Competing rowers from all over the world will not only have to race towards the finish line ahead of their rivals in the Rio Olympics 2016, but they will also have to avoid all the feces floating around the water.
Even before the ceremonies opened in August, organizers of the Rio Olympic Games were facing a major scandal. According to the reports, the waters are so polluted from the sewage that flows into it that seeing poop is normal. Trash and other waste are also a common sight.
Polluted water turns Rio sailing boats brown ahead of Olympic Games https://t.co/oQKgCbFUlA
— The Independent (@Independent) July 5, 2016
This is nothing new, of course.
The international community is well aware of the situation they are going into for the Rio Olympics 2016 in Brazil.
In December last year, the Associated Press ran a report about the dangers of Rio’s oceans, rivers, and waterways. Athletes who will compete far away from the beach may find that they are no less safe.
The report quoted Kristina Mena, an associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, as saying that the bacteria and viruses are largely widespread in Brazil.
“We’re talking about an extreme environment, where the pollution is so high that exposure is imminent and the chance of infection very likely.”
If that doesn’t shock any rower participating in the Rio Olympics 2016, how about encountering dead bodies in the water? An earlier news account reported of a “mutilated body” that was found on the Copacabana beach, the site where the beach volleyball is proposed to be held.
“The horrific discovery comes as Olympics organizers deal with a raft of problems including severe pollution in the venues for sailing, rowing, and other water sports,” CBS News said.
Marko Moscatelli, a local biologist, hoped that the organizers of the Rio Olympics 2016 and the government are doing everything they can to avoid being the laughingstock of the world.
“We had seven years, and our authorities didn’t do almost anything because this is a toilet,” he said, referring to the water.
According to the study, the waters in Rio are nearly two million times more dangerous than typical beaches in the United States.
Participating rowers from around the world are taking precautions to make sure they won’t contact any disease from the poop-filled waters at the Rio Olympics 2016. For example, the American athletes have teams on standby, as well as disinfecting stations to protect them from diseases. They will also don special clothing that can ward off bacteria.
Nevertheless, the Huffington Post said that these efforts would be for naught.
“The special bacteria-killing suit can’t destroy certain bacterias quickly enough,” the article said. “And in the heat of competition, rowers are certain to have water splashed onto their face, into their eyes, nostrils and mouth. It’s part of the sport.”
Meanwhile, rowers will likely have to get used to the polluted water at the Rio Olympics. According to RT, organizers have already sent flyers that they won’t be able to hit their target of cleaning the waters of sewage. From an initial 80 percent figure, they are now down to 65 percent.
And the concerns are very real, enough to consider just canceling the Rio Olympics 2016 altogether.
Already, athletes who participated in test events reported of getting sick. According to the initial data, about 7 percent to 9 percent of the participating sailors had to call in medical assistance. That might seem small, but it’s more than half of the 3.6 percent maximum illness rate for swimming set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Health concerns surrounding the Zika virus have already led to calls for the World Health Organization to push for Rio Games to be postponed or relocated,” the report added.
[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]