If you’ve been following the news out of Rio de Janeiro, home of the 2016 Summer Olympics, you’ve probably heard about a scandal involving the Brazilian city’s famous beaches. And no, we’re not talking about the skimpy Euro-style man thongs that are favored by Brazilian hunks! What we’re referring to is the heavily polluted water that Olympic sailors, rowers, canoers, and triathletes will have to deal with in order to take home the gold. But will they also be taking something viral or bacterial back with them? Here are the facts:
1) Rio’s Water is Straight-Up Filthy: And not just with untreated sewage, but also oil, chemical runoff, stray dog carcasses, baby dolls, and even MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria. On the bright side, the sheer amount of creepy baby dolls means you don’t have to spend a buck (or Euro or Yen or Canada money) purchasing overpriced Olympic mascot swag that you promised your nephew.
2) Drinking Poopy Water is Not Okay: Hold up! Drinking poopy water… is bad? We were as shocked as you, but it’s true. Turns out even a single sip of their frothy stew can transfer e. coli, salmonella, hepatitis, and even water-based protozoa that will cause up to six weeks of non-stop diarrhea. If you’re a real ’90s kid, you’ll love that last one, a tribute to when your character in The Oregon Trail die of dysentery. If you don’t understand the reference, you are not a ’90s kid and we don’t want anything to do with you.
3) So, How Do I Avoid Poopy Water? For canoers, sailors, and rowers, we recommend keeping arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. As for triathletes, you’re pretty much shit out of luck. Too bad the shit isn’t out the water! But we do have a suggestion: Plug everything. Plug your ears, plug your nose, plug your urethra. And don’t open your mouth. This means you’ll have to swim nearly a mile on one breath, but that’s why you’ve trained for years! For those not willing to train that hard, we recommend wrapping your entire body in Saran Wrap to ensure no poop molecules enter through your pores. You’ll kind of look like Kevin Bacon in the classic film Hollow Man, after the Hollow Man (Kevin Bacon) wraps himself in latex or human skin or something. We don’t really remember. We turned it off after 30 minutes because it was too scary!
4) Don’t Forget About Wind! Even if you take all precautions, Rio’s poop water can still find its way inside your mouth through the power of wind. While this isn’t a problem for rowers and canoers, this might cause difficulties for Olympic sailors, as wind is just as integral to their sport as the filthy water. Our advice? We suggest building a time machine, traveling a decade into your past, and yelling at your teen self to not pursue Olympic sailing as your career. Since your hobbies include sailing, you probably have the financial means to do literally anything else with your time. Heck, you could even devote your life to industrial water purification plants!
5) Triathlon Lifehacks: It’s no secret. Out of all the athletes who will find themselves in Rio’s muck-ridden waters, triathletes will have it the worst. But there are some perks to competing in human sewage. For one, your opponents will be too busy vomiting to concentrate on winning. Another perk? The abundance of the aforementioned creepy baby dolls! Those things are tight. You know what? Screw the adrenaline-pumping thrill of representing your country on the winner’s podium. Stock up on those weird-ass baby dolls covered in filth!
Pablo Goldstein is a writer who has a Culligan cooler in his home. You should follow him on Twitter.