Let's Talk About The Olympics
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Let's Talk About The Olympics

Olympic fever is here.

Let's Talk About The Olympics

Once every four years, you may come down with something you can't seem to shake off. Symptoms include increased heart palpitations, fatigue, emotional investment and often heartbreak, tears, chanting, and increased surges of patriotism. You may wake up with an American flag in your hand and not know why. You may find yourself looking up whether the United States has ever won a medal in handball, table tennis, or badminton (it hasn't) or casually browsing the cumulative medal count of each country on Wikipedia to see where a specific country ranks. You know exactly when each qualifying match or event for the sports you keep up religiously and casually. If any, some, or all of these apply to you, you may have Olympic fever.

In five short days, the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil will begin. The event is projected to be broadcasted to the largest audience in NBC media history. In 2012, about 4 billion people around the globe watched the Opening Ceremonies. in These Games have really outdone their predecessors in the controversial and anxiety-inducing lead-up to the actual event. Shortly after being awarded the Olympics, the city, fighting off arguments of corruption and high resurgent crime, experienced an economic recession and general public apathy. The Brazilian president was recently impeached. With low ticket sales, water pollution, the worry of a Zika epidemic, police violence, and unfinished venues, it is uncertain how these Rio Olympics will play host.

The athlete village, which was supposedly finished, has been plagued with reports of gas and water leaks, exposed wires, blocked toilets, and, on occasion, fire. Out of the 31 tower blocks which were supposedly given full safety inspections, team Australia has had the most woes in Tower 23. Here is to hoping the maintenance resolves any further safety issues in the Village so not to raise any more panic or draw attention

Speaking of further controversy, the Russian Olympic delegation has arrived in the Olympic village and the International Olympic Committee is expected to make a final decision regarding each athletes' participation in the Games. The Russian Federation did not receive a complete blanket ban for their state-sponsored doping program.

On a more positive note, for the next few weeks, the world will turn to the athletes who push the boundaries of strength and athleticism. These athletes embody the Olympic motto that translates to "swifter, higher, stronger." We get to see human excellence in sport and personal adversity overcome. The world will see displays of true respect and sportsmanship. The Olympic value of friendship will be alive and well as the celebration of sport attempts to unite a fragile world in an effort toward a dialogue of peace. Politics, war, and violence will try to put out the Olympic flame, but, 2000 years later, the flame burns brighter than ever.

Despite my own feelings about what is going on in the world, there is always an immense amount of pride seeing my country's flag being waved about with the athletes waving and circling the stadium. If you weren't feeling outrageously patriotic enough before, after two weeks, it'll be like the 4th of July every day. Yet, I still hold an immeasurable amount of respect for every single athlete who has made it to the top of their sport and is competing for their country on the highest stage in the world. Whether they finish last or first in a sport I follow or a sport I do not follow, they still receive the same glory that comes with being an Olympian that only a select number of people understand.

Here are some numbers to put the first Olympics held in South America into perspective for you. There will be 10,900 athletes representing 206 countries who will compete in 306 events in 28 different sports. There will be 2,102 medals awarded. The Opening Ceremony is August 5, but qualifying matches in women's soccer (like USA vs New Zealand) start August 3. The Games commence on August 21 with the Closing Ceremony.

If you would like some more comfort in numbers, here is a handy little cheat sheet to knowing all there is to know about the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janiero, check this out.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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