their concern abut the virus, withdrew from the competition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issues warnings to those traveling to Rio, particularly pregnant women.

There is no vaccine and the only way to prevent it is for citizens to protect themselves from mosquitos.


The World Health Organization (WHO), has issued a warning stating that the virus is “a public health emergency of International concern”. In spite of that, Brazilian officials have stated that they will take precautions to make sure visitors stay healthy.

To combat low ticket sales, Brazil has launched an extensive advertising campaign to draw interest in the international event.

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