Golf enthusiasts have reason to celebrate this year’s Olympics in Rio; this will be the first time in 112 years that the sport has been included in the games. This should make for gripping television and new international promotional opportunities for golf.
However, this has not all been a cause for celebration by all parties involved, as the new addition has garnered a fair share of controversy. More specifically, a golf course had to be built in Rio de Janeiro to accommodate the Olympics. The discovery and building phases have resulted in a number of lawsuits. First, a portion of the course was built on an area that was supposed to be protected from development for environmental reasons. The city also obtained the funds for building the course from a developer who received rights to build luxury real estate on the land as a part of the deal.
This tends to be a fairly common occurrence when a city hosts the Olympics; stadiums and facilities often need to be built to accommodate all the games that will be played. In this case, critics pointed to the fact that Rio already had a golf course (but it likely wasn’t up to the standards of international play). For their part, some Brazilian authorities are looking at the golf course as a positive addition to the city. Sports Minister George Hilton said, "We are taking good care of the environment around the course. We have recovered this whole area, which will be good for tourism, for business as well as for locals."