WATER POLLUTION IS A BIG ISSUE FOR THE RIO OLYMPICS
(P1) The 2016 Summer Olympics KICK OFF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a little over a year, marking the first time the games will be hosted by a South American nation.
(P2) Reports regarding the country’s preparation for the event, however, have not been great. In April 2014, IOC vice president John Coates called the preparation “the worst ever.” This April, the Associated Press reported that the Rodrigo de Freitas LAGOON, one of two central WATERWAYS to be used for sailing and rowing events, was PLAGUED by a fish DIE-OFF.
(P3) It was at least the second fish die-off in 2015. The first occurred in February at Guanabara Bay — where other Olympic water events are scheduled to take place.
(P4) A local photographer named Alex Moutinho told the Associated Press, “Every year there are these die-offs, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. It’s one more Brazilian SHAME.”
(P5) With just over a year until the opening ceremonies, to be held at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio on August 5, 2016, the IOC head Thomas Bach said Wednesday that cleaning up Guanabara Bay will be the biggest challenge Rio 2016 faces in the final year of preparation for the Olympics. As of right now, SEWAGE, DEBRIS, and dangerous bacteria are all COMMONPLACE in the bay. These MASSIVE fish die-offs are common occurrences, too, and likely the result of such heavy pollution.
(P6) Some athletes are demanding that the windsurfing and sailing events be moved to cleaner BODIES OF WATER, but Rio officials have denied this request and said that trash-collecting boats will protect the athletes. IOC officials, meanwhile, have ACKNOWLEDGED that although Guanabara Bay will not be completely free of pollution, they will be improved and safe enough for competition.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- The preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics are going very badly. Do you think that Rio de Janeiro will be ready IN TIME?
- Many major cities no longer wish to host the Olympics. Why do you think they no longer want to do so?
- Is it fair to ask AQUATIC athletes such as rowers, KAYAKERS, and sailors to compete in dirty conditions?
- Is pollution a major problem in your country? What is being done about it?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Kick off
- Body of water
- In time