Move the Olympics out of Brazil now

The signs greet you moments after stepping off the plane in Rio De Janeiro.

The message is simple and profound, and it's written in English for everyone to read.

"Welcome to Hell."

It's hard to argue with the banner, which is being held by Rio policemen and firefighters.

Brazil is supposed to be a tropical paradise and a boom state. That was the Brazil that won the bids to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Summer Games. That Brazil was one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

That Brazil is no more.

The World Cup was spared of the worst two years ago, but it's here now -- €” Brazil is a nation on the brink of total collapse.

The Olympic Games will open in "Hell" in less than a month.

There is still time to avoid what could be a massive disaster.

Cancelling the Olympic Games, at this juncture, would be too cruel to the athletes who have qualified to participate. Those athletes have dedicated at least the past four years to participating against the best in the world, and they should keep that opportunity.

But the Games cannot happen in Brazil. The nation is in an economic free fall and its government is in shambles -- €” all while the worst health crisis to hit South America in the last 100 years rages without abatement.

There are concerns that Brazil will have a military coup d'etat in the coming weeks. While those fears are more than likely unfounded, they clearly indicate how dire the situation is.

It will take everything Brazil has and so much more for Rio to take in the world. National and civic pride will not let them pull out at this late juncture, so the International Olympic Committee needs to do it for them.

The Games must go on -- the athletes deserve it, even though the real reason they will not be canceled is money -- and there are places all across the planet that can step up and help carry some of the load.

The United States and Canada can handle taking on events on short notice. England, you might have heard, is in a bit of political and economic turmoil itself, but can surely handle hosting events as well. It's easy to see Germany, Australia, Sweden, France -- too many nations to mention, really -- stepping up to help host the Olympic Games.

The events would be spread around the world -- track and field in Los Angeles, basketball in Berlin, handball in Zagreb, archery in Winnipeg, and water polo in Sydney. It'd be a logistical nightmare, sure, but no more so than putting on the most important and complicated sporting event in the world in a nation in complete turmoil.

Moving the Olympics out of Brazil and into venues around the world would create a truly global Games -- instead of the world coming together in a host nation, the nations would be working together to host the games. It's a beautiful idea, and that beauty is only enriched by its scope and audacity.

Brazil has bigger things to worry about than badminton.

The situation in Brazil is so bad that Zika isn't even on top of the list of biggest problems ahead of the Games.

And don't misconstrue that -- Zika is a big problem in Brazil: A group of 150 health professionals wrote a letter to the World Health Organization asking it to demand that the Games be moved out of the nation because of the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes. The notion was dismissed by the WHO, but in that dismissal, the claim that it would be unethical to send athletes, support staff and spectators to Brazil was not addressed, much less discredited.

Though to be fair, it's pretty hard to solve a major health problem when your federal government's existence is in peril.

At the moment, Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, is suspended from her post while she faces an impeachment trial that stems from her cooking Brazil's books to hide the depths of the nation's economic problems ahead of her reelection.

That's one impressive scandal. But simply cooking the books to hide massive GDP losses might make her the least corrupt politician of importance in Brazil.

Her vice president and Brazil's acting leader Michel Temer is also facing impeachment and has twice been investigated for bribery and kickbacks. The third person in the line of succession -- the Speaker of the Lower House -- was stripped of his role by the nation's Supreme Court, and the man holding the job in the interim is under investigation for receiving bribes and has agreed to step down in the near future. The next person in the order of succession is the subject of 11 criminal probes, and the last-ditch option, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is set to leave that post in September.

There is a threat that Brazil will have no leader come August.

The corruption investigations of those under Rousseff almost all stem from the Petrobras scandal. Petrobras is the nation's state-run oil company, and prosecutors claim that from 2004-2014, a cartel of contractors systematically overcharged Petrobras on contracts and used the extra money to bribe workers and government officials to stay quiet.

The scope of the corruption is immense, as evidenced by the possibility that Brazil's line of succession can't handle its wake. More than $5 billion -- €” that's U.S. dollars -- €” is alleged to have changed hands. At least 40 percent of Brazil's Senate has been charged or is under investigation in relation to the scandal. The nation's tourism minister has resigned. Brazil's last president, Luiz "Lula" da Silva, is subject to four criminal investigations and will almost assuredly head to trial.

It's a scandal that -- €” and this is not hyperbole -- €” threatens to take down the young Brazilian democracy, both internally and externally. Millions protested in the streets when the scandal was first reported.

Rousseff hasn't been implicated, but she was the head of Petrobras' board from 2003 to 2010. Either way, she will never hold the nation's highest office again. It's been alleged she was taken out of power by Temer and his coalition to stop the investigation into the Petrobras bribes.

Oh, and there's another massive corruption scandal currently being investigated. The other one alleges that over 70 Brazilian companies bribed government officials to help them reduce or avoid tax payments. That scandal also has a valuation of over $5 billion.

While that's going on, the Brazilian economy is in free fall as currency values drop while the GDP continues to plummet. Central bank rates are at 14.5 percent. (The U.S.' rates are at 0.5 percent.) It's no surprise Rousseff tried to cook the books.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian military, which ruled the country from 1964-1985 is expanding rapidly ahead of the Olympics and is poised to make Rio a military state during the Games. One can only imagine what they're planning on doing in the capital, Sao Paolo, when soccer matches are played there.

There were nearly 60,000 murders in Brazil in 2014, and police and security workers are threatening to strike ahead of the Olympics. The government has not paid them or provided safe working conditions.

Anger is high, and violence is rising.

Temer announced earlier this week that there would be 85,000 security forces deployed for the Games, but Rio's mayor, Eduardo Paes, isn't buying it. He told journalists last week that the state government has a "terrible" security organization for the Olympics.

This hasn't even factored in the toxic water for aquatic events or the mutilated body parts that washed up near the beach volleyball site. It also doesn't factor in the facilities crunch that organizers claim have been overcome but haven't been verified by an outside party.

Bottom line: It's not safe in Brazil right now, and that fact has almost nothing to do with Zika.

The Olympic Games should have been moved out of Brazil months ago. It speaks to the dysfunction and incompetence of the IOC that the Games haven't already been canceled or relocated.

Yes, there is always a safety risk at a major sporting event -- that's the world we live in -- but the threat of a nation collapsing around the Olympic Games is ludicrous. Especially when they were rewarded to a nation because of its fast-growing economy (which was, at one point, larger than Great Britain's.)

This isn't media fear mongering. These risks are exponentially higher than those of previous Olympics.

At the baseline, the Games are being held in one of the most dangerous cities in the world at a time of true chaos. There's a tremendous civil unrest that's about to explode in the nation's cities, and no one without a death wish should want to be there to see it all unfold. The Olympics would add undue pressure to the powder keg.

By waiting so long, the IOC has left no clean, easily executable solution, but Brazil is in such a state that any alternative option would do.

If you move the Games, the television partners, who paid sums to the IOC on par with the Brazilian government scandals, will still get their product (don't worry about that ...) and no one would have to visit the tumultuous South American nation during this frightening time.

There might be enough time to get the Games out of Brazil.

There are bigger things to worry about in Brazil than sporting events, and shutting down Rio to throw a lavish party for the world, showing off Brazil's vibrancy while the nation's economy continues to plummet and government crumbles is an ironic and uncouth distraction.

Nothing about this is good, and there can be no further delay.

Get out. Get out now.