Can Sailing In The 2016 Olympics Kill You?

A close friend called and said a local sailor said he is sure someone is going to die sailing in Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  According to physicians, should the athletes take a variety of prophylactic antibiotics and immunizations, “They’ll be fine.”  Which is it?

Even when it was announced in December 16, 2014 that there is a Super Bacteria Enzyme KPC in Guanabara Bay waters, near the regatta marina, that is drug resistant requiring hospitalization to treat, the symptoms include “urinary, gastrointestinal and pulmonary infections,” according to the BBC.  Death was not described as an outcome.

But suddenly on December 25, 2014 a report came out of California that popular sailor and surfer Barry Ault died from an infection gained from surfing in polluted waters off San Diego, California according to ABC News via World News.

The Pacific Institute reported that there are somewhere between an estimated 2.2 to 5.0 million water related deaths worldwide annually.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that many of these deaths are ingested in untreated drinking water causing diarrea, leading to dehydration and malnutrition, mainly in children, leading to their estimate of 2.2 million deaths.  The key is, this occurs in places in the world where sanitary conditions are lacking.  Just like conditions reported in Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Or as Unicef reports, 1,800 children under age 5 die every day from diarrea attained through dirty water.

The International Olympic Committee, International Sailing Federation, Rio Organizing Committee and at least one of the 140 Member National Authorities are remaining silent on water quality tests.  No one is producing full spectrum water quality tests including disease, heavy or light metals, industrial wastes, bacteria, or any other unsafe products in the water in Guanabara Bay.  If there is nothing to hide, than why do these tests remain hidden?

Those same organizationse remain silent on any medical treatment for the sailors.  When will they provide a table of the medications recommended, and which athletes have been treated with each (it’s their body, they can reject any medications, it’s their call)?  Since this is no big deal to to inject athletes with drugs and for them to pop pills to sail in Guanabara Bay, why keep it secret who has, and who has not accepted treatment?

The secrecy in all of this is appalling.  Some have said that one attraction of watching auto racing is someone might die in a car crash which keeps the audience on the edges of their seats.  Is Olympic Sailing in Guanabara Bay in 2016 going to provide that same attraction, waiting to see if someone might die?

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