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U.S. Paralympic Athlete: 'People Aren't Seeing The Positive Side' Of The Games07:26
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Chuck Aoki #5 of the United States and Shin Nakazato #11 of Japan in action during the Bronze Medal match of Mixed Wheelchair Rugby on day 11 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Basketball Arena on September 9, 2012 in London, England. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)
Chuck Aoki #5 of the United States and Shin Nakazato #11 of Japan in action during the Bronze Medal match of Mixed Wheelchair Rugby on day 11 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Basketball Arena on September 9, 2012 in London, England. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)
This article is more than 4 years old.

Chuck Aoki, a 2016 U.S. Paralympic athlete competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics on the wheelchair rugby team, is looking forward to the upcoming games — but he understands why the casual American viewer might not be so eager for the coming Olympic glory.

In a conversation with guest host Sacha Pfeiffer, Aoki explained how the series of headlines -- about host city Rio de Janeiro's toxic water, unfinished facilities and slew of minor criminal activity affecting national teams already in Brazil — distract from the main focus of the international athletic displays — the athletes themselves.

"There's a pushback from a lot of athletes," Aoki said. "People are not seeing the positive side, and the sacrifice and the struggle we're putting forward."

And while many athletes could potentially let the negative press pull their attention away from the competition at hand, Aoki thinks the global scale of the Olympics is daunting enough.

"The stage is just so big — if you're gonna get psyched out by something, it's the sheer magnitude of the thing, of the Games," Aoki said.

Aoki will compete for the United States in the 2016 Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby from Septmber 14 - 18 in Rio de Janeiro.

This segment aired on August 1, 2016.

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