While the distinct green tinge of the diving pool may have captured recent headlines, our G is the venue chosen for the sailing and rowing events, Guanabara Bay.
Those beautiful aerial shots of Rio may have us dreaming of beach life, but the scene’s not so pretty if you take a closer look at Guanabara. Sadly, the bay has been polluted for years with the city’s garbage and raw sewage. While the odd shoe, bits of wood and plastic bags may not prove hugely problematic obstacles for the sailors, it’s the bacteria that’s been keeping them up at night. In 2015 a German athlete was treated for the superbug MRSA after sailing the bay, and initial water tests found disease-causing viruses at levels 1.7 million times higher than that considered “highly alarming”.
However, there’s been a huge effort by Rio to clean up the bay and the waters have noticeably improved, with one city official recently stating there was “no doubt” the venue meets required standards.
And, after that unfortunate capsizing by Serbia’s rowers on saturday, we hope that strong crosswinds and choppy waters are the only real obstacles these athletes have to face.