Some may think cancelling the Olympics is impossible, it’s the Olympics! However, it is time to seriously consider the situation.
It is no secret that the Zika virus is rapidly impacting people all over the world and with the Summer Games in Brazil, a country heavily infested with the virus, caution is not enough.
Medical research shows that Zika is spread through mosquitoes and sexual contact, and these Olympic Games will most certainly have both. ESPN posted an article taking a deep dive into how athletes spend their personal time at the Games, and it certainly makes one wonder if the “risks” are worth the reward. This is certainly not an international issue restricted to athletes. Fans from every corner of the Globe will be descending into Brazil with the potential to bring Zika home in a nightmarish alacrity.
If the water situation in Rio was not enough of a cause for pause, the fear of being infected by a virus that causes nervous system and birth defects certainly is. Top American athletes such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have expressed concerns on the virus and are deciding whether these Games are safe enough for their health and attendance., and these dudes are playing indoors and staying in hotels average folk only dream of… British champion long jumper, Greg Rutherford, will freeze sperm before heading off to Rio in order to prepare for the future of his family and the possibility of being infected.
There has not been enough research on the Zika virus to know if cancelling the Olympic Games is necessary. Before a major decision like that is made the IOC will need to see an overwhelming amount of research to support claims that the Games will play a hand in effecting the world with this epidemic. However, I think it is worth noting that the IOC seems to have an interesting influence over the “official” warnings of the WHO.
What could cancelling the Olympic Games mean for the world? Well from a business standpoint, millions and millions of dollars will be lost in sponsorship and local Rio business will lose money that would come from the Games causing a huge financial impact. A more practical solution could be an IOC / USOC effort to move some of the events to the US where the situation calls for extreme caution. All of us marvel at the effort that it takes Olympians to actually live their dream – only available every four years – and killing that opportunity as we saw in the past is not the right answer…
What is more important? The health of Athletes or the revenue that will be generated as a result of the 2016 Olympic Games? Let’s find a solution that makes both possible.