The Olympic diving pool in Rio de Janeiro is apparently closed. We reported on Tuesday that the pool had turned green, and on Wednesday that FINA had attributed the color change to a shortage of chemicals. Now it appears the green pool has been shut down. There have been a number of reports of the closure on social media:
British diver Tom Daley, who won a bronze medal in synchronized diving on Monday with partner Daniel Goodfellow, tweeted out:
Diving pool is closed this morning. Hopefully that means we haven’t been diving in anything too bad the last couple of days! ????????????
— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) August 12, 2016
Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post tweeted:
— Sally Jenkins (@sallyjenx) August 12, 2016
From The Guardian’s Owen Gibson:
Rio 2016 confirm diving pool closed this morning while they continue to sort out the water. One or two athletes had “itchy eyes”. Erm..
— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) August 12, 2016
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Mario Andrada, chief spokesman for the Rio 2016 organizing committee, explained:
“We reiterate what we have been saying all along — the water does not offer any threat to the health of the athletes,” he said. “In the first day of this water situation, one or two athletes complained about their eyes being itchy. This was a result that the first reaction when we saw the water turning green was to use one of the chemicals — chlorine — that is very common in swimming pools. We reduced immediately the quantity. We retested the water and it was totally within the parameters.”
He went on to add:
“When we went to fix the green, there was a discussion about the best chemicals. We can’t use too much chemicals in the water because athletes are training in it,” Andrada said. “We certainly could have done better in the beginning to prevent the water from turning green. Once it turned green, we again made another bit of a mistake.”
Attempts to rectify the situation by super-chlorinating the diving pool, which is adjacent to the water polo pool, have not gone unnoticed by the athletes. U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo captain Tony Acevedo complained of itchy eyes, and said to the media, “This is the Olympic Games and they are putting so much chlorine in the water that people can’t see. You can’t have that.”