2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

The other day the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about the miserable state of the waters off Copacabana Beach and a photo that the Associated Press reporter took. All I could see was solid trash, made macabre by a doll’s broken face and body floating amid the sludge. All that is mixed with dead fish.

THIS is where the olympics regatta is to take place? And competing swimmers?

The story went on to say that local sailors have gotten sick from contact with the water, and of course no one dips a toe in it anymore. The local authorities insist it will all be cleaned up by next year. But how? If the sewage system was inadequate in the first place, how can the vast network be fixed in such a such a short time?

A close Brazilian friend tells me that corruption is rife in the country and that things all over are going to hell.

Renato and I lived in a small house across the Lagoa (Lake) de Rodrigo Freitas with a view of Corcovado, Christ on a Cross, on the peak on the far side. Periodically there would be a fish die-off and our summer would be rife with the smell of it. The magical sheen of belly-up silver would linger for weeks while the city scooped away at it. The AP news story said there would be other olympics events held on the lake.

I mourn what is happening in that city. Brazil was set on an upward course when we left it in 1980, and now…?


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