Rio’s Uncertain Olympic Waters are Cause for Concern


Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 9. The July 2014 issue of Swimming World Magazine is now available for download to Total Access Subscribers!

On Page 6 ofSwimming World Magazine, A Voice for the Sport: Rio’s Uncertain Olympic Waters are Cause for Concern.

Everybody is looking forward to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It’s in one of the most beautiful cities on the face of the planet. However, underneath the picturesque beaches and breathtaking mountain backdrops, concerns are growing globally over the safety of the venues for athletic competition—due to the high levels of pollution reported at certain venues—and possible contamination in the city water supply.

Two major concerns are Guanabara Bay, home to the Olympic sailing venue, and Copacabana Beach, directly adjacent and south of the bay opening, which hosts the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and the first swimming leg of the Olympic triathlon.

Numerous reports in the BBC, New York Times, Bloomberg, The Independent (UK), The Huffington Post, Inside the Games and others highlight the concerns over the dangerous pollution levels.

In a BBC report, “Rio’s Olympic Waters Blighted by Heavy Pollution” (Jan. 10, 2014), author Julia Carneiro reported the dismal conditions of the Brazil Sailing Cup, describing the Olympic venue as “heavily polluted, with sailors having to avoid obstacles—everything from TVs to floating bed frames and dead animals….”

After sailing in the bay, British sailor Alain Sign said, “I was ill just before Christmas—it could have been from the capsize that we had or from something I ate. But you probably wouldn’t want to drink the water.”

The NGO My Rio campaign coordinator, Leona Deckelbaum, was quoted in the BBC article that the level of fecal matter in the bay is 198 times higher than the legal limit established in the United States. “I wouldn’t put my little pinky toe in it,” she said.

Another concern came from former U.S. Olympian Kalyn Keller. In the article, “Former Olympic Swimmer Concerned about Olympic Athletes Swimming in Untested Waters” by Penny Star, (Oct. 7, 2009), Keller said that she believes her diagnosis of Crohn’s disease was connected to her open water swim off the Rio beach during the 2007 Pan American Games: “It completely ripped my life out from under my feet. I had a big plan of going to the Olympics, and all of a sudden, I went from athlete to invalid.”

And another leading voice, Dr. David Santillo, had already expressed his concerns more than ten years ago! In his report, “Pollution with Organic Tin Compounds, Organchlorines, Hydrocarbons and Metals in Sediment Samples from Guanabara Bay” (Greenpeace Research Laboratories, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, UK, 2000), Dr. Santillo—a top water pollution scientist at Greenpeace—stated, “The results demonstrate that the bay is subject to pollution by a wide range of toxic compounds from a variety of sources.”

In light of the global concerns, Swimming World is calling for a renewed effort to clean up Guanabara Bay—not only for the Olympics, but also for the local citizens of Rio de Janeiro.

Swimming World would like to see new scientific frameworks established to create world-class safety and pollution criteria for all water sports, especially for Olympic and world championship open water swimming, triathlon and sailing. In addition, there should be open, comprehensive, verifiable, increased monitoring of the beaches and sport venues.

Olympic athletes—the very best athletes in the world—deserve to have the best venues in the world…venues that are 100 percent safe from pollution or contamination for competition. No excuses. No exceptions.

(By Steven V Selthoffer, Chief European Columnist, Swimming World Magazine)

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Curious about what you’ll find inside the July 2014 issue of Swimming World Magazine? Watch this month’s Inside Swimming World video to find out!

July 2014 Swimming World Magazine Table of Contents:

On The July Cover
Only two years remain until the 2016 Summer Olympics. With that in mind, Swimming World features a story on the progress that Rio is making to host the Games as well as a biennial plan for U.S. coaches to help prepare their Olympic hopefuls. Six rising starts who have yet to make their first Olympic team are also showcased-including Kylie Stewart (pictured on cover), 18, of Dynamo Swim Club (GA), who won the 200 back at last year’s World Junior Championships. (See stories on pages 18,26 and 28). Photo by: Peter H. Bick


010 All Aboard by Michael J. Stott
How do coaches get swimmers to buy into their program?

018 On the Radar by Shoshanna Rutemiller
Now that we are halfway between the 2012 London Olympic and 2016 Rio Games, Swimming World showcases some young upcoming talent from around the world who will be trying to qualify for their first Olympics.

026 The 2014-2016 Fast-track Calendar to Rio by Jason Marsteller
It’s two years out from the U.S. 2016 Olympic Trials, and your swimmers has dreams of making the Olympic team. As a coach, what can you do right now to help make is happen? Colorado Stars coach Todd Schmitz offers a biennial plan beginning this summer for his former, Missy Franklin-as if Missy were a 14-year-old!

028 Is Rio Ready? by Jeff Commings
With none of the venues meeting the International Olympic Committee’s satisfaction, a workers’ strike halting construction and a call to Brazilians to help foot the bill, Rio de Janeiro-host of the 2016 Summer Olympics-has put itself in serious danger of creating an Olympics more known for what happened before the Olympic Torch is lit.

030 Top 10 Triumphs & Tragedies by Chuck Warner
Beginning in its April issue and continuing monthly through January 2015, Swimming World Magazine is counting down the top 10 triumphs and tragedies in the history of swimming. This month: #7 The Greatest Olympic Team in History.


008 Lessons with the Legends: Dennis Hill by Michael J. Stott

010 Two-Beat, Four-Beat or Six-Beat Kick in Distance Freestyle? by Jeff Commings
Coaches Yuri Suguiyama, Rich DeSelm and Bill Rose discuss the different freestyle kick patterns.

014 Swimming Misconceptions: Vertical Forearm by Rod Havriluk
It is a misconception that the forearm is vertical at the beginning of the freestyle pull. Instructions for achieving a vertical forearm include beginning the pull by ” bending the elbow”. While is is productive to flex at the elbow to begin the pull, it is counterproductive to orient the forearm vertically.

019 Kylie Stewart’s Favorite Sets by Jason Turcotte

040 Q&A with Coach Duncan Sherrard by Michael J. Stott

041 How They Train Robbie Swan and Thomas Nguyen by Michael J. Stott


037 Dryside Trianing: Never Enough Core by J.R. Rosania
A strong, fit core will benefit your turns and will help maintain a good body position in the water…not to mention it will do wonders for your six-pack abdominal muscles!

038 Ask Dr. Shannon by Shannon McBride
Here are some upper body stretches for pregnant women that can be performed before and/or after swimming.

039 Nutrition: Manage Your Appetite
Republished with permission of VeloPress from “Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes”


016 Goldminds: All About Winning by Wayne Goldsmith
If you’re driven by gold and glory, remember: it’s OK to think about and talk about winning! The road to “winning” starts with winning thoughts, winning words and winning actions!

043 Up & Comers


006 A Voice for the Sport

035 USSA: The Importance of Learning Self-Control by Kerin Morgan

044 Gutter Talk

046 Parting Shot