Pre-Olympic rowing and sailing events in Rio a month later resulted in a high number of illnesses among the athletes, with one Olympic sailor from Germany claiming he contracted MRSA so severe he had to undergo surgery. Some of the athletes in the test events resorted to pouring bleach on their water bottles and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash between events. In fact, the water is so disgusting that coaches are telling sailors to wash their hands after touching wet gear during the competition. The US rowing team is even wearing special suits knitted with antimicrobial material in the hopes of reducing exposure.
Unfortunately, with the competition only weeks away, it’s far too late to move the venue to a more suitable location. Hopefully this will be a lesson for the International Olympic Committee in the future — choosing a venue with known public safety issues based on the reassurance that the problem will be solved a few years down the line is a terrible idea.