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eat shit and sail

EI2G9297As the Brazil ‘pre-pre-test event’ wraps up, one of our deep cover Olympic hopefuls tells us things are nowhere near as rosy in Rio as we’ve been led to believe.  Neither we nor our source is looking to screw over the Olympic dream, but we’re not going to stand by while people get sick, either, and we don’t want anyone to forget that Rio’s Mayor has already said that plans to permanently reduce the shit levels in the Bay – currently some 200 times worse than US water quality levels – billed as a major legacy of the Games, would not happen.  Like Russia and China, the Brazil games look to once again expose the IOC as a body that cares only about one thing: Cash.

Photo of a 49er crew taking an accidental and potentially dangerous swim in a feces-filled stretch of water near the Rio airport, and here’s our inside report:

This place IS NOT CLEAN, and after a bit of rain hit town, we saw some seriously horrendous shit in the water.  The smell of poo as you sail into the harbor every day is revolting and like nothing any of us have experienced – but no one is allowed to talk about it, and we’re getting annoyed with a bunch of recent media that says how nice the water is.  We have been told specifically NOT to talk to anyone about the pollution, and always to refer the matter to a higher authority. Even coaches are not allowed to have cameras aboard for fear they will capture dead animals or some of the other shocking stuff we’ve seen.

What is really happening is that people are getting sick.  There are few things worse than knowing you ingested fecal matter -and all that might come along with it – on the race course.  I’ve had the Rio Runs since day two.  Does being an Olympian really mean you need to eat shit – literally?

This place is really beautiful, but I don’t think it’s right for all these people to be jumping on some kind of “Rio Is Clean” bandwagon when it’s the sailors and on-water staff who will suffer the consequences.  While Organizers are making some effort, they must be spurred into action to do more than temporary fixes.  Two of the main rivers that flow into Guanabara Bay – the ones that carry ALL the shit from all the hillside favelas – have been dammed up ust for our event.  A few days after everyone is gone, they will open them back up, and locals expect the bay to become as bad as it has ever been – so bad that the government will shut down the beaches for days.

 

August 11th, 2014

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