Brazilian official promises country is 'completely ready' for 2016 Olympics
With less than two months away from the start of the Olympic Games, it seems like virtually every story out of Brazil is a negative one. High-profile athletes continue to pull out of the Games one after another, while issues involving Rio's water, crime, and that pesky Zika virus are leaving many to expect all out disaster when the world actually descends upon the city the first week of August.
But while virtually every story with the Rio Games involves doom and gloom, there is one man who is not only optimistic things will go well in Brazil this summer, but positive of it. That man is Brazil's Minister of Sport, Leonardo Picciani, who, based on a recent interview he did, either knows something we don't, or very well might be the most delusional man on the planet.
Completely ready for the Games? All the issues are gone and the venues are fantastic? Is he reading all the same reports we are? You mean to tell me that everyone in the international media has it all wrong? Sure Picciani knows about these issues better than just about anyone. But at the same time it feels like delusion --- or the most extreme optimism we've ever seen --- appears to be creeping for Picciani.
That's definitely the case when it comes to the Zika virus too.
While the World Health Organization declared Zika and its long-term effects "a public health emergency of international concern" back in February, Picciani isn't so concerned about that either.
Here's what he told USA Today about the mosquito-borne illness, which can lead to birth defects in children:
Now look, obviously we understand that to a certain degree, Picciani has to say this stuff. After all, his country --- and the city of Rio specifically --- will be under the world's microscope in just a few months, and the entire nation wants to put its best foot forward.
A municipal agent sprays anti Zika mosquitos chimical product at the sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, on January 25, 2016.
Again, we get that.
At the same time (as mentioned above) the general public isn't fools here, and the idea that the country is completely ready for the Games is an absurdity in its own right. You think anyone will believe, based on what Picciani says, that there are absolutely no concerns with Rio's water, crime of the infrastructure of these Games, and that the Zika virus will be completely wiped out come August? Give us a break.
It seems completely infeasible, but hopefully for the sake of all the athletes competing in Rio (and fans traveling from across the world), there is more truth is Picciani's comments than fiction.