More trouble for those murky waters
DISCLAIMER: Please read this blog on an empty stomach. Most of the terms used in this blog are not acceptable at lunch or dinner conversations.
According to a brief piece in the Chicago Tribune on January 27, the key waterways in and around Rio are still not looking great at close range.
Sure, the NBC and global cameras are chomping at the bit as far as showcasing those simply gorgeous views showcasing the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain located nearby.
But when you start getting closer to the waterways along Guanabara Bay, it paints a totally different picture. A rather disgusting, ugly, horrible, and deplorable picture still exists around and beneath most of the surface.
The six paragraph article mentioned about Peter Sowrey, former CEO of World Sailing being told to be tight-zipped about the actual condition of the water and whether any rowers, sailors, or swimmers during that leg of the triathlon could suffer any type of disease just from being in the water in the first place.
Sowrey mentioned briefly,
“I was told to gag myself on the subject.”
Andy Hunt succeeded Sowrey as CEO in mid-January, but not before trying to ask the IOC to relocate the sailing venues to Buzios, a cleaner venue more than 100 miles away from Rio but, “has been host to large sailing events.”
But the IOC refused to budge and Sowrey was asked to leave in December 2015.
What Andy Hunt and others will be facing come August is a big time quagmire. The end of the article mentioned about the many dangerous health risks that athletes could be facing, including “the viral equivalent of raw sewage.”
It is so sickening that I am truly appalled and totally frustrated by reading this news that it has come to this.
(After doing some slow breathing and looking away from the monitor for a few seconds so I could clear my head…)
I recall reading a similar article online from the New York Times in 2013 quoting some EPA officials that mentioned it would take anywhere from eight to ten years to get the water to come close to United States standards (again, please bear in mind–this article came out just days after many residents and businesses were crying afoul over the horrible drinking water situation that has plagued the town of Flint, Michigan).
The athletes do not deserve to do this. If we see reports from the top NBC News reporters and medical correspondents that will be stationed in Rio during the Games, I wonder if the average American will finally come to grips with this horrible situation taking place.
I will close this blog post with two questions.
Simple in context, but difficult to find a honest, true answer:
- When Rio was chosen as the Olympic site in October 2009 during the IOC vote in Copenhagen, Denmark–work should have started shortly thereafter to address the issue. It did not come to light until two or three years later. Why would the IOC not change the water venue, for simple safety reasons–both for officials and the athletes?
- More importantly, is it really worth showcasing that type of deplorable environment to the world stage? With Brazil having the fifth largest population in the world (where National Geographic Magazine featured in a 2014 map their population at 202,657,000 people), it just goes to wonder how things will hopefully come together when the chips are down.