3 Stories: Permanent Olympic Sites, Gold Medal Greed, Roger Goodell's Power

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Katie Ledecky shows off her five medals -- four gold and one silver -- from the 2016 Rio Games. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Katie Ledecky shows off her five medals -- four gold and one silver -- from the 2016 Rio Games. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Problems have plagued the Rio Olympics since long before the Opening Ceremony. But would a permanent host site be better? We open with that question on this week's "3 Stories You Should Know."

Shira Springer of the Boston Globe and David Steele of Sporting News join Karen Given.

1. Finding Permanent Olympic Host Sites

The strain that the Olympics put on host countries is well-documented. Every two years, a new city is tasked with welcoming the world to their home, and often, the city is not ready for the undertaking. The question has been raised many times, but Rio 2016 prompts it yet again: Should the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turn to permanent hosts for the summer and winter games? Shira Springer hopes this year's games have served as a teachable moment for the IOC.

Problems have really plagued these games, and, you know, there's always a really steep learning curve when it comes to hosting the largest, most complex sports competition in the world. Permanent hosts could build on their own experiences, reuse venues and create a smoother, more organized games. It would be better for the athletes, for fans and honestly, IOC, if you're listening, probably for the Olympic brand, too.

2. High Expectations For U.S. Athletes

How many gold medals does an Olympic athlete need to be considered a winner? For U.S. fans tuned into the 2016 Rio Games, anything less than "all of them" is treated like a disappointment. Karen Given wonders where it will end.

It used to be that one was enough. But now, with Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles, we've set the bar even higher. ... One gold medal isn't enough for us anymore, or, in Michael Phelps' case, 23 gold medals isn't enough for us anymore. We need him to win them all. Where does this come from? And, is there any way for us to dial it back?

3. Curtailing Roger Goodell's Power

The NFL has demanded that four players named in an Al-Jazeera America report on performance enhancing drugs meet with the NFL or face suspension, even though the league has shown no other evidence of wrongdoing. The players have agreed, folding under the disciplinary power given to commissioner Roger Goodell in the league's collective bargaining agreement. David Steele thinks that the consequences of Goodell's overreach could get much more serious in the coming years.

It's just the latest of many, many, many examples of the power that the NFL is just abusing now. And it's another fight that the NFL has picked with the players that may end up resulting in something severe like a work stoppage when the next time the labor agreement comes up five years from now.

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This segment aired on August 20, 2016.


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