With the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics just days away and anticipation mounting, are you feeling a twinge of regret for not being in Rio? Perhaps you won’t after reading this description of Rio from the LA Times:
The mood in Brazil during the run-up to the Rio Games has been tempered for months — the Zika epidemic, the country’s political turmoil and the looming sense that the nation’s interest in playing international host may have peaked two years ago during the World Cup. But the quality of the beaches and bays where Olympians will swim, row and sail has been a nagging issue here for years…Athletes have responded with varied precautions. Some began taking antibiotics before heading to Brazil; others are planning to wear special anti-pollution microbial suits or have simply vowed to do their utmost to keep their mouths closed.
The BBC was less circumspect than the LA Times in describing Rio’s bay as: “a stinking mass of sewage, household rubbish and industrial pollutants.”
Welcome to the 2016 Olympic games.
Read more from Bob Costas quoted in the WSJ here:
NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, speaking Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif., at a Television Critics Association panel on the Olympics, as quoted by Entertainment Weekly:
One thing for certain [is that] every bit of competition that takes place on open water—marathon swimming, sailing—you’ve got to talk about the condition of the water. These athletes are dealing with it, and in some cases, the best they’ve been told is, “Try to keep your mouth closed.” That’s rather difficult when you are swimming even in your backyard pool, let alone in open water, or, “Don’t put your head under the water.” So I guess some new techniques will be required. I’m not trying to be facetious here, but it’s going to be impossible in some cases not to address some of the issues that have come up before the Olympics, because they will directly intersect with the competition.