As if reports of sewage in the water in which the Olympic sailing competition will be held weren’t bad enough, the main ramp of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics sailing venue partially collapsed Saturday, a little over a week before it is to be used for competition.
No one was injured in the Marina da Gloria collapse, which was being blamed on high winds and stormy seas. Competition at the site begins Aug. 8 and Philip Wilkinson, a spokesman for the organizing committee, said that the ramp, which is temporary, will be repaired within four days. The ramp is the main launching point for boats, but Wilkinson said that athletes could continue to train by using the permanent ramp beside it.
The quality of construction and the readiness of venues and athletes’ quarters at the Olympic Village are coming to a head as the Opening Ceremonies loom Aug. 5. In April, an elevated bike path that was praised as a legacy project collapsed, killing two people.
On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee, like Rio organizers, was downplaying the ramp collapse, with spokesman Mark Adams telling the Associated Press, “In the run-up to the Games, things happen.”
Officials all but gave up any hope of removing the filth from Guanabara Bay, site of the marina.
“A giant pipe running from downtown churns human waste into the marina [on Guanabara Bay] at certain times each day. Rats roam around in the waste. The stench makes uninitiated visitors feel like vomiting or fainting,” USA Today’s Martin Rogers reported last week.