GOOD SPORTS!

RIO GAMES MOST EX­PEN­SIVE EVER

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS - Bruce Pen­ton

What we think we know for sure about the Sum­mer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, cur­rently un­der way and fill­ing our news­pa­pers, tele­vi­sion sets, com­puter screens, Twit­ter feeds and Face­book posts un­til Aug. 21.

— This will re­port­edly be the most ex­pen­sive Olympics ever, with fig­ures ru­moured to be as high as $11 bil­lion in a coun­try whose poverty level is said to be above nor­mal for a mid­dle-in­come coun­try, where crime is said to be out of con­trol, and whose wa­ter qual­ity is, to be gen­er­ous, ques­tion­able.

— The tele­vi­sion net­work given the job of bring­ing the pic­tures and sto­ries to North Amer­ica, NBC, will not likely show us any of the un­sightly un­der­belly of Brazil.

— Dozens of the world’s best ath­letes made a pub­lic dis­play about stay­ing home from Rio be­cause of a threat of com­ing down with the Zika virus, a mos­quito-spread scourge that will be at its low­est threat in Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to health ex­perts.

— Amer­i­can swim­mer Michael Phelps prob­a­bly won’t be the star of the Games this year, be­cause he’s, like, 74 years old or some­thing like that, but he’ll get a dis­pro­por­tion­ate amount of air time be­cause he’s won more gold medals, 18, than any­one in the his­tory of the Games. — If you watch the Games at all, you’ll likely see Usain Bolt of Ja­maica. Prob­a­bly in a blur.

— CBC’s cov­er­age will fo­cus mainly on Cana­dian ath­letes, and net­work es­ti­mates are that Canada will win be­tween 15 and 20 medals, with three or four of them of the gold va­ri­ety. Divers are re­port­edly Canada’s best hopes, sprinter An­dre De Grasse is a world-class ath­lete and with the world’s four best male golfers stay­ing home for Zika rea­sons, Canada’s duo of Gra­ham DeLaet and David Hearn could medal, as could the women golfers, world No. 2 Brooke Hen­der­son and Alena Sharp.

— Ev­ery time a Rus­sian ath­lete wins a medal, eye­brows will be raised. Here’s a pre­dic­tion: At least one Rus­sian medal win­ner will have that sil­ver­ware taken away within 12 months of the Games’ clos­ing.

— Cana­dian ath­letes will have Mom and Dad in Rio to watch, per­haps even Grandma and Grandpa, be­cause the Olympics are a once-in-a-life­time deal for most ath­letes. But did you know Mom and Dad’s rental ac­com­mo­da­tion for a week in Rio might be as high as $26,000? (An Al­berta ath­lete’s folks con­firmed that fig­ure.)

— Pele will show up in some form dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­monies, be­cause he is Brazil’s most fa­mous ath­lete.

— De­spite all the trep­i­da­tion and worry, the Games will be deemed a suc­cess. Brazil might still be pay­ing for them in 2050, but by then, the world won’t care. In fact the world will quit car­ing on Aug. 21, shortly af­ter the clos­ing cer­e­monies.

• Nor­man Chad of the Wash­ing­ton Post, telling St. Louis fans they’re lucky the Rams moved to L.A.: “With­out a lo­cal NFL team, you ac­tu­ally get a bet­ter se­lec­tion of NFL games ev­ery Sun­day. You no longer are spir­i­tu­ally bound to watch a 7-9 team’s an­nual march to medi­ocrity.”

• Hit king Pete Rose, to the Rochester (N.Y.) Demo­crat & Chron­i­cle, on base­ball salaries: “When we played, we counted our money. To­day, they weigh it.”

• Brad Dick­son of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Her­ald, af­ter Ju­lia Webb set a world record for run­ning a half-marathon while push­ing her 9-month-old daugh­ter in a stroller. “She later thanked the per­son who made it all pos­si­ble: her babysit­ter who didn’t show up.”

• Dwight Perry of the Seat­tle Times: “Drug deal­ers in Rio are sell­ing co­caine in Olympic pack­ag­ing, Huff-Post Brasil re­ported. Don’t know about faster or stronger, but they’ve got higher cov­ered.”

• Another one from Chad: “Just moved into my Olympic Vil­lage apart­ment in Rio de Janeiro. When I flush the toi­let, the TV turns on to Fox News Chan­nel.”

• Dick­son again: “A week be­fore the 2016 Sum­mer Olympic Games be­gin the ath­letes vil­lage re­ported has gas leaks, small fires, floods and elec­tri­cal prob­lems. Maybe we can move the Olympics to a bet­ter lo­ca­tion. I un­der­stand Three Mile Island is avail­able.”

• RJ Cur­rie of sports­deke. com: “TSN’s CFL an­a­lyst Matt Dun­ni­gan said some­thing is miss­ing from the Blue Bombers of­fence. Quick! Call LaPo­lice.”

• Cur­rie again: “Strug­gling Cana­dian golfer Gra­ham DeLaet said he re­cently shaved off his beard to get closer to his kids. Some think he did it to fi­nally make a cut.”

• Jan­ice Hough of left­coast­sports­babe. com: “The Pa­tri­ots’ Ju­lian Edel­man is fac­ing a pa­ter­nity suit from a Swedish model who says she is 5 1/2 months preg­nant with his baby. Once again a les­son for ath­letes, al­ways wear ALL your equip­ment.”

• Com­edy writer Alex Kase­berg: “The Olympic ath­letes will not be able to get Poke­mon Go in the Rio Olympic Vil­lage. ‘Gosh, how will we en­ter­tain our­selves with 10,000 of the hottest and fittest ath­letes in the world par­ty­ing in one place?’ Asked no­body.”

Care to comment? Email bru­ce­pen­ton2003@ya­hoo.ca

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