Losing key to stadium is least embarrassing thing about Rio Olympics

Okay, so yes, ha ha, the organizers of the Rio Olympics forgot to bring one of the keys to the Maracanã Stadium for the opening event, a women’s soccer match between Sweden and South Africa, and had to call in the fire department to bring bolt cutters to open the gates. Look, hilarity!

All things considered, though, this one screwup really should be overshadowed by the ways in which the Rio Games are a far more massive screwup — not just because of incompetence, but because putting on an Olympics is a massively expensive undertaking that has doused city after city in red ink. (Chicago, which was runner-up to Rio for getting the 2016 Olympics, is currently congratulating itself on having dodged a bullet.) Brazil is expected to end up spending between $12 billion and $20 billion on hosting the games, a figure that they’ll never ever make back on Olympic revenues, especially given both Zika fears and the proven effect that the Olympics make everyone not there for the Games clear out of town for three weeks. And it’s hard to envision Rio even doing too well in terms of publicity (if anyone really needed to be told about Rio — it’s already the subject of two movies about adorable talking parrots, after all) when the enduring image of the Games could be athletes swimming through raw sewage.

Of course, once the opening ceremonies kick off tonight, all will likely be forgotten, at least in the official coverage of the Olympics. But as much as it’s fun to laugh about Rio, just as we previously laughed about Sochi’s caviar highway, remember that those firefighters who had to cut open the Maracanã had just been through layoffs to help pay for, among other things, Olympic debts. Now that’s comedy! Or maybe that other thing.


6 comments on “Losing key to stadium is least embarrassing thing about Rio Olympics

  1. In Chicago we weren’t even runners up. We were the first city voted out. We got to skip work to watch the voting in the plaza. We wanted to be the final runner up because we’d get to party in the plaza longer, (but not get stuck with the actual Olympics). But no luck. It was over before we even got there.

  2. Old line about The Games…
    “The only amatures are the ones who are putting on The Games…”

  3. Chicago’s losing bid cost taxpayers 140 million+. I expect future games of chicken with those not wishing to host the games (“look if our bid fails it is going to cost us hundreds of millions and we’ll get nothing!).

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-olympics-chicago-2016-met-20160715-story.html

    • I remember all the writers (including David Haugh) who said / wrote all that clickbait that the Olympics would be great for Chicago & all that b.s.. David is also the one who says the NFL draft should be in Chicago, no matter the cost or inconvenience. The guy is a spaz.
      I was so happy Chicago didn’t get the Olympics. The idiot city needs to be saved from itself. Many just don’t get it.

  4. Was their not a spare key to prevent this embarrassment? Or did they lose the spare key as well?