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Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 Summer Olympics: A guide to watching

Hello all,

It's been a while since my last post. I guess I have finally come back down to earth from the high that was Cleveland winning its first professional championship in over 50 years. Heck, prior to the Cavs winning the NBA finals this past June, the last major professional sports team to win a championship for the State of Ohio were the Cincinnati Reds in 1990. (My apologies go out to those of you who are Columbus Crew fans; I know they have won an MLS title this century but they aren't quite as popular as the other sports. Yet. They are getting there though)

Anyway, I digress. As last night officially opened the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the reasons these games might be worth watching. So, without further ado, here are the top attractions for the Rio Summer Games:

Russia has turned the Summer Games into a scandal bigger than the US presidential elections.
I know by this point everyone is tired of talking about the two candidates who could be our country's next leader. But how about this doping scandal that has hit the Russian National Team? The International Olympic Committee (IOC for short) has come under quite a bit of fire for even allowing some of the Russians to participate, so it will be interesting to see how Russia fares in the final medal count. And I know it might not be passe to pass off this conspiracy theory, but you have to wonder if there were indeed any payoffs.

It's the final Olympics for two of the Games finest athletes, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
How many more medals can Phelps add to his already record count? Does his past marijuana use lessen your opinion of him as an Olympic athlete. How will the time off affect his performance in these games?

Can Usain Bolt win a gold medal in a third straight Olympics? Has the Jamaican sprinter surpassed Carl Lewis as the GOAT (greatest of all time) or is that even a question? Can Bolt set a new world record in the 100 meter dash once again?

What is the current state of the Olympic Village in Rio, and how many athletes are staying there?
There has been much joking about the Zika virus in Brazil, and that many athletes have gone on record to say they won't participate due Zika concerns. But all joking aside, this seems to be a real concern for the host country. And even though American woman soccer player Hope Solo has come under fire recently for her thoughts on the matter, she may have a valid point.

Can the host country bring home the gold in the sport it is most well known for? It's no secret that being host to the Summer or Olympic Winter games can boost your country's overall medal count. But Neymar Jr and others on the Brazilian national team hope they can earn a gold in the one sport every Brazilian will be watching.

Have another reason why the 2016 Summer Games are worth watching? Let me know in the comment section.

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