Ready or not, here they come. In anticipation of the Olympic Games in Rio in T-7 days, we’ve prepared a guide of all the hottest (and grossest) topics of conversation that will completely take over your social feeds. Here are the good, bad and ugly ABCs of the 2016 Olympics. You’ve been warned.
A – America. Though President Obama did a pretty phenomenal job lifting our spirits during the Democratic National Convention, it’s safe to say we could all use a pick-me-up right about now. We’ll be looking to our American sports heroes to inspire hope in the hearts of the red, white and blue.
B – Bacteria, Super. Cue terror in the eyes of all hypochondriacs and sci-fi fanatics. These drug-resistant bacteria are the stuff of nightmares, so expect to hear all about ’em.
C – Carli Lloyd. The USWNT as a whole impressed last summer, but Carli Lloyd walked away as the World Cup woman-to-watch after scoring a hat trick in the final against Japan. After spraining her MCL in April, many worried she wouldn’t be traveling with the team to Rio. Against all odds, she’s back in action and hoping to score a rare World Cup/Olympic double.
D – Doping Scandal. It’s bad. But was it a big surprise?
E – Election. If you think by tuning into the Olympics, you’re escaping the mind-numbing political narrative, you’re sorely mistaken. The upcoming election will seep into every little pore of this highly publicized event.
F – Filters, Snapchat. Not only will Snapchat be bringing you event highlights via its Discover feature; we can guarantee* there will be a plethora of spirited filters to choose from over the course of the games.
*No, we can’t. But it’s likely.
G – Gabby Douglas. After her stellar performance in 2012, America expects BIG things from this 4’11” gymnast. Her coach is confident, and we’re all rooting for her to do us proud. Well, her or Simone Biles.
H – Hijab. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will make history as the first U.S. woman to compete wearing a hijab at the summer games. She hopes to start a larger discussion about the state of Islam and Islamophobia in the U.S., but she’s mostly just in it to win it for the country she loves.
I – Impeachment. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff still thinks she’s going to make it out of her impeachment trial alive… we’ll see what happens as it conveniently unfolds throughout the games.
J – Jenner, Caitlyn. Given this is the first Games since her transition, it’s likely we’ll hear a thing or two from the former Olympian.
K – Kinesiology Tape. A must-have for gold medalists like Kerri Walsh and James Harden, and newcomer to the Olympic sponsorship games. (“What is the purpose of that crazy tape job? Can that really help?”)
L – Limbs. Sorry. Just don’t even click on that link. Don’t do it. You did it anyway, didn’t you? Sigh.
M – Michael Phelps. In addition to PhelpsMoji (why does every public figure on the planet think we need emoticons of their likeness?), there’s the whole thing about Phelps coming out of retirement one last time to redeem himself after a very public fall from grace.
N – Neymar. Brazil may be a five-time World Cup champion, but it has yet to taste sweet, sweet Olympic soccer gold. Neymar is their glimmer of hope.
O – Opting Out. As in electing not to go to the Olympics due to Zika, scheduling conflicts or a general disinterest from athletes. Despite the fact that golf is back for the first time in 112 years, the sport is suffering a serious athlete deficit, which some say doesn’t help its Olympic future.
P – P&G Ads. Plus ads from Coca-Cola, GE, McDonald’s, Visa and the other worldwide Olympic partners. But seriously, check out how P&G’s usual heart-wrenching “Thank you, Mom” montage turns dark in this year’s brilliantly beautiful ad.
Q – Quickest Man on Earth. OK, “Q” is tough, guys. Give me a break. But seriously, Usain Bolt is going for an unprecedented “triple triple” where he will attempt to defend the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles he won in 2008 and 2012.
R – Russia. And its more than 100 athletes barred from the Olympics by international sports federations. Also, apparently they plan to host their own “Olympics,” which Putin is calling “Stars 2016.” UGH.
S – Security Issues. The actual threat level is widely disputed, but there’s no doubt it’s a concern. Budget cuts have impacted security officials across the board, prompting police protests.
U – Unrest, Political. Brazil is facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. I won’t beat a dead horse here, but the media certainly will.
V – Video, Social. That is, unless you’re in the Olympic village. With the convergence of news sites and social platforms, we can expect to get our fill of event highlights on our platform of choice thanks to NBC’s *slightly* loosened grip on Olympic coverage. NBC still owns the rights to all live game and event footage, so don’t expect to catch any of your favorites on Facebook or Twitter.
W – Water Contamination. It’s a serious issue. Athletes have been warned to “keep their mouths closed.” Lovely.
X – X-Rated Exploits. I really didn’t know what else to go with here, but apparently it’s a thing. Officials are providing a record number of condoms (450,000) to athletes this year in an attempt to encourage safe sex – or rather, discourage unsafe sex. Hey, the Olympic Village Tinder game is strong.
Y – Yelena Isinbaeva. This Russian athlete is regarded as the greatest female pole vaulter of all time. She had just returned to training after having a baby, and hoped to compete for a third gold medal… that is, until she was banned along with Russia’s entire track and field team.
Z – Zika. What did you expect? But good news – researchers say the Rio Olympics won’t accelerate the spread of the virus. Only 80 of the nearly 500,000 people visiting Rio de Janeiro will be infected, and an even smaller number could bring the virus home with them. Well, that’s a relief.
And there you have it. Look out for more Olympics analysis on the Buzz Bin in the coming weeks.