Yesterday, there was the story of Jason Lee, a jiu jitsu competitor who claimed he was held for ransom by police officers in Rio de Janeiro. He said they took him to an ATM and forced him to withdraw money in order to gain his release.
Today, there is a new and scarier kidnapping story involving sports and Brazil.
A report says Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law Aparecida Schunck — the mother of his third wife, Fabiana Flosi — was kidnapped in the neighborhood of San Paolo and will not be released until a $36.5 million ransom is paid. Ecclestone has a net worth of $3.8 billion according to a Google search I just did, so the money is the least of his concerns.
The Rio Olympics run from August 5-21 in Rio and there are endless concerns swirling around it, whether it’s an incomplete athlete village or Russian doping issues or Zika virus, but the idea of corrupt cops and kidnapping seem like a bigger problem than a toilet that doesn’t flush or steroids, no? (Uproxx has a timeline of all the problems in Rio through July 5 and who knows how many more will surface over the next two weeks.)
Having said all that, I’d still go there to cover the Olympics. If cops forced me to empty my bank account, I’d get over losing $32, and I have zero wealthy friends, so I wouldn’t be a kidnapping target. If toilets are broken, I probably would’ve broken it during my two weeks there anyway. I don’t take steroids, and one of the big ways Zika is transmitted is via sexual intercourse – so I can guarantee that won’t be a problem with me dead broke living in a hovel with a broken toilet.