Rio 2016 features a couple of Olympians who are as accomplished as they are publicized: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. But their return to brightest spotlight in sports has been dimmed by the host country’s current condition. Brazil is amidst the worst recession in over two decades; Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, is under review, which has fueled political unrest within the government and among the people. Furthermore, the 2016 Olympic budget was cut by $500 in January, and only 50% of tickets have been sold, as of April. To compensate for the lack of ticket sales, a large amount of tickets will be given to public schools, which is a good play, but how will that cover the cost of hosting the Olympics?
Nevertheless, the games will go on. Michael Phelps has gone through rehab, come out of retirement and rebuilt his body at the age of 30, in preparation for Rio. Looking to build upon his record 22 gold medals, Phelps is keen on proving to the world that the swim champ never left the water.
Another highly anticipated athlete competing this summer is Usain Bolt. Bolt, 29, swept the last two Olympic games (2008 & 2012), winning gold in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 meter relay, all of which he finished in record time. He will be under substantial pressure to maintain his elite status this summer, and he will have to prove that his prime has not yet passed him.