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SBD Global/May 20, 2014/Olympics

Rio's Polluted Water Draws Complaints Ahead Of 2016 Summer Olympics

Brazil's Guanabara Bay "offers the kind of a postcard image Rio’s authorities want to celebrate as hosts of the 2016 Summer Olympics," according to Romero & Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. But "it has become a focal point of complaints, turning Rio’s polluted waters into a symbol of frustrations with the troubled preparations for the Olympics." In one "typically blunt assessment" of the site for the Olympic regatta, Germany’s sailing team said, "Welcome to the dump that is Rio." Brazilians "training here agree." Thomas Low-Beer, 24, a Brazilian Olympic hopeful who sails in the bay, said, "It can get really disgusting, with dog carcasses in some places and the water turning brown from sewage contamination." Well-financed efforts to clean up the bay "have proved disappointing for decades, undercut by mismanagement and allegations of corruption." Calling the bay "dark, brown and stinking," Former Brazilian sailor Lars Grael, who won two Olympic medals, said that "he had encountered human corpses on four occasions while sailing in the bay." He told reporters that "officials should move the sailing events to a resort area hours away by car" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/18).
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