SCATTERGOOD: It’s Time to Stop Roasting Rio and Start Applauding Our Athletes
Road to Rio

Why complain when there’s so much to celebrate?

Records have already been broken

The Olympic Games take place in an athletic arena notorious for domination by men — only 25 of the 126 International Olympic Committee members and honorary members are women, and modern Games founder Pierre de Coubertin disparaged female participation as “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and incorrect.”

However, Team USA’s 292 female athletes are the most that have ever been fielded by any team, Reuters reports. The 2012 Games in London were the first at which every participating nation had women among its teammates, and at which women participated in every competitive event available.

Progress is present — and hopefully lasting

The Ceremony hasn’t even begun yet, and the 2016 Olympics have already recorded a record number of “out” LGBTQ athletes set to participate in the Games. After 12 such athletes in Beijing in 2008, and 22 in London in 2012, this year’s tally of 43 openly gay participants is a silver lining for Rio news coverage that has been anything but uplifting recently.

Tonight is the Night

After all the lambaste of the 2016 Olympic Games, from decrepit accommodations to disgusting water conditions, tonight we see the Games begin.

How to Watch

NBC website will be live-streaming the Opening Ceremony tonight, so if you’re on vacation or in a dorm room and you don’t have access to cable, this is where you’ll be able to watch Michael Phelps and salute the stars and stripes that adorn the flag he will be carrying on behalf of the U.S. By the way, don’t assume the U.S. team will enter toward the end just because the teams enter in alphabetical order; while this is true, they do so based on the host country’s language. The 555 Ralph Lauren-clad squad is from the Estados Unidos, not the United States, during their time in Brazil.

NBC has faced some criticism for delaying its coverage of the Ceremony by one hour, starting at 8 p.m. EST though the event itself begins at 7 p.m. EST. The network’s marketing group explained that its decision to air a video providing context for the Games prior to the Opening Ceremony was a response to viewers’ multifaceted interest in the Olympics.

Here’s the full schedule of events and all the TV listings, too. Rio 2016 even has its own mobile app, which is free for iOS and Android users, so you will have innumerable ways to stay updated on our athletes’ accolades.

And that’s what we should be doing — I’ve certainly had my fill of the Negative Nancy news coverage, and I’m ready to don my red, white and blue and remember why everyone is gathered in Rio in the first place: to celebrate the interwoven world of sports and make their home countries proud.

Libby Scattergood is a senior in the McDonough School of Business. Road To Rio appears every other Friday.

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