3+ Meter Waves Slam Copacabana Beach, Site of Open Water Swimming

The Copacabana Beach, which will be home to the open water swimming at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, have given athletes a reminder this winter season that not all open water swimming is done in rowing basins.

Record-setting 4.66 meter waves lashed the beach in June in front of the temporary structure built by the Olympic Broadcasting Services building that was constructed to support the marathon swims that take place in the 2nd week of the Olympic Games. Those waves tore down 2-meter high (over 6 feet) barriers built to protect the building, which have now been replaced by sand barriers. There is some concern about the building, which has been flooded due to the high waves, and its structural soundness – especially after a nearby elevated bike path collapsed in April of this year, killing 2.

The phenomenon isn’t new to the area, though this winter has been particularly unsettling. This past weekend, waves as high as 3 meters have been reported on the same beach.

Here’s a video of waves breaking at the Copacabana Beach last December, from Daniel Collina, to give an idea of what waves of this size look like:

The Copacabana Beach will be home to marathon swimming, triathlon, and beach volleyball during the Olympics.

In London, marathon swimming was held in The Serpentine in Hyde Park, London – an artificial recreational lake.

More video from this past weekend, courtesy Kavya Soman:

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5 years ago

Yay! An Olympic open water swim race that doesn’t look like it’s just being held in a big pool! (You know, sewage aside).

King in da norf
5 years ago

I’m truly flabbergasted that surfing is not yet made a Summer Olympics sport.

King in da norf
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

Yayy! That’s marvellous!

Cynthia mae Curran
Reply to  King in da norf
5 years ago

Well, in the US, mainly its a sport in Ca,Hawaii, and Florida, sometimes folks in the Northeast do it but not as popular.

Lp Man
5 years ago

Being an elite open water swimmer means adapting to changing conditions. They will be fine

Reply to  Lp Man
5 years ago

Within reason, sure. Personally, I might draw the line at three meter sewage waves.

Reply to  Sven
5 years ago

With added body parts.

5 years ago

What could possibly go wrong?

Don macdonald
5 years ago

What’s the problem? Open water swimmers should be able to handle this!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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