- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)3
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)1
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
- Oran town board fired officer before hiring him as police chief; city officials say they can't remember reason for firing (6/25/17)2
- Library provides free lunches this summer (6/19/17)
- Jackson School District giving away bricks from 'Old A' building (6/23/17)2
'Welcome to the Congo!' message forces USOC to apologize to Brazilians
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- In a joke that made Brazilians cringe and forced the U.S. Olympic Committee to apologize, a USOC worker scrawled "Welcome to the Congo!" on a whiteboard in the organization's Rio de Janeiro media center for the Pan American Games.
Rio's O Globo newspaper published a photo of the message on its front page Saturday, and ran a headline saying the joke was "full of prejudice." The message was condemned in a nation extremely sensitive about being compared to much less-developed countries.
The USOC issued a "deep apology to the people of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro" in a statement Saturday, and said the worker who wrote the phrase was disciplined and is no longer a member of the U.S. delegation to the games.
The picture in O Globo showed USOC media employee Kevin Neuendorf in front of the whiteboard, and the story quoted him as saying it was written because "it's really hot in Rio."
O Globo noted that Rio is in the middle of its South American winter, and that the USOC office at the games is air conditioned. The newspaper also produced a full-page graphic showing a map of the globe, pointing out that the Congo is in Africa and an ocean away from Brazil. The graphic included bright red arrows and a headline in English and Portuguese, saying "Watch and Learn."
About 5,500 athletes from 42 countries across the hemisphere are expected to attend the Olympic-style July 13-29 games, as well as 2,000 delegation members, 3,000 journalists and 15,000 volunteers.