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Rio de Janeiro

After Rio risk, Olympic officials can learn lessons

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Taking the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro was always considered a bit of a risk. Now that South America’s first games are drawing to a close, the question is: Did the gamble pay off? The answer, according to experienced Olympic officials and experts, is a mixed bag. Yes, Brazil managed to pull it off under difficult economic and political conditions, with the sports competitions, venues, athletes, friendly hosts, television images and Rio’s scenic backdrops all rising to the occasion. Yet,…

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Rio Olympics opening ceremony highlights Brazil, environment

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There’s nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe — and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders. Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil. The event won’t focus on issues that are…

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Rio Games an acid test for Olympics’ appeal in a grim world

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Even if only for two weeks, can “Faster-Higher-Stronger” overpower deadlier, scarier and bloodier? Can the Olympic Games still offer the world momentary levity, distract from terror, shootings, poverty and other worries in globally grim times? If not, what use is the multibillion-dollar celebration of youthful endeavor and mostly niche sports? Through no fault of their own, the athletes who will march in massed, joyful ranks behind their nations’ flags in Friday night’s opening ceremony for the first Olympic Games in…

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Expert to Rio athletes: ‘Don’t put your head under water’

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Just days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by The Associated Press. Not only are some 1,400 athletes at risk of getting violently ill in water competitions, but the AP’s tests indicate that tourists also face potentially serious health risks on the golden beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. The AP’s survey of the…

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Clearwater’s Melanie Margalis swims to Rio

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Not many know about Melanie Margalis, who has spent the last few days in Omaha, Neb. at the Olympic swimming trials. When Michael Phelps is involved in a swimming event, he will be the center of attraction. That’s just the way it is. Both were trying to make the Olympic team on Wednesday night. For Phelps it would be an incredible fifth Olympiad, while Margalis was trying for the third time to make her first Olympic games. Though relatively unknown…

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