RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JULY 29: Birds sit on a barrier (L) set up in an attempt to block garbage from flowing downstream along the polluted Cunha canal which flows into the notoriously polluted Guanabara Bay, site of sailing events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on July 29, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Rio government promised to clean 80 percent of pollution and waste from the bay in time for the games but admits that goal now is unlikely to be reached. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer went for a swim in the Hudson River and contaminated Elaine’s mattress with a foul stench? Like most Seinfeld episodes, that was a good one. I don’t know if there is a Brazilian version or equivalent to Seinfeld in the South American nation, but if there is I have to imagine a similar episode might focus on the polluted waters of Rio. These same sewage-filled waters are supposed to be used for summer Olympic events next year, but there is going to have to be a massive clean-up to make the waters sanitary for the world-class athletes preparing for the games.

The Associated Press recently published a report on the state of the water in Rio De Janeiro, and it is not pretty. From the AP report:

A new round of testing by The Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains. That means there is no dilution factor in the bay or lagoon where events will take place and no less risk to the health of athletes like sailors competing farther from the shore.

The AP has been monitoring the state of the water in Rio De Janiero for a while now, and the troubling reality is as long as they have been doing so there has been no sign of improvement in the state of the water. It’s even gotten worse, which is alarming on so many levels for a world-class event like the Olympics. This just should not be.

The water is so bad, one Olympic sailor — Erik Heil of Germany — had to be treated for MRSA following an Olympic test event back in August. This is not a good look, and time is already running short on ensuring those Olympic athletes descending on Brazil for the summer game swill go home without the fear of taking a serious infection home with them as an unwanted souvenir.

When it comes to the Olympics, the host city and nation must provide for the safety of the athletes and fans as best it possibly can. This includes by protecting all from terror and stadium mishaps to ensuring nobody gets a disease on their home soil.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.

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