Rio Olympics 2016: The ‘Summer Games’ rained out


Olympic pools turn green because too many people are using them. Picture Reuters
Olympic pools turn green because too many people are using them. Picture Reuters
Olympics Day Five: Rain washes out rowing, tennis, swimming; another pool turns green; our continuing series – if Michael Phelps was a country, New Zealand’s still all black.

They call it the ‘Summer Olympics’. No one told the weather gods at Rio today.

Rain came down sideways. Rowing was cancelled, tennis was “indefinitely delayed” and cyclists battled high winds in individual time trials.

One official was quoted as saying: “It’s not like just the heavens have opened, but hell too.”

Rows of empty seats, long queues and loud booing are among organisers’ nightmares. And crime: a media bus was caught in the crossfire from a gang shootout last night, the Athletes’ Village has been hit by thefts, coaches and competitors have reported muggings and assaults while out walking.

The water polo pool started turning green – just like the diving pool next door did yesterday.

Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said there was a sudden decrease in the alkalinity in the diving pool. He said organisers failed to take into account that lots of people would be using the pool – which affects its alkalinity.

Olympic pools. Lots of people in the water. Who’d a thunk it?

Golden tears

Fehaid Aldeehani shot his way to an Olympic gold medal. But he did not hear his country’s anthem or salute its flag as he stood on the dais.

The 49-year-old Kuwait army officer became the first athlete competing for the Independent Olympic Athletes team to win gold in Games history.

His country is banned from competing because organisers believe its government interfered in running of the national Games committee. The Olympic flag was hoisted during the ceremony, the Olympic anthem rang out. Aldeehani was dressed in black.

“I am winning the gold medal, the biggest achievement of the Games, without raising my country’s flag. It really hurts me, I can hardly stop my crying,” he said.

Continuing Story 1: If Michael Phelps was a country …

Michael Phelps has won golds 20 and 21, taking his medal total to 25 across five Games. He’s won more medals than 174 countries. Only 10 countries have won more golds than him since the 2004 Athens Olympics. If Phelps was a nation at these Games, he would be ninth in the standings. If Phelps was a country, he would now be 39th in the all-time gold medal winners’ table. He could win three more. That would take him past South Africa and Brazil.

Continuing Story 2: New Zealand’s black mood

Another medal-less day for the Kiwis, its quietly confident men’s sevens team knocked out of the last eight by the Fiji superstars. Their only consolation: the Aussies went out at the same stage, thanks to the South African BlitzBoks.

Anxiety levels are rising among Kiwi fans with more than 48 hours having passed since the team’s last medal. But hopes are high for rowers, track cycling, swimming and shot put queen Valerie Adams. She could become the first New Zealand woman to claim three Olympic golds. If Valerie Adams was a country … oh, let’s not go there.


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