2016 Olympics Has Brought the Sport of Sailing into Disrepute, It's Time for the Olympic Industry to Resign

When any person decides to race a sailboat for pleasure, sport, or for financial gain, every person agrees to abide by the written rules of the sport of sailing.  One requirement is that no sailor shall bring the sport into disrepute (Rule 69.1).  Failure to comply with this rule is found in a hearing,where the individual can be banned from sailboat racing for a time period (many times we see 6 months to 5 years, sometimes for life).  However, this rule doesn’t apply to those who run the sport.

The Rio Organizing Committee (ROC) proposed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2009 to hold the sailing portion of the 2016 Olympic Games in Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro.  The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) which governs the sport of sailing worldwide, who writes the rules, which is a member of the IOC, accepted this venue.  Rio was awarded the games in 2009.  Did ISAF object to sending sailors from around the world into the fetid waters of Rio?  No.

The deplorable water conditions were shared with the Member National Authorities (MNA’s), like US Sailing, Yachting Australia, Mexican Federation of Sailing, South African Sailing, Chinese Yachting Association, German Sailing Association, and the rest around the globe.  Did these organizations who determine which of their athletes will be sent to Rio in 2016 object?  No.

Then as the athletes were told about it, read about it, got there and smelled the water in practices which is like living next to a sewage treatment plant, did they, or their parents who are personally vested in their health, object?  No.

Why is it that the entire “Olympic Industry” all falls in line, and accepts whatever the people on top tell them to do?  The answer is one word: M-O-N-E-Y.

The IOC has a $4 billion quadrennial income.  ISAF gets a large portion of their budget funded ($3 million) from the IOC.  The United States Olympic Committee (USOC – $200 million budget) gets a portion of their monies from the IOC, other is raised through donations of citizens.  When it comes to the MNAs, each is funded differently.  Some governments fund their MNAs which goes to their athletes, some governments have their national lotteries fund their MNAs which goes to their athletes, while in the U.S. some funding comes from the USOC, other is raised by US Sailing as charitable tax deductible contributions ($3 million annual budget) which goes to the athletes, and the individual athletes do their own fundraising as well.

So why do they all remain silent?  Because not one of them is going to bite the hand that feeds them.  No matter how deplorable the conditions are.

Here’s something for all of you in the Olympic Industry who agreed, accepted, or did not object in 2009, way before the rest of the world began to learn about this fiasco in late 2013 – All of you should drop on your sword (there are Kings that are part of ISAF, to those, this is only meant figuratively).  All of you have agreed to bring sailboat racing into disrepute by remaining silent.  You all need to resign your positions immediately.

I have no use for any of you.  You have embarrassed me, and the sailors of the world by agreeing to have the sailing portion of the Olympics sail in a cesspool in front of a projected worldwide audience of over 3 billion people during the summer games of 2016.  All of you within the Olympic Industry who should have stood up five years ago and said then that ‘Guanabara Bay is unacceptable’ are a disgrace to humanity.  Especially since it is coming out now that the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao, China were sailed in heavily polluted waters and is nothing new to you.  You could have stopped this long ago.

So, since there are Kings and such, maybe they don’t know any better?  The President of US Sailing for over three years is Dr. Thomas Hubbell, MD a family physician who has remained silent on this fiasco that has been brewing.

This is how absurd your “ideals” look, picture it –

  • At the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony, there are 100 garbage trucks that all back up synchronized, fireworks going off, laser lights zipping back and forth to some music into the center of the stadium dumping their loads of fetid trash simultaneously.  The athletes from around the world swarm into the piles of thigh deep trash, some pulling dead dogs and human corpses and holding them over their heads in triumph during this scavenger hunt.  Some athletes are gagging and throwing up at the overpowering garbage smell in the hot summer with 100,000 people in the audience wearing respirators.
  • Swimming, diving, and water polo occur in a pool that has all toilets in the building discharge into it.
  • Soccer, golf, and rugby are done on a field where cows graze and leave their cow patties and not cleaned up.
  • Track, cycling, pentathlon and triathlon are sent through the garbage dump on a long winding track.
  • Sailing is competed for in an open trash strewn sewer.

Do you see it now?  Do you see how ridiculous you look?  How horrible you make sailing look?  You chose this, you accepted this, you moved this concept forward.  You did not object.

The evidence to convict the Olympic Industry of bringing sailing into disrepute is all over the media today, it’s an open and shut case:

  • 12/20/14 Saturday Night Live (Weekly American Comedy Show) from 4:47 – 4:30 (or 0:26 – 0:43 if hovering over timeline)

– There’s already a rumor going around that they are trying to disguise HAZMAT suits as official Olympic Sailing outfits.
– It’s all Bush’s fault.
– Maybe the fish couldn’t swim and drowned….

  • August 2 – 9, 2014 was a “Test Event” in Rio, sailors from around the world came.  With the “pollution story, ” the media descended looking for an angle to write upon.  Many athletes were disappointed that the media did not ask how they did that day, how tough it was to read the wind, current or tide, all the media asked of competitors was about the pollution.
  • 6/5/14 CNN – Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic under scrutiny:  Biologist Mario Moscatelli said, “You’re going to put high-performance athletes in this water, that isn’t even water, it’s a toilet.”
  • And any other stories written by reputable news organizations such as Reuters, AP and others on the sailing portion of the 2016 Olympics since November 2013.

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