Well this is awkward…. Olympic divers found themselves diving in a competition pool that was a deep shade of green on Wednesday (Aug 10). The normal color is a soft shade of blue. The embarrassing saga left competitors joking that they were leaping into “a swamp.”
The international governing body for swimming and diving, FINA, along with Rio’s organizing committee insisted that the water posed no danger to athletes. The divers and independent water experts have had their doubts as it indicates that there is not enough disinfectant present.
The discoloration was so severe that pairs divers could not see the partner next to them when submerged. British diver Tonia Couch, who finished fifth with Lois Toulson in the women’s 10-meter platform, said “It was so green. As the sun went down it looked worse.” FINA claims that the pool’s water tanks “ran out of some of the chemicals” necessary for the water treatment process. A water polo pool adjacent to the diving well was also a shade of green. Trying to look on the bright side, Couch said that it made it easier for divers to isolate the surface as they spun through the air.
“As a result the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discoloration,” FINA said. “The FINA Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded that there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes, and no reason for the competition to be affected.” Mario Andrada, a Rio spokesman, released a statement that the “water will be blue from now on”.
Divers hope for a better day competing in the Olympic pools…