Niyo in Rio: Detroit News Reporter Breaks Down First Weekend of 2016 Olympics

John Niyo says the U.S. medal count is expected to be high, while the mosquito count so far is low.

Michael Hayball

Things are starting to get exciting down in Rio.

American swimmer Katie Ledecky shattered her own 400-meter freestyle record last night. And Michael Phelps helped the American team win the relay with an incredible second leg. It’s Phelps’ 19th gold medal, an Olympic record. At the same time, athletes are openly accusing each other of doping.

Detroit News sports reporter John Niyo joins Detroit Today from Rio to talk about the how the United States has fared so far at the summer Olympics, and how the Games themselves have fared amidst concerns of Zika and pollution.

The United States, which has the largest delegation by far, is likely to win the medal count, says Niyo. U.S. women led the men in gold medals last year, he says, and that will probably be the case this year as well.

“Now that the events have started, some of the other gloom and doom has faded, at least to the back burner,” says Niyo.

The threat of Zika hasn’t been as bad as it could’ve been, he says, noting that he has seen only one mosquito over the course of a week. Many of the bays are still polluted with raw sewage, but none that are expected to effect the competitions, says Niyo. Having largely escaped the global recession, Brazil is now in the midst of its worst recession since the 1930s, he says.

“You have this multi-billion-dollar Olympic spectacle plopped right down in the middle of it,” says Niyo. “They have done small things, but certainly nothing major like they promised when bidding for these Olympics. The Olympics, they promise grand things, and rarely do they deliver.”

To hear more about what John Niyo is seeing at the Rio Olympics, click on the audio player above.


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