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Looking Ahead To The Rio Olympics46:13
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With guest host Sacha Pfeiffer.

The Olympic Games start Friday.  From Brazil’s worries to knock-your-socks off athletes, we check in on it all.

Construction workers walk inside Olympic Park as preparations take place for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
Construction workers walk inside Olympic Park as preparations take place for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

The Olympics start Friday in Rio and, as one media outlet put it, so far this year’s games "are an unprecedented shambles.” Political and economic chaos in Brazil. Pollution. Security fears. Construction delays. A massive doping scandal. But some athletes are saying: stop with the negativity. We’ve trained lifetimes for this and we need your support. This hour, On Point, an overview of the situation and which top athletes to watch. — Sacha Pfeiffer

Guests

Samantha PearsonBrazil correspondent for the Financial Times. (@samanthapearson)

Matthew Futterman, senior special sports writer for The Wall Street Journal. Author of “Players.” (@MattFutterman)

Michelle Kaufman, sportswriter for the Miami Herald. (@kaufsports)

Chuck Aoki, U.S. 2016 Paralympic Rugby Team member. (@Aoki5Chuck)

From The Reading List

Financial Times: Rio 2016: The high price of Olympic glory — "In 2009 when Rio was named as the 2016 host, Brazil was going through one of its best periods. After launching a stimulus package to recover from the global financial crisis, the economy grew 7.5 per cent in 2010 — the fastest rate in decades. Today, it faces its deepest recession in more than a century, sparked by a collapse in the global commodities market but compounded by interventionist government policies and corruption scandals."

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Women, the Odds-On Favorites in Rio  -- "They tumble higher and swim faster than ever. They pack knockout punches and violent judo kicks. Their oars slice through the water with unprecedented efficiency. They’re also pretty good at soccer. And water polo. And volleyball —both on the beach and in the gym. And they are seriously fast."

Paralympic Movement: Why I will go to Rio, despite what people may think -- "We go to the Paralympics because we have worked too hard and too long not to go. The day a Paralympian acquires their impairment, their road to becoming an elite athlete has begun, whether or not they know it. We go to the Paralympics because for two weeks, we know that we can be athletes, surrounded by our peers, and seen by the world as the elite level competitors that we are."

This program aired on August 1, 2016.

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