As the Rio Olympics approach…
Suddenly the press is full of the dangers of the Zika virus.
From a standing start, it seems the virus is now one of the deadliest on earth and has the same threat rating as Ebola.
And it’s spreading rapidly across Latin America…
This, of course, brings the Rio sludge that is widespread in Guanabara Bay back into the mainstream consciousness. Again.
The locals had been carefully discounting the threat – shushing people everywhere and suggesting Guanabara Bay is the perfect place for a little swim among dead cattle and rats.
And it was interesting at the London Boat Show when Gary Jobson took to the stage to chat to the cognoscenti about consolidating sailing’s position in the Olympics (how many people really want that?).
Oh, and how they were strengthening the newly crowned World Sailing’s position in the world sports market.
Again – how many want to fork out for incredibly expensive racing machines, we wonder.
Mr Jobson went on to say World Sailing was growing participation globally. He also told us how the Guanabara Bay sailing venue offered a wide variety of conditions, then he starred water quality, before expounding on the large field of play with seven racing areas, two TV race courses and a global qualification process close to completion.
Oh; the finale was a Grandstand Medal Race beach area.
Some will make money out of al this, of course. Like Sunset+Vine, run by Andy Preece, who – in A Very Shrewd Move - has just hired Matt Sheahan as his editorial director.
Those with BT Sport in the UK will find a regular series of events to watch.
But. Back to those filthy Rio waters…
There can be no doubt the area is contaminated. But all efforts to clean the area up have failed dismally. As we all knew they would.
And many will have read the shock story (run in BB on January 27) of how the previous Top Man at the World Sailing – Peter Sowrey - was fired for trying to move the sailing Olympics out of Guanabara Bay and the filth the sailors would have to suffer.
The new man in the hot seat is Andy Hunt. BB wonders how he will handle the problem.
And how will the sailors handle the problem of sailing in utter filth. Not how most would prefer to spend their days…
Who knows, maybe the Rio filth is actually better than the threat of the Zika virus.
That might keep the activities in the Olympic village down to a minimum.
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