Today many athletes, and indeed, whole athletic programs train with distilled water as an essential part of their regimen. With the 2016 Olympics in Brazil looming up a few short years from now, water quality is again getting the headlines.
Water pollution in some future Olympic Cities
Rio de Janeiro is well known for its famous Cocacabana and Ipanema –beaches that have a mystic about them. I’m sure they will be well visited during the upcoming Olympic Games. But underneath the glamor is the dark side of Brazilian water quality. It is now reported by the Associated Press that 70% of Rio’s sewage is untreated and dumped into the ocean not far from these beaches.
Exposure to fecal bacteria can cause gastro-intestinal illnesses like diarrhea, dysentery and cholera.
These are waters where several Olympic events will be held. It appears that the marathon swimming event part of the Triathlon will be held in these waters. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FINA, the world governing body of swimming, are keeping a close watch on this situation and are holding the Rio Organizing Committee responsible for ensuring the waters are safe for the swimmers.
In a recent analysis, the fecal coliform bacteria count in waters off these beaches was 16 times higher than the Brazilian Government’s safety level. The problem has been there for many years and largely neglected. So the organizers have a huge job on their hands.
While this is a challenge, another challenge is to provide high purity drinking water to athletes from all around the world. In the past Pure Water distillers have been an integral part of the athletes training programs. Eric Haar, a world class triathlete used a Pure Water distiller for his distilled water and claimed this helped improve his performance by 2% – a huge boost for an athlete at that level. Matt Linland, a silver medalist at the Melbourne Olympics in 2000 had been using a Pure Water distiller for his training.
We hope the organizers will see the opportunity for distilled drinking water being used for the 2016 Olympics.