Even with the iconic statue of Jesus Christ watching over the Rio Olympics, NBC and mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore the importance of religion among athletes.

For example, swimmer Michael Phelps, one of the greatest Olympians ever, lost his way until he found God a few years ago.

“I was a train wreck. I was like a time bomb, waiting to go off. I had no self-esteem, no self-worth. There were times where I didn’t want to be here. It was not good. I felt lost,” Phelps said.

After his second DUI, Phelps got a call from former NFL star Ray Lewis, who helped the swimmer onto the road of religious recovery.

Simone Biles, the gymnast who won four gold medals, carries a rosary in her warmup bag and lights a candle in church before an event. Instead of emphasizing her religious beliefs, NBC and others talk about her mother, a former drug addict.

Katie Ledecky, a Catholic like Biles, says a Hail Mary before each swimming event and proudly makes her religious views known. Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to earn a gold medal in swimming, praised God after winning the 100-meter freestyle. Her reference to God got edited out when NBC put up the video on YouTube.

After Usain Bolt of Jamaica, the fastest man in the world, won his third gold medal in the 100-meter sprint, he fell to his knees to pray. The NBC commentators apparently couldn’t bring themselves to utter the word “prayer.”

Many other examples exist, but NBC and other mainstream media have focused on less significant details of athletes’ lives rather than their trust in God. Fortunately, faith-based news organizations have chronicled what the athletes themselves consider their most important characteristic: their belief in God.

The Christian Post wrote about U.S. athletes and their faith at

Eric Metaxas interviewed religion writer Terry Mattingly about God and the Olympics at

Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at

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Mark Ripptoe is all for ending the Olympics; Among other reasons,

The arguments against the Olympics are important. The Olympics are no longer the most important event within most of the sports contested. The professional versions of the games events have their own world championships, at which the best athletes compete for Real Money, not just medals. All sports within the International Olympic Committee have their own annual World Championships, meets that happen more frequently than every four years and which form the basis for the training schedules of most athletes.
. . .
But even more offensive to sensible people everywhere is the abject silliness of the media coverage of the Olympic Games. The focus of the coverage has shifted from the sports and the athletes’ performances to the human interest stories that are, at best, extremely peripheral to the contests.

Then there’s the exorbitant cost of the Rio Olympics, which were were 51% over budget, to the tune of $1.6 billion, the month before they opened. The final tab will be even higher.

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sold the Olympics to the world and to his countrymen as a shining example of the success of his socialist policies. How did that go?

Since Lula left office, Brazil’s economy has crashed and some analysts partly blame the large public spending during his tenure as president. Widespread corruption involving Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras is also cited as a key reason for the country’s state of crisis.

Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s hand-picked successor, was suspended in April by Brazil’s House of Representatives. She faces an impeachment trial in the weeks following the end of the Olympic Games. Rousseff is not accused of corruption herself, but of allowing it to happen.

For his part, Lula has just been ordered by a federal court to stand trial for obstruction of justice. He is separately under investigation for possibly receiving favours from companies linked to the corruption at Petrobras.

That is the Brazilian backdrop to this year’s Rio Olympics. An economy in free fall. A suspended president undergoing impeachment. And Brazil’s most popular politician, Lula, facing criminal prosecution.

Before Rio, there was Greece, where the 2004 Olympics pushed the country into a financial disaster. Indeed,

host countries such as Brazil may find themselves diverting resources to make a statement to the global community, that can — though not always — come at the expense of real needs and their vulnerable citizens.

Most of the host countries are woefully unable to provide the infrastructure and facilities required for world-class events. Sochi‘s plumbing failures pale next to Rio’s green pools, invasive capybaras, floating limbs, and falling cameras (and don’t get me started on the sofa).

But worse of all is the pervasive corruption of the Olympic committee officials. Just today the BBC reports that police in Brazil have arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Irishman Patrick Hickey, in Rio over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

Yes, you read it right: the head of the European Olympic Committee got busted for scalping.

Enough. It’s time to end it.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Somehow When I saw this scene from On the Waterfront

I never thought of Women’s Olympic Badminton

Badminton pairs expelled from London 2012 Olympics after ‘match-fixing’ scandal

apparently money was not involved

The International Olympic Committee has taken unprecedented steps to tackle match-fixing in the London Games, with president Jacques Rogge describing it as the biggest threat to the integrity of the Games.

There is no suggestion of any betting associated with the matches, but the fact players appeared willing to manipulate results is arguably more corrosive to the reputation of the Games.

Who knew that badminton had a seedy underside to it?


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One of the most important things in diplomacy when you are going to disappoint a friend is to give them something to hang their hat on.

The international community in my opinion is not going to do a thing about Iran, they are not going to help in Afghanistan and will be favoring China in monitary issues.

The Olympics in the end generally is all about show and face, it will be a net money loser.

No naturally they will give it to the president that will give him a foreign policy victory, he will need one in his hat over the next few years.

Myself I would have done more than just a zip trip and maybe visit an ally or two but it is still legit use of power, but his success will be used to mask other failures.

Update: Or not.