Two weeks to go until the 2016 Olympic Games begin, and they're already earning gold medals in stupidity and embarrassment:
-- The Australian team declined to move into their rooms in the athletes' Olympic Village because among the amenities the Rio de Janeiro-based games offered were not-just-low-but-no-flow toilets and accent puddles conveniently close to power cables and light switches. The mayor of Rio, demonstrating that the phrase "clueless politician" translates quite well into Portuguese (político ignorante, if you're curious), offered to get a kangaroo to jump up and down in front of the building to make them feel more at home. Because we all know that when we think of pampered athletes whining about homesickness, Australians are the first group that comes to mind.
-- The International Olympic Committee followed up a report on widespread doping among Russian athletes in recent years by choosing not to ban the entire team from the Rio games.
Instead, individual Russian athletes will have to pinky swear to their individual sport governing bodies that their strength, speed and skill come from good food, clean living, taking their vitamins and saying their prayers. Actually the IOC said that each sport will determine which Russian atheletes may compete and outlined the criteria to be used for that determination -- reminding the sport federations that previous clean tests should not by themselves be considered enough proof of cleanliness.
Some folks said that the Aug. 5 opening date means there will not be nearly enough time to complete this more rigorous scrutiny, but the International Tennis Federation proved them wrong by clearing all eight Russian tennis players just several hours after the IOC announcement based on their previous history of clean tests.