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The upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio promises to be an event filled with drama, stories of triumph and moments of heartbreaking disappointment. These four storylines surrounding the Games are sure to get people talking.
Many of the reigning Olympic champions who captured gold in London four years ago will not be around for the Rio Olympics. Some reigning champions have chosen to retire while others failed in their attempts to qualify for these Games. This opens the door for new champions to rise to the top and have their moments in the spotlight. Notable champions from 2012 who tried to make a comeback but came up short for Rio include track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross and swimmer Tyler Clary.
Russian Track and Field Athletes
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) made the decision to ban Russian track and field athletes from competing in Rio because of widespread doping. However, some Russian athletes may get the chance to compete if they are willing to go to the Olympics as independent athletes. These particular athletes will compete under the Olympic Flag instead of representing Russia. Track and field stars who have applied to compete independently include 800-meter runner Yulia Stepanova and pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.
Brazil’s struggling economy has gotten many people worried about the host nation’s ability to provide adequate security, transportation and sanitary conditions for athletes and spectators. The government even issued a recent plea for outside funding in order to avoid a total financial collapse. The city of Rio has been forced to make cuts in education, health care and the police force because of the economic downturn.
New sporting events will be debuting in Rio. After being left off the Olympic program for more than 100 years, golf will be played at these Games. Rugby sevens, which is a rugby tournament consisting of seven players per team, will also have the chance to be seen by a worldwide audience during the Olympics. Kitesurfing was also set to make its debut, but the decision was reversed by the International Sailing Federation in order to keep windsurfing from being cut from the Olympic program.