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July 30, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Jiggle, float, or sinking feeling?

Wiggle de jiggle. How fast can you paddle? Olympics are coming to Rio. (But perhaps leave that bathing suit at home.)

Party in the streets. (Carnival in Rio de Janeiro/Sergio Luiz/

Are you ready to party? (Carnival in Rio de Janeiro/Sergio Luiz/

Brazil may have stroke with Samba and Carnival, but their Olympic projects seem to be requesting water wings. (“No worries! Perfectly normal for Brazil,” many Rio residents, say.)

One strike dancing out after another.

  • Taxi drivers protesting Uber.
  • Truckers who conga line goods, equipment, and supplies around the country.
  • Many wonder where’s the new roads, bridges, tunnels, elevated flyovers, and dedicated bus lanes promised for the August, 2016 Opening Ceremonies. No signs at all.

Locals swear it’s routine for Brazilian officials/politicians to drag out the construction process of public buildings in order to get into “emergency, it must be finished now” zone at which point they insist even more money must be handed over to contractors who may or may not be relatives or friends.

View from outer space. Rio de Janeiro on left, Guanabara Bay, Atlantic Ocean at bottom/

The astronauts’ view of Rio de Janeiro on left, Guanabara Bay, and Atlantic Ocean /NASA/USPD/

There’s just a year to go, lots to do, and not much jiggle room.

The 44 acre is being built from scratch site with 14 venues for 16 sports is glamorous as well as ambitious project.

“Brazil facing the biggest race in Olympic history to be ready for Rio in 2016.” UK Daily Mail offers some intriguing aerial photos of how it’s going.

Olympic sailors, rowing teams, and marathon swimmers are gravely worried. Worried about possible watery graves.

Right now the water that will splash in their faces or swirl around their bodies is basically raw sewage.

There were supposed to be 8 new water treatment plants built. One has been started.

Local residents have antibodies build up from exposure to the chronically contaminated waters, but not visitors.

1888 couple in vintage bathing suits. Jan van Beers print/

“Come. It is safe!”
“Are you sure? What’s that odd lump over there?” (Jan van Beers print/USPD/

Not exactly the type of Olympic fever people were expecting.

But like the Simpsons who enjoyed their trip (and Bart really did )in Season 13, episode 15 (The controversal “Blame it on Lisa” episode…Oh, Homer – that bathing suit. Oh, my eyes) and again in 2014 (“You don’t have to live like a referee” (Season 25 episode,16) most tourists will see past any glitches and be totally enchanted by Rio’s beauty and charm.

If Marge can get past Homer’s kidnapping and join the dancing, then Olympic visitors can certainly ignore water sports athletes choking on fecal matter.

It’s all about the games and the wiggles (of one sort or another),

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Rio de Janeiro panoramic view from Mt/Wolfhardt/

Rio: A lovely jewel / Wolfhardt/




  1. Jay E. / Jul 30 2015 11:48 pm

    I have a friend who lives in Rio; she says it’s actually worse than reported in American media.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 2:27 pm

      That’s what we are hearing,too. Brazil in general has been dealing with a lot of problems. (The money from hosting the Olympics was supposed to help…) The sailing community – especially the Aussies – have had serious concerns about the polluted water for some time. The Olympic committees can just ignore the mess for so long. Thanks for sculling over with that information

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul / Jul 30 2015 11:49 pm

    Yikes! That’s a lot of building to do in a year. We’re putting in a light rail system here in Ottawa and it’s a 5 year project that is engaging every construction company that’s interested. Right now there are 350 on-going construction sites related to this project in the city. And that’s a tiny project compared to what Rio has to do. I just have no clue how they intend to accomplish their goals before the deadline.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 10:08 pm

      We are dreading a massive rebuild of the freeway systems in and out of downtown Houston. Sinking all the major roads and covering them with parks sounds wonderful, but living through all the construction is going to be a horror. Sounds like your city does what they do here: tear up everything all at once. Even worse, there you have to work around winter weather. Guess you better start gathering up all the patience you can find. Thanks for halting to send a comment


  3. Kate Crimmins / Jul 30 2015 11:52 pm

    I think this happened when Greece hosted too. There was concern that it wouldn’t be finished or they’d run out of money. Crazy!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 10:12 pm

      Since the original games were in Greece, why don’t they/world Olympic group just built a complex and always hold the Olympic there? Less money to built once and reuse, Greece certainly could use the business, and maybe in the historical spot, the games would be more like games. Why always the stress over construction? Crazy indeed.Thanks for tossing a comment into the rings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Philosophunculist / Jul 31 2015 12:28 am

    They could fly in construction crews from all over the world and have a sort of Olympic building event……


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 10:17 pm

      Or they could just use some of those inflatable bubble buildings like the NFL teams use for practice. You idea is a good idea – if the local construction unions would allow it. Maybe next time they could do that from the beginning.OR just build it once in a spot and re-use it every time – saves money and stress. Fingers crossed enough gets done…but not sure what they are going to do about the bay and the ocean pollution clean-up…well, they can pull out the bodies and floating furniture for a start. Thanks for nailing together a great idea and comment


  5. Wifey Monologue / Jul 31 2015 1:31 am

    Well, swimmers swim for the gold! :0


  6. EllaDee / Jul 31 2015 8:14 am

    While most of us know tactically it’s better to under commit and over deliver, there’s many who think that it’s undermining the competitive spirit and opportunities. I think all this Olympic bidding is a bit hard to swallow…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 10:25 pm

      It’s all gotten nuts. We had the summer Olympic trials here once – and that was enough.They wanted everyone to plant certain color flowers in their yards so it would look nice from planes. A lot of people rented out their houses and left town.
      Anyone voting for building one permanent Olympic complex and then using it over and over again? (It’s supposed to be Olympic Games, not a way to funnel business and money to one country or another) Maybe locate the venue in Greece where it started?
      The Opening Ceremony and all the hoopla is taking away from the real events.
      Thanks for shoving over a game comment


  7. easyweimaraner / Jul 31 2015 9:21 am

    I hope all the new projects they build for the owlympigs will not end like the owlympig area of Beijing or Sarajevo :o( We had the Uber-war here too, I hope the official taxi drivers of Rio will win that battle …


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2015 2:37 pm

      In the Beijing Summer Olympics, once a problem with the water/floating mess was recognized, they had every boat, float, paddle board in the country out there in the water with an army of citizens cleaning up the place. (Residents do have a sense of pride in their areas sweeping streets and pick up pieces of paper). They just been rewarded with the 2020 Winter Olympics – reusing much of what was built. People forget many residents there were displaced and houses bulldozed – just like Brazil will have to do within a year’s time – a whole village with houses, restaurants, playgrounds, and shops is in the way. Not all the people want to move. Games sometimes don’t seem like much fun for all?
      Uber showed up here, but recently have been in trouble with various problem treatment of passenger – and wrecks – with their insurance being a problem for drivers and their cars. Not are worry free as it was at first. It’s better if the official taxi people manage transportation – IF they are fair with fares for everyone, are safe and knowledgable about streets and locations, and are registered with the city/meet regulations. THese days taxi drivers must be brave people.
      Thanks for dog paddling over with a comment


  8. jmmcdowell / Aug 4 2015 7:48 pm

    I’m not really a fan of Uber not doing background checks on drivers from the very beginning. Good way to make people recommend your company—have customers be assaulted by drivers!

    Given the corruption around the IOC, Brazil seems to be just playing the games….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 5 2015 1:35 pm

      I think you are right about both: Uber and Rio. Risky business..even outside the games. Glad you paddled over with a comment


  9. jannatwrites / Sep 18 2015 6:14 am

    That’s scary, how much is not ready for the Olympics. It seems like there should be timelines and inspections of facilities so things are in place well in advance. But then again that’s more work and costs money, which dips into profits.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2015 2:50 pm

      THose who do business with this country shook their heads when the Olympic committee made their choice. Big problems of all kinds all across the place. Lots of fraud and graft. There were timelines…and excuses. Beautiful country though – many hoped the games would help get things back on track. Fingers crossed at this point. Thanks for playing with the games


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