Postcard from Rio: Craving a Big Mac or something

John Niyo
The Detroit News

Brazil’s Olympic cost-cutting moves are visible all around Rio, from unfinished landscaping to an absence of the usual signage in and around venues. But there’s another one that’s easy to spot — or not, actually — at the Main Press Center. There’s no McDonald’s for the first time I can recall, and I started covering the Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

McDonald's has outlets in Rio de Janiero but not in the Olympics' main media center.

And given the lengthy lines at the buffet-style cafeteria the first week of the Olympics, that has caused more than stomachs to grumble. With an estimated 20,000 media members covering the Olympics, most scurrying to and from multiple events every day — with long lines and longer bus rides to venues — the fast-food trap is usually a preferred option for many.

Not this time, though. There’s still a McDonald’s in the Olympic Park, where you can get your Big Mac or your Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) if you want. But it’s nothing like the 32,000-square-foot monstrosity they built in the park in London in 2012. And while some in the media might be unhappy about the inconvenience, we’ll probably all be healthier for it.