A 2016 Rio Olympics venue is full of human waste

Days after the head of the International Olympic Committee identified Rio de Janeiro’s polluted waterways as the No. 1 challenge facing the 2016 Olympics, an Associated Press investigation revealed just how dangerously filthy these waters really are.

The AP tested the water and found that Guanabara Bay, Copacabana beach, and Rodrigo de Freitas Lake — all of which will host watersports events next summer — aren’t safe for swimming or boating, and contain concentrations of viruses that are “roughly equivalent to raw sewage.”

“As a result, Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach,” the AP reports.

The pollution is the result of untreated human waste pouring into the waterways. It has been a public health issue in Rio for decade, but with the world’s biggest sporting event 12 months away, Rio’s water is literally being put under the microscope.

Looking at recent photos from these polluted venues, it’s alarming that they will be hosting the Olympics in 12 months.

Guanabara Bay will host the sailing events.

It looks idyllic from above.

But the waterway was one of the locations where the AP found dangerous levels of virus concentration.

Source: AP

Athletes who ingest three teaspoons of the water are 99% likely to get infected, scientists told the AP.

Source: AP

More than 50 streams carry trash and untreated human waste into the bay.

Source: AP

One such stream...

Heaps of trash clog the beaches.

Other beaches are empty because of the stench of the water.

Trash lines the shore.

Eight new water treatment plants were supposed to be built for the Olympics...

Source: AP

... Only one was delivered.

Source: AP

A marine biologist called the waters of Guanabara 'basically raw sewage.'

Source: AP

Rio dumps an estimated 70% of its sewage into the ocean and surrounding waters.

Source: USA Today

Rio's mayor called the failure of his city to use the Olympics to fix its water sanitation infrastructure as a 'shame' and a 'missed opportunity.'

Source: AP

The IOC claims that while the water won't be clean by next summer, it will be safe for competition.

Source: BI

Rodrigo de Feitas Lake will host rowing and canoeing.

It is also contaminated by raw sewage and waste water.

The pollution is the cause of massive fish die-offs that have plagued the lake in recent years.

Source: BI

Fluctuations in oxygen levels are believed to be responsible.

Source: BI

Rowers will take to these waters in 12 months.

Source: BI

A die off in March left the shores lined with dead fish.

Source: BI

Guanabara has seen the same sort of die off.

Athletes competing at Rio 2016 now face a potential health risk.

One water expert told the AP that athletes should go to Rio early and expose themselves to the viruses so their bodies can build up an immunity.

Source: AP

Athletes in Rio for training have already reported getting sick.

Source: AP

Sailor David Hussl told the AP about his health issues while training, 'It's always one day completely in bed and then usually not sailing for two or three days.'

Source: AP

Last spring, Rio's mayor downplayed the pollution, telling CNN, 'The Olympics are also in a time that has very little rain, then this amount of debris that comes from five municipalities in the metropolitan region, with poor sanitation, is also controllable... I do not see as a problem for the Olympics.'

Source: CNN

But it's clear this will be a primary talking point in the coming months.

Brazil just spent billions on another big sporting event...

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