Concerns and Excitement for Summer Olympics


Summer Game’s Start Next Week

Next week marks the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Over 10,000 athletes from 207 different nations will compete in 306 events over 2 weeks’ time.

This year’s summer Olympics set a record number of countries participating. With 306 sets of medals, Rio will feature 28 Olympic sports; these sports will take place at 33 different venues in Rio and 5 venues outside of the city.

Summer Game’s Concerns

Rio’s summer games has faced much concern and controversy since its announcement, starting with the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. The mosquito-borne virus raised fears with its potential harmful impact on athletes staying in the region. Many plans have been implemented since the beginning of the year to help lower the spread of the virus. Mainly with organizers performing daily inspections of still standing water near Olympic venues to stop the breeding of mosquitos, participants and audience members should be safe.

Following the Zika scare another controversial event was the decision to ban Russian Athletes at the games following an investigation looking into doping allegations at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Sunday, International Olympic Committee President  announced that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval and would perform under the neutral flag.

2024 in Hawaii?

Last Saturday in Honolulu it was announced in front of the State Capitol, that Honolulu would make a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. It’s the first time that Honolulu has put itself forth to host a major international sporting event.

Lufi Rannemann, chair of the Honolulu Olympic Committee, complained that only major cities were making bids to host the games, “Sure, they all have experience with successful putting on the Olympics and other large events, but that doesn’t mean that they should get the games again and again.”

“They took a risk by selecting Beijing for the 208 games, and they will bring the Olympics to South America for the first time, in 2016. If the IOC is interested in making a non-traditional choice for 2024, we think Honolulu is the city to beat,” he said.

If selected, Honolulu will be the smallest island and most geographically isolated city to ever host the games, according to the HOC’s written proposal. Honolulu 2024’s organizers don’t see that as a detractor, though. They said Hawaii’s location makes it “the ideal place to foster the Olympic spirit, physically distant from many of the conflicts rocking the world today.”

After the unexpected announcement, some Honolulu residents expressed doubt about their city’s ability to host the games. Others question the ability of Honolulu’s current athletic venues to support Olympic-sized crowds.

Even if Honolulu’s bid for the summer games in unsuccessful, Rannermann said that does not mean that Hawaii’s Olympic hopes should fade. “If you’ve ever been to Volcano or Kamuela on the Big Island, you know how cold it can get in the winter there,” he said. “I mean, all we need is a little snow on Mauna Kea, some indoor ice rinks, and a few thousand hotel rooms, and Hilo Winter Olympics of 2026 will be in the business.”

Rannemann said the slogan “Pray for Snow” has already been selected for that campaign.

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