The Rio Olympics Fires Its Security Firm Days Before The Games Will Begin

Opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Village
Getty Image / Buda Mendes

If there’s an Olympic tradition the IOC would probably like to do without, it’s the mad scramble hosts have a had a habit of doing to get ready for the games ready in time. Sochi set the bar pretty high for horrorshow reports on preparations ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but Rio may be primed to outdo them by going faster, higher and stronger in the direction of WTF worry.

The latest obstacle facing the Brazilian city? They’ve decided to fire the private security firm hired for the Olympics. Quite the bold move with the Opening Ceremonies earmarked to start this Friday, but arguably a necessary one. As Fourth Place Medal notes, the Ministry of Justice cited the “incompetence and irresponsibility” of the firm (the Rio-based Artel) as the drive for the termination. 3,400 security personnel were to be hired for the world sporting showcase, but Artel admitted they only hired 500. That’s what security experts might peg as a “bad thing.”

Who will pick up the slack with the slash of security? That’d be the beleaguered Rio police that have been hit with budget cutbacks and were moved to protest their conditions earlier this summer. It’s a rarely a good sign when local cops greet people with a banner reading “Welcome To Hell.”

Sports! Security is definitely a worry attached to the Rio Olympics (tales of crooked cops can’t help), but that’s just one of a cornucopia of issues swirling around the games. Zika concerns have kept a lot of people home, no one seems particularly enamored with the idea of swimming in human waste (Ryan Lochte maybe?), a “State of Calamity” was declared last month and nations like Australia are voicing their displeasure with the living conditions. (Those Aussie worries were valid. Their athletes were robbed during a fire evacuation.) Heck, Pokemon Go is even taking a pass on coming to Rio for the Olympics. Here’s hoping Rio can pull out a last minute miracle like a number of host cities have done before them and get everything sorted out.

(Via Fourth Place Medal)