Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today's Olympic update

... comes from Rio de Janeiro, where preparations for next summer's Games are proceeding apace.

Well, not apace, exactly. And not proceeding, exactly.

What is proceeding, and apace, are some pretty nasty intestinal disorders for prospective Olympic athletes training on what's supposed to be the sailing, shell and kayaking venues for next summer's games. Apparently, there's stuff in the water at those venues. And it's not good stuff.

The Associated Press reports that, since Rio does very little sewage collection and treatment, much of it gets dumped raw into open-air ditches that empty into streams and rivers which feed the Olympic watersports sites. The AP conducted four separate studies starting in March, and has discovered dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria in the water at those sites.

It's a problem Brazilian authorities have promised to fix with a major overhaul of the city's waterways. Whether that can happen before next summer, of course, is the question of the day.

In the meantime, here's what visitors to Rio can expect, according to the AP account:  "But the stench of raw sewage still greets travelers touching down at Rio's international airport. Prime beaches remain deserted because the surf is thick with putrid sludge, and periodic die-offs leave the Olympic lake littered with rotting fish."

Let the Games begin!

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