Youre Usain Bolt. Can You Win Gold In Rio And Catch The Olympic Strangler?

You are Usain Bolt. Six-time Olympic gold medalist. Eleven-time world champion. Eighty-three-time iguana owner. The fastest human in recorded history.

Youre about to board a plane to Rio for what will be your third and final Summer Olympics. Accompanying you on your journey is your trusty sidekick and current pet iguana, Calm Duane.

Hello, Calm Duane, you say.

Calm Duane nods coolly.

You give your lizard a Duane Snack, which is basically a tiny puck of brandy-soaked pepperoni. He lets out a long, euphoric moan.

Calm Duane goes absolutely crazy for his Duane Snacks.

You board the plane and take your seat.

Hi there, says a woman seated across the aisle. Sorry to bother, but just wanted to tell you that if you go to Rio, you will probably die.

Sounds like you will probably die if you go to the Olympics. If thats the case, maybe you should get off the airplane and go home.

Well, that was a no-brainer. No use going to a place if youre just gonna die. Youll just wait til the next Olympics and try again.

I said, If you go to Rio, you will probably be fine.

Ah, excellent! Good to hear.

The plane takes off and flies to Rio. The flight goes pretty smoothly for the most part, though Calm Duane gets sick and has a seizure at one point. He does this sometimes.

Greetings, Mr. Bolt, says a lady. My name is Esperanza, and I am a traditional Brazilian samba performer. You may be thinking to yourself, But thats not how Brazilian people dress, and if so, you are wrong. This is how everyone dresses, and I should know because I live here.

Your face turns red with shame, having been caught doing a racism.

I am here to escort you to the Olympic Village. But first, if you would like, I will play for you a beloved Brazilian folk song on a traditional Brazilian instrument, the slippery tube piano.

I worked very hard to learn the song for you. I told my loved ones that I would be performing for the great Usain Bolt, and they were all so excited that someone from our humble working-class family would be given such an opportunity. There was a feast in my honor. But I understand; you are tired from your flight. If you do not want me to perform for you, that is fine. My family will be devastated, but they will get over it.

Very well. The song is called, Os Ces Arbusto Est Comendo Nosso Veculo (Isso Bom, Isso Bom), which in English means The Bush Dogs Are Eating Our Vehicle (It Is Fine, It Is Fine).

Esperanza begins playing. The song sounds like a much slower, sadder, louder version of Frre Jacques, and it drags on for 48 minutes. Still, theres something alluring and hypnotic about it. You find yourself almost in a trance state, with your head slowly nodding along, your eyes pleasantly glazed over, your dong growing firm in your athletic shorts. When the song concludes, you feel as if youve just emerged from a days-long, dream-filled slumber.

Esperanza drops you off at the Olympic Village. As you walk to your room, you notice an open door blocked off with police tape. There is a dead body inside.

Thats the third athlete since yesterday, a security guard informs you. All three of them strangled. Theres a madman wreaking havoc all over the Olympic Village, and theres nothing we can do about it because things are very poorly organized here. Oh, well.

Thats super annoying. Having a serial killer on the loose is a big distraction, and a distraction is the last thing you need when youre trying to win gold medals. If you want to perform to the best of your ability, youre going to need to do everything in your power to stop this serial killer.

You lean in to get a closer look, but just as you do, a bad-smelling bush dog wanders into the room and starts feasting on the body, compromising the integrity of the crime scene. Any clues that mightve been there before have certainly now been eaten by the junk animal.

Guh, guh.

You look down and see that your iguana, Calm Duane, is barking at you, trying to get your attention.

Guh, guh, guh.

Guh, guh.

Calm Duane keeps barking at you. Annoyed, you decide to spank him with your belt. But as you go to spank him, you notice that hes eagerly gesturing at something with his head.

Whoa, Calm Duane found a note from the killer!

You will never find me / Until Im giving you deaths kiss / Im called the Olympic Strangler / But my real names Bob Costas.

Interesting. But what could it mean?

Something in your gut tells you to focus on the my in the note. You deduce that its a word of some sorts, and most likely a possessive pronoun. But does it impart any meaning? You stare at it for a long time, but unfortunately it doesnt yield you any clues. Frustrated, you crumple up the note and toss it in the trash.

But as youre walking away from the crime scene, youre struck with a crazy idea: What if the word my carries greater significance in the context of the sentence? It seems like a moon shot, but you salvage the note from the trash and give it a look. Sure enough, the word my is followed by the words real and name. After a couple dozen Google searches on your phone, you figure out that a name is a word that designates ones identity and that real means true or authentic. Couple the word my, which indicates personal ownership, with two words that essentially mean true identity, and you suddenly get a sense that the killer is straight-up revealing who he really is.

And then it dawns on you. The killer is Bob Costas. The answer was hiding in plain sight all along!

Calm Duane takes the treat and mashes it against the top of his mouth with his tongue until it has dissolved enough to be swallowed whole.

Gank goo, he belches, attempting to thank you in the dumb, inarticulate manner of a reptile with extremely limited language capabilities.

You know that Bob Costas is a guy from TV, so you head over to the Olympic media facilities, where all the guys from TV are. Almost immediately, you spot him on a TV set. He is interviewing the Lithuanian dressage star Ugne Gubilus, who captured the worlds imagination during the 2012 Olympics when she jumped her horse so high that it was able to cling onto and inseminate the Goodyear blimp, earning the gold medal.

Bob Costas could start strangling her at any moment, so you better hurry and stop him before its too late.

You walk up to Bob Costas and politely ask him to not do any more murders.

Hi, Usain! You got it, friend! he replies with a smile. Your wish is my command.

Sure thing, bud! Always happy to hel

Bob Costas is cut off mid sentence by a blood-curdling scream at the other end of the studio.

You turn to find beloved Lithuanian dressage star Ugne Gubilus dead as a doornail on the studio floor. Unbelievable! From the looks of it, the Olympic Strangler crept onto set and murdered her while you and Bob Costas were distracted with your conversation.

Well, you see, my friend Usain, Im not actually the Olympic Strangler, says Bob Costas in response to your audible pondering. For some gosh-darn reason, the real killer keeps putting my name on the crime scene notes, and as a result, folks keep accusing me of murder. But thats okay! Seems like the fella just likes having a bit of fun at ol Bobs expense. No hard feelings here.

Ah, that explains it. You briefly consider apologizing to Bob Costas for accusing him of murder earlier, but then you realize that you dont feel bad about it. Suddenly, Calm Duane starts making a fuss.

Guh, guh.

You look down at Calm Duane and see him frantically pointing at something with his tail.

It appears to be another note from the killer.

The killings will continue / All through these Summer Games / I am the Olympic Strangler / Bob Costas is my name.

Hmm. If this note is to be believed, then the Olympic Strangler is none other than legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas! And, speak of the devil, hes standing right next to you!

You stab Bob Costas in the head, and he collapses to his knees in agony.

Um, not to split hairs, friend, but Im afraid that, once again, youve implicated the wrong fella in the crime! Bob Costas gasps, maintaining his polite, professional demeanor even while in the process of dying. No worries, though! I totally understand how you might see my name on the note and get confused in the moment. Its an easy mistake that any of us could glerm pffffff

Bob Costas falls face-first to the floor and then passes away.

Hi, Im Bob Costas, and you just stabbed me in the stomach, says Bob Costas in a calm and likable manner, never losing face even as you twist the knife blade deep in his intestines. If I may ask, why are you doing this to me?

Well, if I had to guess, Id say youre stabbing me because you saw one of those notes from the Olympic Strangler claiming he was meeven though thats entirely untrue! laughs Bob Costas, his voice weakening as he bleeds out on the studio floor. Folks have attacked me for the same reason three times this week already. I dont mind, though. If I saw someone who I thought was a serial killer, Id try to stop them, too. Cant blame folks for trying to do the right thing.

Ah, did the fella leave my name on a note again? Bob Costas asks, his voice weakening as he bleeds out on the studio floor. Thats the third time hes done it this week, and the third time Ive been attacked because of it! Bless his heart, though, Im sure hes got his reasons.

Oh, heavens no, I wouldnt hurt a fly! Bob Costas laughs, the imminence of death audible in his voice. Seems like the killer just likes having a bit of fun at ol Bobs expense. And thats okay! No hard feelings here. And no hard feelings about the stabbing, eitherit was an honest mistake, friend.

Suddenly, your conversation is interrupted by a blood-curdling scream at the other end of the studio.

You turn to find beloved Lithuanian dressage star Ugne Gubilus dead as a doornail on the studio floor. Unbelievable! From the looks of it, the Olympic Strangler crept onto set and murdered her while you and Bob Costas were distracted with your conversation.

Guh, guh.

Calm Duane is barking to get your attention. You look down and see him frantically pointing at something with his tail.

It appears to be another note from the killer.

The killings will continue / All through these Summer Games / I am the Olympic Strangler / Bob Costas is my name.

Hmm. If this note is to be believed, then the Olympic Strangler is none other than legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas! And, speak of the devil, hes standing right next to you!

You take a moment to calmly consider the facts. And after considering the facts, you come to the conclusion that, actually, Bob Costas most likely did not murder Lithuanian dressage star Ugne Gubilus, though he has almost certainly murdered some other high-profile people, including JonBent Ramsey and Steve Jobs.

The identity of the Olympic Strangler is still unknown, and its up to you to figure it out. But first, you need to hurry down to Olympic Stadium to catch the Opening Ceremonies.

You arrive at the Opening Ceremonies, and the atmosphere is electric.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, a voice booms over the loudspeaker. WELCOME TO THE 2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONIES! BEFORE WE BEGIN, PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT EVEN THOUGH WE ARE IN A SPORTS STADIUM, THERE WILL BE NO SPORTS HAPPENING HERE TONIGHT. I KNOW, I KNOWITS CONFUSING. THE THING TONIGHT IS BASICALLY A BIG, LONG, BORING PLAY. IF THAT DOESNT SOUND INTERESTING TO YOU, FEEL FREE TO LEAVE NOW.

The crowd boos, and thousands of people file toward the exits.

NOW WE WILL PROCEED WITH THE CEREMONY. AT THIS TIME, PLEASE RISE AND BECOME SAD AS WE WELCOME VERY OLD ARCHBISHOP GILBERTO BARBOZA, WHO WILL BE LEADING US IN AN INVOCATION.

O, Heavenly Father, ruler of all things, the archbishop begins, his voice old and upsetting. We thank you for creating the Olympics. They are fun. We also thank you for creating straws, as they help us drink beverages with greater ease. But shame on you, Lord, for creating rapists. That was wrong. You shouldnt have done that. Amen.

The crowd breaks out in raucous applause.

THANK YOU, ARCHBISHOP BARBOZA, the announcer yells. NOW HERE TO SING THE CLASSIC BRAZILIAN LULLABY, QUANDO EU IR PRAIA, S VEZES EU VER UMA BALEIA VIL, WHICH IN ENGLISH MEANS, WHEN I GO TO THE BEACH, SOMETIMES I SEE A VILE WHALE, PLEASE WELCOME EIGHT-YEAR-OLD DOROTEIA NOGUEIRA!

Doroteia is carried out onto the stage by 12 muscular, shirtless men who are probably supposed to represent ancient indigenous warriors or some shit. Behind them, a large model of an Amazonian sundial is wheeled onto the field, symbolizing clocks.

The music begins, and it sort of sounds like Little Drummer Boy but played entirely on instruments made of gourds.

When I go to the beach / Sometimes I see a vile whale, Doroteia sings. He comes out from the water / And makes me smell his vile tail. // He makes me do chores, like rubbing cream onto his face / And if I disobey he will throw me into space. // The vile whale! / O, vile whale! / Why must you eat my toys and sneeze oil on my lap? // The vile whale! / O, vile whale! / Please dont lay your veiny egg atop my bathing cap. // When I go to the beach / Sometimes I see a vile whale / He likes to swallow drifters, / Trap them in his belly like a jail. // Sometimes I hear the drifters scream, Please help us! from inside / But I just pretend not to hear / Until the gurgling subsides.

Just when you think the song is finished, a second spotlight appears next to Doroteia, and it becomes clear that theres going to be some sort of special surprise.

Its the vile whale himself! Wow! The crowd erupts into a standing ovation and doesnt stop applauding for 15 minutes. Its a very special and emotional moment for everyone in attendance.

Eventually, it becomes clear that the vile whale needs to return to the ocean to breathe, so stagehands tie him to the back of a pickup truck and pull him out of the stadium. After he leaves, a troupe of Brazilian samba dancers come out and do a real snooze of a routine exploring the evolution of the nations rich cultural history through interpretive movement. The crowd stays polite for the first 10 minutes or so, but once the dancers get to the Portuguese colonization part and the skimpy tribal getups are swapped out for shapeless Roman Catholic frocks, people start getting restless. Soon, chants of Bring back the whale! begin drowning out the performance, and the dancers finally realize how boring theyre being and leave the stage.

Next, Regis and Rango Smith, the only father-son duo to ever win gold in doubles beach volleyball, walk out onto the stage to thunderous applause.

Please rise and join us in reciting the Olympic Oath, they whisper in unison. Citius, altius, fortius, wham. Dingle-dong, zip-zap, hot potato, clam. I vow to play fair and to never once frown, and to whistle for help should my opponent fall down. And though I may hear silly accents from athletes the world around, I vow to never laugh at them because of how they sound. This oath I now make, this oath I will keep. And should I ever break it, may I be killed by a Jeep. Olympics! Olympics! Hurrah!

Thank you, you may be seated, Regis and Rango say. Now please rise and continue rising as we commence with the Parade of Nations.

You have always liked the Parade of Nations because it helps you tell the difference between Japanese people and French people.

Leading off the parade is the delegation from Denmark.

Next in the parade is the delegation from Saudi Arabia.

Here comes Romania!

Ooo, theres the delegation from Morocco!

Next, here are the athletes from Sweden.

There goes Russia!

Ugh, theres the delegation from Belgium.

Shit! There goes Jamaica, and youre supposed to be out there with them. Oh, well. This whole things pretty dumb anyway.

After a literal eternity, the long-ass parade draws to a close.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, the announcer says. JOINING US TODAY IS A VERY SPECIAL GUEST. YOU KNOW HIM FOR HIS WORK AS THE ACCLAIMED HOST OF SURVIVOR ON CBS, AS WELL AS FROM HIS 2013 DAYTIME TALK SHOW. HERE TO LIGHT THE OLYMPIC FLAME AND OFFICIALLY COMMENCE THE 31ST OLYMPIAD, PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING JEFF PROBST!

Everyone stands and cranes their necks in hopes of catching a glimpse of Jeff. But 30 or 40 seconds pass, and he still doesnt come out. The announcer calls his name one more time. Still nothing. An awkward silence washes over the stadium, and people start getting restless.

Holy fucking shit, a woman screams. Someone fucking killed Jeff Probst!

You wake up just as the Parade of Nations is finishing. Now its time for the lighting of the Olympic Torch.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, the announcer says. JOINING US TODAY IS A VERY SPECIAL GUEST. YOU KNOW HIM FOR HIS WORK AS THE ACCLAIMED HOST OF SURVIVOR ON CBS, AS WELL AS FROM HIS 2013 DAYTIME TALK SHOW. HERE TO LIGHT THE OLYMPIC FLAME AND OFFICIALLY COMMENCE THE 31ST OLYMPIAD, PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING JEFF PROBST!

Everyone stands and cranes their necks in hopes of catching a glimpse of Jeff. But 30 or 40 seconds pass, and he still doesnt come out. The announcer calls his name one more time. Still nothing. An awkward silence washes over the stadium, and people start getting restless.

Holy fucking shit, a woman screams. Someone fucking killed Jeff Probst!

You push people out of the way, explaining that youre fastest man in the world Usain Bolt and need to take a look at this dead body.

When you get up close to it, yup, its Jeff Probsts corpse all right. Looks like the Olympic Strangler has struck againand at the Opening Ceremonies nonetheless! What a dick move.

Guh, guh.

You look down, and Calm Duane has found yet another note from the killer.

I know I lied before / When I claimed I was Bob Costas. / But this time Im not lying / Im actually Bob Costas.

Hmm, interesting.