Polluted with toxic waste, human and dog corpses and discarded furniture, Brazil’s Guanabara Bay won’t be clean in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, according to the city’s mayor.
The city vowed to clean up the bay and reduce pollution by 80 percent so it could be used as a sailing venue, but Mayor Eduardo Paes say it won’t be ready in time.
“I am sorry that we didn’t use the games to get Guanabara Bay completely clean, but that wasn’t for the Olympic Games -- that was for us,” Paes said. “That was something that we could not accomplish that was in the bid book.”
Brazilian Olympic sailing hopeful Thomas Low-Beer, who trains in the bay, told the New York Times about the time he hit a submerged sofa and overturned into the murky water.
“It can get really disgusting, with dog carcasses in some places and the water turning brown from sewage contamination,” the 24-year-old said.
Paes says the sailing competition will take place outside the bay or at its entrance, away from debris and sewage.
The news comes two months after International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates called Rio’s Olympic preparations the “worst ever.”
Hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer, Brazil is under increased scrutiny. The games begin June 12 and nearly all 12 of the new and refurbished soccer stadiums were over budget. Some are incomplete, bolstering sentiment that Brazil won’t be able to deliver in 2016.