Is Rio Ready for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Games, TEST RESULTS.

With 55 nations competing this past week in Rio at the 2015 Aquece Test Event (their words, not mine), and 380 sailors, in 10 different classes, in 240 boats, and 105 races over 7 days of competition, for those of you who are interested in the race results, here they are.  A special shout out to Anne Haeger (East Troy, WI) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, CA) USA 470 Team Gold Medal Winner.

For the rest of you who wish to know if Guanabara Bay in Rio is capable of providing a Fair Competition with perfect facilities just like the gymnasts, weightlifters, shot-put and other land based athletes shall have, here is what has been reported:

 “WHO has … advised the IOC to widen the scientific base of indicators to include viruses” 8/1/2015 The Washington Post. "the IOC will be sticking to World Health Organization guidelines recommending only bacterial testing." 8/12/2015 AP. "World Health Organization's top water expert said Friday the body "never advised against viral testing" for Rio de Janeiro's polluted waterways" 8/14/2015 AP.
"Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing "USOC doctors including immunologists who said that the water is safe for sailors to compete in.  The advice was sent to the athletes and were sworn to secrecy."" 10/24/2014 ChicagoNow ""Our team had a few isolated incidents of a fast-moving bug which impacted a few of our athletes," said Josh Adams, managing director of U.S. Olympic Sailing.Adams said 15 American athletes were in Rio, but declined to give a specific number who fell ill." 8/17/2015 AP.
"the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) medical team has received only two medical cases over the first five days of competition." 8/20/2015 BBC. "Cho is one of four athletes to have "officially" fallen ill so far at the week's Olympic sailing test event in Rio de Janeiro's polluted Guanabara Bay." 8/19/2015 AP.
"The men's and women's events in the 470 two-person dinghy last Friday had to be moved from the Bridge course because of "objects in the water," the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) said in a statement."  8/25/2015 AFP.
"That happened during another test event Saturday, when two Brazilian sailors' Nacra 17 boat tipped over after their rudder snagged on a garbage bag."  8/25/2015 AFP.
"The head of sailing’s governing body threatened yesterday to move all Olympic sailing events out of polluted Guanabara Bay unless the water is cleaner and floating rubbish is removed for next year’s Rio Games.
“If we can’t get the water to a level, then we’ll move it outside (to the Atlantic Ocean) — for sure,” Peter Sowrey told The Associated Press on the final day of an Olympic test event." 8/24/2015 AP/Macau Daily Times.“Watching the test sailing event moment by moment, Sowrey said there was too much ‘raw sewage being pumped into the bay and too much floating debris that makes fair racing impossible”.  8/25/2015 TJC Newspaper.
Was this not the same thing said back on 4/24/2015 as reported in the AP/USA Today?The world governing body of sailing threatened Friday to move all of its events for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics out of the city's Guanabara Bay if action isn't taken quickly to clean the heavily polluted body of water that many sailors have described as an "open sewer."Alastair Fox, the head of competitions for the governing body ISAF, said sailing officials had become "frustrated with it all" after seeing little done to clean the bay of raw sewage and floating debris."If we have to race all the races outside the bay, if that's what it comes to, to ensure a fair regatta, then that's something we're going to explore and could do," Fox said in a telephone interview.
"South Korean wind surfer Wonwoo Cho got his first ride in an ambulance the other day, taken to a Rio de Janeiro hospital with dehydration, vomiting, a headache and dizziness.Cho is one of four athletes to have "officially" fallen ill so far at the week's Olympic sailing test event in Rio de Janeiro's polluted Guanabara Bay. Officials acknowledge the reporting is incomplete with many teams and some of the 300 athletes skittish about disclosing illnesses.The 20-year-old Cho on Wednesday was back to "50-60 percent" strength and out training, 24 hours after his hospital stay." 8/19/2015 AP/Boston Herald. Wonwoo Cho missed two out of seven races due to this illness.
"Paul Henderson, the former president of ISAF and a former IOC member, said the event should be moved." 8/22/2015 NBC.
In the 105 races, 33 times boats did not cross the finish line, without explanation (not including two races where the wind died and competitors did not finish as a result). ISAF Results.
German sailor returns with bacterial infections requiring surgery.  8/27/2015 Sail-World.

In spite of the above, the International Olympic Committee's latest statement is:

IOC insists water will be safe for athletes at Rio 2016 Olympics (8/13/2015 DailyMail.com).

The International Sailing Federation's latest statement 8/15/2015 is (AP / USA Today):

Governing body the ISAF is adamant about racing in Guanabara Bay, which offers a postcard setting with Rio's famous Sugarloaf Mountain in the background. The location puts sailing in the heart of the city, offers ISAF possible commercial benefits, and will delight television rights holders that pay billions to the International Olympic Committee.

The Rio Organizing Committee's latest statement 8/25/2015 is (AP/Dunya News):

"All six courses were tested successfully this week. We are working together on plan A," Rio Olympic committee spokesman Philip Wilkinson told AFP.

CONCLUSION

No land based sport has such a table with 15 items in it as above.  With athletes falling ill, needing surgery from disease, and running into trash stopping their progress up the field of play is identical to what happened in the 2014 Aquece Test Event.  There was no report last year of having a field of play shut down due to an overwhelming amount of trash on the water, but it happened twice in the 2015 Test Event.

Promises of improved water quality were made back then.  The jibber jabber over water quality tests is something to take everyone's eye off the ball.  No one has said there are lines drawn in the sand, "If the parts per million exceed "This Amount" we must move the venue.  Without limits defined, this is just a political sideshow.

The 2015 Aquece Test Event has proven again that Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro FAILS at the ability to provide a Fair Contest for all the worlds athletes.

IOC, Rio2016, ISAF your words of assurances have worn us out.  Your continued statement that "The athletes safety and health is our utmost concern" is beautiful propaganda and Public Relations to tell the media, but you have shown no ability to assure the safety and health of the competitors.  It is clear that you do not care about the athletes.

Your time has run out, it is time to move the Sailing Games out of Rio, NOW.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment