Next Stop Rio de Janeiro!

By Akiem Balium- Host of 10 Minutes on the Clock on The Real Sports Talk Network, and Blogger for TRST’s the Sports Realist. Follow Akiem on Twitter @Li495Akiem

With London 2012 now part of history, attention turns to the next Summer Games 4 years fromnow in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. It will be the first time that the “youth of the world” will be welcomed to South America as it’s the first time it’ll host the Olympics.

Rio won their bid in October of 2009 beating out Madrid, Tokyo, and Chicago. It was the 3rd consecutive occasion Rio had bidden for a Games. They weren’t even part of the 2008 or 2012 shortlists and they almost didn’t make the 2016 shortlist. In their case, the third time turned out to be a charm.

Rio came from nowhere to be able to win the privilege of being a host city. With poverty issues and widespread crime, Rio’s bid was seen as a huge liability. They won their bid on the backs of being able to also play host to the 2014 World Cup. 2014 is basically a dress rehearsal for 2016. If Brazil 2014 is successful, it bodes well for the possibility that Rio 2016 will also leave a lasting legacy.

There is already a controversy brewing concerning Rio’s bid. Their Olympic Stadium is expected to take place in already constructed Joao Havelange Stadium. Rio 2016 organizers have recently said that having Havelange’s name on the thing is atribute to the positive attributes he had for sport (and football in particular)in Brazil. But, that isn’t the response you will get if you talk to international football fans. Among them, Havelange is seen as a bribe-accepting schlemiel who (along with another Brazilian football bigwig Ricardo Teixeira—again,no relation to Mark) has furthered the desecration of that sport which is a bigdeal in Brazil.

As far as sports go, Michael Phelps, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Kobe Bryant will not be returning in 4 years. Surprisingly, there’s a report already that LeBron James may not return either to 2016. That actually extends to all NBA players if the owners have their way with the players regarding to the Olympics which would be a huge atrocity.

Also, given the shelf-life of gymnasts, it’s possible that none of the Fierce Five (KylaRoss, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber) will be backfor Rio either. They’ll try to come back & I hope one succeeds. But we sawwhat happened when Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin tried to make comebacks forLondon. Both failed due to injuries and (in Liukin’s case) a less-than-stellar showing at trials.

We do know that Ryan Lochte will return for the Rio Games. I’m also interested in seeing the emergence of Tyler Clary and Nathan Adrian now that Michael Phelps is out of the picture.

Beach volleyball silver medalists in London, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, are already being touted as favorites to win gold at the Rio Olympics.

Brazil, you have a tough act to follow. But something tells me 2016 could be as much South America’s Olympics as they are Brazil’s. When South Africa held its first eve rWorld Cup in 2010, they were as much the World Cup of the African continent(since it was also its inaugural Cup) as it belonged to the individual country.

 See You on the Internet Somewhere….Soon

I would like to close out this column by saying I was pleased to be apart of The Real SportsTalk’s coverage of the Olympics. The Olympic Games is by far and away my favorite sporting event, and part of that is that it can only be experienced once every four years (or every two when combining the Summer and Winter varieties).

I once again want to thank everyone from Tim, to Justin, to Nate, to all of our loyal subscribers to our YouTube & readers. There, of course, would be no Real Sports Talk without all of you that read & watch on a consistent basis.

After this,I’ll be hitting the road as I transition into my college dormitory to make the most drastic lifestyle change I have experienced in my 22 years. I will be unable to do anything sports related for the next 1 or 2 weeks. But, just likethe Olympics, I’m not saying “goodbye” but simply “check ya later”.

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Posted on August 14, 2012, in Olympics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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