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The Olympic Sailing Venue is Littered with Dead Animals and Debris

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With the start of the Olympics just 17 days away, the International Olympic Committee insists that Rio is fully prepared to host the games. But some disgusting new images, which show the Olympic sailing venue covered in filth, suggest otherwise.

The recent photos, taken by the Australian Associated Press, show rampant pollution along the banks of Rio’s Guanabara Bay. In an interview with the AAP, Australian sailor Mat Belcher, who’s been navigating the waters in preparation for the games, said he’s encountered all manners of debris along the course. He’s claims that he’s even spotted some dead animals.

“There’s all sorts of rubbish,” Belcher told the AAP. “Dead animals, furniture, plastic bags, a lot of coke cans.”

Belcher is particularly fearful of the impact that the dirty waters could have on competition, having been forced to his boat to clear trash off of his boat during a 2014 race in Rio. Though Belcher and his partner Will Ryan recovered to capture the gold in that event, Belcher fears that debris could have a “massive, massive impact,” on the sailing competition.

A July 3 report in The New York Times suggests that sailing might not be the only venue unfit for competition. That story included pictures taken in June of the beach volleyball arena in Copacabana, which looked to be nowhere near completion.

Good thing the IOC can focus all their attention on infrastructure, and not have to worry about things like a doping scandal, or athlete defections.

 

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