The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics
The 2016 Rio Summer OlympicsThe 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

The Dangers Athletes And Visitors Face At The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

The Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil are almost upon us. From August 5th through the 21st the world’s greatest athletes take on the biggest stage in sports. Over 10,000 athletes from 207 countries are scheduled to participate in 28 sports at this summer’s games. With all the prestige and spectacle surrounding the summer games comes a dark side however. There have been stories of athletes and tourists getting robbed and assaulted in Rio and the surrounding areas. With all of the recent terror attacks in various countries, Brazilian police have had to increase security as well.

Crime Wave

Before the Olympic Games were bestowed upon Rio a crime wave was affecting the city. Now crime is under a microscope as news outlets of various countries report on the crime visitors and Olympic athletes have experienced in Brazil. A pair of Australian olympic sailors were robbed by two men while riding their bikes in a Rio park. One of the men was carrying a pistol and threatened to fire if the athletes didn’t get off their bicycles, the bikes were taken but no shots were fired. New Zealand Jiu-Jitsu athlete Jason Lee was threatened with arrest by a group of men dressed as police and forced to withdraw large sums of money from an ATM to bribe the men into letting him go. Last month, Fernando Echavarri, Spain’s Olympic Sailing gold-medalist and his two companions said they were held up at gunpoint by five young men in Rio. It’s not just the athletes being affected but visitors as well, such as Bernie Ecclestone (the head of the lucrative Formula One auto-racing circuit). He is being asked by Brazilian kidnapers to pay a 36.5 billion ransom in exchange for his mother.

Increasing Security

With the recent terror attacks in France, Brazilian authorities have announced they will be re-examining all security procedures for the 2016 Olympic Games. Brazilian officials have said that more than 85,000 security agents will be at hand to help keep the peace, including 21,000 armed forces personnel. The armed forces will be in charge of securing Rio’s international airport, competition venues, and will be stationed along Copacabana beach, where the water sports events will be held. The air force will put up restrictions around Rio’s air space during the games as well. Sergio Etchegoyen, the head of the Institutional Security Office of Brazil, also said that the government will ask the population for help in reporting any suspicious actions to authorities.

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