A temporary ramp for the Rio Olympics sailing events collapsed on Sunday afternoon after being hit with high tides and big waves. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has assured athletes and fans that this will not affect competition or training in any way.
The main ramp at Marina de Gloria, used as an entry point for boats to access the Guanabara Bay and open ocean, came apart after being hit by the “stormy sea” raising more concern about poor construction for the games. No injuries were reported.
Since then, repair work has already begun with organizers guaranteeing the full restoration of the ramp. The sailing federation also does not seem to be very concerned, confident that organizers will live up to their promise of completing work by Friday-well before the start of sailing action on August 8.
“In the run-up to the games things happen. It would be wrong to make a great deal out of it.” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams, adding “It won’t affect training, or competition. They’ve got a 25-person team working on it at the moment. And as I say, they (the sailing federation) are not overly concerned.”
However, there was still more damage that Sunday, with huge waves also hitting and inundating television studios along Copacabana, near the volleyball venue of the games.
This prompted workers and contractors to stack sandbags around the studios. Tractors were also used to shovel sand into protective heaps around the structures to protect them for another possible onslaught of strong waves and high tides.
“This is the season of high tides,” Rio mayor Eduardo Paes stated. “We always knew there was the possibility of high tides.”
The city, which is already facing dozens of political and economic crises has also been marred by constant criticism regarding the safety and readiness of its venues. Just last week, the Australian Olympic team was threatening to billet their athletes outside of the Olympic Village due to clogged toilets, leaky faucets and faulty wiring. Organizers were quick to respond, though, sending 630 workers to address their concerns. The team has moved in to the village since then.
PHOTO COURTESY: Yuri Levchenko/ Flickr