Zika, recession, political scandal loom over Brazil Olympics

(CNN)This year, Brazil is scheduled to open its arms to people from all over the world for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

With the Games nearly three months away, the country is facing a series of unprecedented challenges: the Zika virus outbreak, which has been connected to a rare birth defect; a crippling recession that has left hundreds of thousands unemployed and sent inflation through the roof; and a political crisis that has implicated some of the country’s most powerful lawmakers.
    Now, President Dilma Rousseff may have to step down amid allegations of fiscal mismanagement, leading many to ask: Will the Olympics even happen?
    According to organizers at the International Olympic Committee, the Games should not be affected by the current crisis.
    The IOC said it is closely following the impeachment situation, but stressed that the effects of such a controversy would likely be minimal. “These kinds of political issues have much less influence than at other stages of organizing the Olympic Games,” the IOC said.
    At a news conference at the presidential palace in Brasilia on Tuesday, CNN asked Rousseff if the political crisis could negatively affect the Games.
    “We worked hard to make the Olympic Games happen,” she said, noting that sporting venues and media and security infrastructure were on schedule. “I think we may even be further advanced than was expected.”
    She praised all levels of government — federal, state and city — for working together “to guarantee that there was a legacy.”

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    For Andrada and the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee, the hope is for the Games to be a turning point for the country.
    “The Games have a role to play in the middle of all this. They can be the turnaround for Brazil,” Andrada said. “The Games can be the good news — it’s our job to make the Games the good news.”
    The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from August 5-21.

    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/

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