- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Community helps Jackson family with two cases of muscular dystrophy (9/19/16)
- Concealed-carry restrictions remain in Missouri despite new state law (9/18/16)22
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Children's exposure to meth via parents is growing; Mo. Children's Division seeing effects (9/18/16)8
- Eldorado Resorts to buy Isle of Capri Casinos (9/20/16)7
- Poplar Bluff man accused of beating a grandmother to death with baseball bat (9/18/16)
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Show Me Center upgrades may allow facility to draw more elaborate shows (9/21/16)17
'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.