While it’s hard to identify one specific reason for Rio’s failure to follow through on the commitments made leading up to the games, it’s easy to blame the politicians. At the exact same time the Olympics were unfolding, the largest government bribery scandal in Brazil’s history was unfolding behind the scenes. The aptly named “Operation Car Wash” investigation ultimately put over 200 top-level officials in the crosshairs. Even the once beloved Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ended up being convicted and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison over $5 billion in bribes. That’s billion with a “b.”
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