Outdoor water games of the Rio Olympics will be held at Beach Copacabana, Lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas and Bay Guanabara.
These places have caused incessant controversy, as Rio’s ability to manage such locations for sports purposes is widely debated by media as well as professionals.
On-site interviews by Xinhua during the 3rd week of May help you know more about the truth.
At Copacabana, this fisherman with 40 years’ experience of recreating himself along the beach tells us about his love and dependence upon the waters.
(Soundbite) CESAR CARDOSO, Fisherman
You have to wait for the fish to moon. When the water is hot, few fish come; when the water is cold, fish come excessively. For me it is always normal fishing.”
Daily trainers at Copacabana do not think the water presenta any menace for triathlon.
(Soundbite) ULYSSES REIS, Swimming Teacher
“Pollution here? I do not see! It is horrific to hear it. We have been working here since 2009 and everyone is safe, even without an itch or something like it.”
One of Rio’s name cards, Lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas is to host the rowing events.
(Soundbite) DAIANE DOS SANTOS, Skiff Athlete
“I have been at the lagoon for seven years. I live in Rio and always train here. Bad thing never happens here. One day the skiff turned over in an accident. I went out of the water, came back home, took a quick shower and nothing happened.”
With its turbulence and hygiene, the lagoon has been tested and approved by worldwide sports professionals.
(Soundbite) MARCELO NEVES, Rowing Technician
“We had the test event last year with world champions of rowing. With coaches, officials and athletes included, more than 800 people worked for and participated in the event. We had three cases of digestive problems caused by food consumed out of here at some restaurant or situations like it. Besides that, there were no intestinal problems arising due to water quality.”
Widely known for its beauty and fame around the world, Bay Guanabara serves sailing events.
It is one of the three water locations that has been criticized most ferociously by the media.
(Soundbite) MARIO MOSCATELI, Biologist and Environmentalist
“The places where the evidence occurred are contaminated. Question still lingers about the likelihood of health problems for athletes. Boats might be arrested by plastic garbage, or run over some kind of floating materials in the bay. I think it depends solely on climate conditions.”
However, another long-time trainer at the bay tells a different story.
(Soundbite) THOMAS LOW, Yacht Athlete
“Yesterday I saw 25 dolphins in Bay Guanabara. I see turtles every day. I think it is a bit of exaggeration by European sailors who are a little bit daunted by the technical quality of the Bay and, perhaps, a natural tendency to blame the water which is actually perfect for the sport.”