Speed Reads

Rio Olympics

Athletes in Rio are competing in front of empty seats while their audience is stuck in line

Organizers of the Olympic Games in Rio have been forced to apologize to fans trapped outside stadiums Saturday by long lines caused by security chokepoints. Telecasts showed athletes competing in half-empty venues while their would-be audience sweltered outside in 90 degree heat and stood in 20-minute lines to buy water.

"I don't believe it. It's absurd, ridiculous," said Natalia Carvalho, a Rio native who missed key performances while stuck in line. "It's a lack of respect for the fan that bought tickets. It's a shame."

Games spokesman Mario Andrada promised improvement for the remainder of the Olympics. "We feel sorry for the people who are there," he said. "Some time in line is acceptable but there needs to be a balance."