Safety Concerns for Water in Rio


The Olympics are known for bringing the best athletes from around the world together to compete, but little do people know about the danger that lurks in Rio’s waters.The 2016 Olympics are held in Rio de Janero, Brazil, although the country is suffering from a major pollution problem.

Bodies of water where many of the athletes will compete are contaminated with raw sewage. Human trash and waste fill the depths of the water that athletes are expected to swim in. In my opinion, I think that the Olympic Games organization should have chosen a place for the 2016 Olympics to be held in a place that has suitable environments for all athletes to compete in.

Results from the Independent, a 16 month long study of Rio’s lakes and streams was conducted by The Associated Press, reveal that if a person swallows as little as three teaspoons from Rio’s lakes or streams, depending on their immune system strength, they could be infected with different levels of sicknesses.

So many viruses and bacteria from human waste occupy these bodies of water that experts aren’t sure how much illness from them could be inflicted and what the specific contaminant is. I think that the government seriously needs to get their heads on straight and take responsibility for and control of this serious health and environmental problem. They do have conservation efforts but that is clearly not their priority, these efforts should have been increased before the Olympic Games if they hoped to have safe and successful competitions.

Athletes have tried taking multitudes of antibiotics in hope of shielding themselves from contamination, but since antibiotics are useless against viruses, so are the athletes’ efforts. Other athletes wore plastic suits to limit exposure but the suits do not protect against the dangers of swallowing a mouthful of illnesses. I do not think the athletes should be competing there, they have trained years for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, not raw sewage.

The only way to protect people from the water is by not going in. If people do not submerge their head in the waters the odds of them becoming patient zero are greatly reduced, although that might work for leisurely swimmers, it’s not ideal for the Olympic athletes.