Rio 2016: Olympic sailing ramp collapses at Marina da Gloria


Health and safety fears over the Rio 2016 Olympic venues have increased after the main ramp of the sailing port collapsed on Sunday, five days before the opening ceremony raises the curtain to the highly controversial Games. After leaking pipes and security threats at the Games Village, the hosts are now at a loss to tackle the issue of strong ocean waves in Rio de Janeiro.

The main ramp of Marina da Gloria, which is the sailing venue of the Rio games, collapsed partially on Saturday owing to the strong waves from the seas, according to Philip Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Rio Olympics organising committee.

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If the high tides and stormy waves affect athletes while events are under way, the embarrassment for the organisers can only be expected to reach greater levels. The good news, however, on Saturday was that no one was injured, unlike what had happened in April this year when two people died as a newly-built elevated bike path collapsed into the sea in Rio de Janeiro. The incident had sent shockwaves to the visitors as well as athletes, besides the organising committee as a whole.

"It would be wrong to make a great deal [of the Marina da Gloria incident]. In the run-up to the games, things happen," Mark Adams, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman, said, playing down the latest incident. That being said, World Sailing (WS) has mentioned that they are closely monitoring the organisers' efforts to fix the ramp.

The sailing events in the Rio Olympics 2016 begin on August 8. Also, the organisers last week mentioned that a short circuit was the reason behind a fire breaking out in a building in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the games. No one was hurt following the incident, but it sure became a major issue of concern not only for the organisers but also the athletes.

The Australian contingent for the games, who had moved in just a couple of days earlier, were forced to temporarily evacuate the building, but they were back within half an hour. However, the Rio Olympics 2016 organisers were left with sheer red faces.

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