Summer Olympics Underway in Rio as City’s Preparation Takes Center Stage

Over 11,000 athletes are in Rio de Janeiro to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics, but the greatest victory will come by way of a safe and secure 16-day event. (Image: Jewel Samad/AFP)

The 2016 Summer Olympics officially kickoff this evening in Rio de Janeiro, and while the athletes, fans, and media are ready for the competitions, it isn’t quite so clear that the city itself is.

Opening ceremonies begin at 8 pm local time in Rio.

The Brazilian city is one hour ahead of the United States’ coveted Eastern time zone. NBC will delay its coverage by an hour to air the event at 8 pm ET instead of 7 pm, much to the dismay of many fans.

More than 11,000 athletes will compete in 39 sport disciplines now through the closing ceremonies on August 21. But after years of planning and preparation, or lack thereof on the part of Rio, plenty of serious concerns linger as the world’s greatest sporting tournament begins.

Uh-Oh de Janeiro

The controversy surrounding the 2016 Summer Olympics will likely have a lasting impact on the games. Brazil is the first South American country to play host to an Olympics, and its severe shortcomings in adequately preparing Rio is expected to push Olympic organizers back to holding the event in more stable regions of the world.

Africa is now the only continent to never host an Olympics. That likely won’t change anytime soon.

While Rio’s mishandling will have long-term consequences, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and nations around the world are more concerned with the next 16 days in Rio.

Let the Betting Begin

In Nevada and Las Vegas, the sportsbooks get it right more often than they get it wrong. Oddsmakers in Sin City are experts at setting lines on sports they know in and out, but this year’s Olympics presents a series of challenges for the bookies, and potentially a series of preferred odds for gamblers.

For the first time since the 2000 Olympics, Nevada sportsbooks are offering odds on the games. The Nevada Gaming Commission opted to include certain amateur contests in February of 2015.

While every book in the Silver State knows football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey, many aren’t quite as familiar with gymnastics, curling, speed walking, javelin, and other Olympic disciplines.

If you’ve been a devout follower of canoe slalom or handball and think you know more than Vegas, now might be the time to place a wager.

For the rest of the country outside of Nevada borders, daily fantasy sports operators are offering a smattering of contests.

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