Some long for Chicago: All of the violence, none of the diseases.
A new study may cause other athletes to reconsider their sports ambitions.
Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5.
The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio’s most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals.
They also heighten concerns that Rio’s sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.
A study published in late 2014 had shown the presence of the super bacteria – classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an urgent public health threat – off one of the beaches in Guanabara Bay, where sailing and wind-surfing events will be held during the Games.
The bacteria have also been found on the famous beaches.
Some of the city’s top beaches – including Copacabana and Ipanema – have been affected, according to one of the studies, which was reportedly reviewed by scientists at a San Diego conference.
The other study, conducted by a Brazilian lab, found the genes of the super bacteria in a river that empties into Guanabara Bay, where a number of Olympic events will take place.
“These bacteria should not be present in these waters,” Renata Picao, a professor at Rio’s federal university, was quoted as saying. “They should not be present in the sea.”
Brazilian officials had initially pledged to greatly improve the long-standing pollution problem in time for the Games but have since acknowledged they will fall short of their goal.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that Chicago was once proposed as the site of the 2016 Olympics, until Team Obama went there to work their charm.
Michelle Obama gave an impassioned speech before the International Olympics Committee. President Obama traveled overseas — in the middle of debates over health care and Afghanistan — to make his personal pitch to bring the 2016 Olympics to his hometown.
But despite their efforts, the Obamas will come home empty-handed as Chicago’s dreams of hosting the Games evaporated in the first round. The news stunned those awaiting the announcement, many of whom thought the battle was between Chicago, Illinois, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Few of us wondered at that time why Rio was tapped.
Chicago Sun-Times sports writer Rick Morrissey suggests its time to run from Rio.
It’s true that the run-up to every recent Olympics has come with doom-and-gloom predictions. But this one is particularly dark. If Chicago had been successful in its bid to get the 2016 Games, the rest of the world would rightly be asking about Laquan McDonald and the gap between rich and poor in Chicago. But there would have been enough political and financial muscle to make the Olympics work. And besides clinical feelings of despair over our elected officials, there would have been no health issues.
These Games feel dangerous. Time to run from Rio in world-record time.
The motto they should have used during the bid? Chicago: All of the violence, none of the diseases.DONATE
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