RIO DE JANEIRO:
Sailors at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be protected by a fleet of special trash collecting boats, said organisers, admitting there is no time to resolve a serious pollution problem.
Most preparations for the Olympics, the world’s biggest sporting event, are on track to be completed for the August 5, 2016 opening ceremony, said Rio2016 organising committee spokesman Mario Andrada.
Asked to rate overall progress on a scale of one to 10, he said: “We are about nine.”
The most problematic issue appears to be the stunningly located, but filthy Guanabara Bay, which will host sailing and windsurfing events.
Alarmed by garbage and raw sewage pouring out of Rio and reports of dangerous bacteria, prominent sailors have called for the contest site to be relocated beyond the bay in cleaner Atlantic waters.
Andrada acknowledged that Rio de Janeiro’s promise in its original Olympics hosting bid to clean Guanabara was not feasible, but he ruled out changing plans.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.
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