Brazil · Media Coverage · Rio 2016

O-Minus 22: Magazine Excitement!

Hey there, fellow Olympian lovers,

It’s been a while–you might have thought we’d gotten so sick with The Feverr that we couldn’t post, but no, we had to take a road trip across half the United States and got a little bit behind. But we’re back now and will be beefing up the content until the big day. We’ll finish up our sports synopses soon, and with less than 30 days to go, it’s time to start planning your Opening Ceremonies parties, so we’re also working on tips and tricks to have your own gold medal winning celebration.

In the meantime, we’ve noticed that Olympic coverage is starting to come out on the magazine stands, so we’re awash in print-filled excitement. What’s on the American newsstands in July?

Glamour: It’s the Women Are Strong As Hell issue featuring coverwoman Serena Williams. She and 32 Olympians give pep talks about being female athletes and flex some impressive muscles. Judo sensation Marti Malloy’s upper arms alone will make you say, “Daaaannnnggg!”

Marie Claire: This story’s actually from the fashion mag’s June issue, in which five Olympic hopefuls talk about their training, eating and beauty regimens. Luckily, all five “hopefuls”–Allyson Felix (athletics), Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon), Alise Post (BMX), Simone Manuel (swimming) and Morghan King (weightlifting)–are actually going to Rio.

Popular Mechanics: This title’s July/August issue is its Olympic Innovation Issue! with coverman Ryan Lochte. Articles include a feature on track star Justin Gatlin’s biomechanics training and Olympians’ gear over the years. A side reason to pick up this issue: There’s an article on great American factory tours (we love ourselves a good factory tour!).

Scientific American Mind: This title’s July/August issue has an article about psychological and physical traits that separate Olympians from the rest of us. Note: Olympians aren’t necessarily superhumans–you have to have the right mindset, work hard and have good coaching. You’ll have to read the article–and its sidebar about overtraining to learn more. There’s also a follow-up article about coaching like an Olympian–it takes skill to motivate athletes.

Self: July/August is Self’s Olympics issue. Three-time Olympian and highly decorated swimmer Natalie Coughlin is the cover model, although it turned out that Rio 2016 wasn’t in the cards for her, as the U.S. Swimming Trials did not go as planned. Still, this issue is chock-full of Olympic inspiration, including nail art, Olympic-inspired athletic wear, motivation, Olympian workouts and a column on Paralympian triathlete Melissa Stockwell. And a fashion shoot featuring a model and a fencer. For percentage of issue coverage, this one gives you the best bang for your buck.

Where’s the torch?

Curitiba, capital of Paraná. It’s southwest of Rio, near the Atlantic Ocean.

Brazil · Corruption · Scandals

O-Minus 31: Everyone’s Got Problems

So the other day, some body parts washed up on Copacabana Beach, which added more fuel to the fire for Rio being an an absolute disaster of a Games. Right now we have health concerns with Zika and polluted waters, a dire financial and political situation, unfinished construction and the general safety of, well, just about  everyone.

But seriously, we here at The Feverr are fairly sure that Rio will pull off the Olympics–maybe not perfectly, but the Games will happen. The athletes will do amazing things. The venues will work as much as they need to. People will have fun. The gangs will hopefully play nice (at least where the cameras are). We’ll all see Brazil in a brand-new light and will–perhaps momentarily–want to visit. Besides, it’s not like every other Olympics has a segment of people crying Olympic doomsday. Let’s take a look at past ways the Olympics were going down:

London 2012: SO many potential problems: Potential security blunders! Transport and roads not being able to handle the crowds! No one could get tickets! Environmentally unfriendly! You know what? Pretty decent Games. Sure, the ticket problem was an issue–some empty-looking stands caused some rage. And the London 2012 logo might be one of the worst ever. But overall? Team GB showed us a great time!

Beijing 2008: Smog city! Human rights issues galore! A clampdown on media! Underage gymnasts! But Beijing cleaned up enough to get the Games done–although it was still the most polluted Games on record. The city also expanded its public transportation system, in part because of the Olympics, which could have a positive impact on the environment. In terms of human rights, some world leaders threatened to boycott the Opening Ceremonies, but that plan fell through. All in all, China’s big coming out party to the world, was OK–and while there’s a lot left to be desired, nothing major broke. (not surprisingly, the IOC said it was a great Games). If you’re going on pure spectacle, the shiny new stadiums and mind-blowing Opening Ceremonies had big crowd appeal. The city probably did some regression in terms of rights, etc., after the Games, and it can definitely improve for when it hosts the Winter Olympics in 2022, but it probably also came a long way from where it started back in 2001 when it was awarded the Games.

Athens 2004: Oh, Athens. We’ve seen what happened to you. And we saw some big doping issues. But there was hope that 2004 could help bolster your economy and perhaps fix some pollution. Sad to say, the country that was not quite ready to host the 1996 100th anniversary of the modern Olympics, was not prepared to host in 2004–at least, not the spectacle and so many facilities the modern Olympics had become (we can talk about the need for so many venues in a different post). Although the Games were lovely, Rio may likely see the same fate: A lot of debt and crumbling, unused venues that no one can maintain.

Sydney 2000: Hey, Sydney, the IOC wanted a “Green Games,” and yours was located on a big unused industrial area/garbage dump with toxic waste. You made it look great though and turned an eyesore into a really nice, still well-used area. There were also ticket and other bribing scandals. Ultimately, though, the Games were a pretty big hit, with the entire world yelling Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!

Do we think Rio will pull this off without a hitch and smell like roses years down the road? No, we’re not that naive. But we think the Games will work. Just like Brazil pulled off the World Cup in 2014, this sporting spectacle will have its place in the spotlight (or “sportlight,” as I almost typed). What happens afterward? Maybe that’s up to us.

Brazil · Rio 2016 · Scandals

O-Minus 48: Rio: We’re Broke

Where’s the torch? Boa Vista, Roraima – this is the state capital, and it’s in the vicinity of the Venezuelan border.

The governor of the state of Rio announced that the state’s pretty much broke right now and needs some help, or else.

Who is surprised about this? Really? You are? I’m not, but then, I lived in Illinois for 15 years, and that state is perpetually broke and without a budget. The state of Rio gets a lot of its revenue from oil. The oil market bottomed out a while ago, which means less money, which means this situation. There’s also a lovely recession going on in Brazil, which adds to the fun. These problems just so happen to come less than 50 days ahead of the Olympics, so now the world is paying attention. If the Olympics weren’t in Rio, chances are that it wouldn’t have made splashing headlines, and every other government would probably say, You’re broke too? Welcome to the club!

Who else isn’t surprised? Rio 2016, who apparently said, NBD–we don’t get any of their money, and we’re chugging along pretty well all the same, and went back to eating the Brazilian version of tea and crumpets.*

And sure, the Games themselves aren’t quite so affected at the moment, but the state committed to funding a lot of things that have some effect on the Games. The state’s still on the hook for extending the metro to the Olympic Park (what I would call a “nice to have”); it’s responsible for facilities that are supposed to clean up the water for the sailing competition (eh, they’re in boats; just don’t fall in); it’s responsible for providing state police security (which I can’t imagine would be the only security happening during the Games).

According to Reuters, the feds have stepped in with some emergency cash to help with those projects. The city of Rio’s taken over a couple of hospitals to make sure people get paid.  As to the problem of gang violence, I wouldn’t be surprised if the gangs made a temporary truce so that the Games themselves would be a lot safer–and of course, there will likely be way more police on hand to encourage that.

The Games should be fine–the aftermath may not be. Will we pay as much attention to Brazil then? Maybe that’s the bigger crime.

Portuguese for the Day: Learn some essential words to get you through the sport of swimming here.

*What is the Brazilian version of tea and crumpets? Help us out, ReaderLand!