Will Pokemon Go Save The Rio Olympics?

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On August 5th, we’ll see over 200 nations hoist their flags in Rio de Janiero to signify the beginning of the 27th Summer Olympics since the Modern Olympics began in 1896. As in years past, the city is shrouded with controversy, but this year Rio may make people wish they were back in London like in 2012 (even if the Brits aren’t feeling the European love anymore).

A few reasons why people are sketched out by the 2nd largest city in the 5th largest country in the world:

  • Zika Virus: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a public health warning for the mosquito-bourne virus sweeping the America’s that can cause paralysis and birth defects and has no cure
  • Dirty Water: last year’s aquatic test events in Rio saw many athletes fall ill from sewage-polluted water. Officials said they would clean it up in time, but the jury is still out on whether they really did this…
  • They Killed a Jaguar: the organizing committee had the brilliant idea of leading around a chained Jaguar with the Olympic torch last month. This is a baller move, but it was not a good look when they shot the creature because it got too close to a soldier
  • Last month a shooter shot up a highway leading into the city.

Who’s said “for those reasons, I’m out” to Rio?

  • Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day
  • Also Vijay Singh said “I would like to play the Olympics, but the Zika virus, you know…” (article here)
  • Dominic Thiem (Austrian tennis player and number 15 in the world) is opting out for a small time tournament in Mexico
  • Adam Scott also said he’s got a busy schedule

So mostly the top golfers in the world don’t want to be a part of the sport’s debut in the Olympics. The saving grace? Pokemon Go. The mayor of Rio asked (via Facebook post) for the game to come to his city. So far the new fad has only made it to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, and the US. Rio is mapped for the game, but so is the rest of the world in preparation for future events. Sounds like a last attempt by the mayor to get people to actually show up. Because the only thing that people like more than not getting Zika is walking around like mindless automatons. It might draw people in, but I’ve gotta urge mayor Eduardo Paes to stop the madness considering that people are already being led to questionable areas. The world isn’t ready to bring the slums of Rio into play.

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