South Korean Olympic coach rips sewage-filled Rio waters after wind-surfer is hospitalized with a virus

Another 2016 Olympic athlete has gotten sick from the polluted Rio waterways.

South Korean windsurfer Wonwoo Cho was taken to the hospital after catching a virus during a sailing test event on the virus-ridden Guanabara Bay.

Afterward, his coach, Danny OK, ripped the waterways in a Facebook post while adding pictures of Cho being taken to the hospital and the filthy brown water. 

PostbyDanny OK.

According to the Associated Press, Cho was “50-60%” after a 24-hour hospital stay and was training again. While he wasn’t sure why he got sick, OK said “it’s probably from the water.”

OK also said the water was “smelly,” adding, “Especially in the bay, it’s terrible. I can’t imagine how they can have racing in this area.”

Cho is not the first athlete to get sick during test events on the waterways, which an AP study found be “teeming” with viruses that could make athletes “violently ill.” While some athletes have shrugged off concerns over the conditions, last week 13 U.S. rowers got sick from the water.

Rio officials have fallen off their promise to cut off 80% of the sewage and pollution that runs into the bay, despite pressure from Olympic officials. However, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes recently said the the pollution problems were greatly exaggerated by the media. According to The Guardian, the waterway cleansing efforts are only at about 50% and unlikely to change greatly with the events less than one year away.

We have reached out to the Rio Olympic Organising Committee for comment and will update when we hear back.

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