Is Rio Ready?

By Samantha Shapiro & Carrie Mittl


Olympic logo

Source: Official Rio 2016 Website

The 2016 Summer Olympics will kick off Friday, August 5th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As the city gears up to host the games, public health officials, economists, and political and social analysts alike all continue to wonder if Rio is really ready for such an endeavor. As the host of the 2014 World Cup, Rio de Janeiro got a lot of attention — unfortunately, most of it negative — for the toll that the Cup took on the city’s infrastructure, economy, and everyday lives of its residents. Officials report that the state has still not taken many measures to improve on the issues it dealt with during the World Cup in preparation for this summer’s Olympics, leading people all over the world to question if the International Olympic Committee made the right choice.

We will start our discussion on the Olympic host city by giving a general overview of Rio de Janeiro and how it was chosen for the 2016 summer games. We will then examine the condition Rio was left in after the World Cup and how it has addressed those problems before turning to look at the broad cultural categories that Rio’s local government will have to face and address with the Olympics on the near horizon. These categories are: Health, specifically looking at Zika Virus and waterborne disease, economic issues, such as problems with Rio’s infrastructure that further divide socioeconomic classes, and political corruption, a very relevant topic considering Brazil’s president was recently impeached. We will conclude by focusing on the US women’s national team and how they might use the 2016 Rio Olympics as a platform for social activism and change to continue their fight for gender equality.


Why Rio? Road to the 2016 Olympics

Health Concerns

Economic Turmoil

Political Upheaval


How to cite this article: “Is Rio Ready?” Written by Carrie Mittl and Samantha Shapiro, Olympic Football 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University,, (accessed on (date)).