By: Loren Haas
Olympic officials drained and refilled a pool that turned green on Sunday, mere hours before it would be used for synchronized swimming. The mysterious green color of the pool has been attributed to an accidental hydrogen peroxide dump into the water that neutralized some of the chlorine and allowed algae and other “organic compounds” to grow.
The pool, which was being used for water polo at the time, had mysteriously turned green along with the diving pool. Rio officials stated that they spent four days trying to clean the pools before deciding to drain out the water. Water polo was moved to the aquatics stadium, and synchronized swimming continued as scheduled.
The change of color in the pool water is just one of many issues the Rio Olympics has faced, both inside the stadium and out.
Rio’s government failed to meet its goal of clearing 80 percent of sewage from its water for the games. While sailors who have been using the water report that it is “pretty good,” that has not stopped athletes from finding pieces of wood and plastic bags in the water during events. Teams like the United States Rowing Team have been wearing antimicrobial suits during practices.
Accommodations in Rio have presented equal problems. Journalists and athletes alike have reported collapsed sinks, shattered mirrors and poorly assembled beds in their hotel rooms. The Australian team of 700 members stayed outside the Olympic Village for two days due to problems with the electricity and plumbing.
“We believe a bed is not vital for sleep. Fine tuned athletes can sleep standing up,” said Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut, mocking the small size of the beds in the Rio hotel rooms.
More than one athlete has had to put up shower curtains in their hotel rooms to prevent flooding, and tape has become a necessary resource more than once, being used to patch shower curtains, toilet seats and trash bags. Team China has released videos and pictures of its athletes hanging shower curtains and repairing their hotel rooms with tape, posted with the caption “Tape is something athletes can’t neglect in #Rio2016 campaign. It can do you a lot of good in the Olympic village.”
Journalist Jeff McTainish from New Zealand posted a video online that showed his shower had no head but rather a screw-like spout where the head was supposed to be. He later shared images of his bathroom and hallway in his hotel room flooded.
Some teams are not even staying in the hotels Rio has provided. The United States basketball teams, according to NPR, is staying on a luxury cruise liner. This cruise liner, named The Silver Cloud, will be staying in the Rio harbour for the remainder of the Games.
The 2016 Olympic Spokesman Mario Andrada has stated that the pool, after being drained, is “perfect and good for the competition.” However, the issues with Rio’s facilities run deep, and it is unknown if all of them can be resolved before the Games are over.