Olympics Safety NIGHTMARE – Paris’ Dirty WARNING!

Olympic officials have expressed concerns that the Paris triathlon might need to be converted into a duathlon due to persistent pollution in the Seine River. Despite over a billion Euros invested in a cleanup initiative, a French NGO focused on water quality has raised alarms about the Seine’s alarming condition and the potential health risks to athletes from exposure to contaminated water.

Tony Estanguet, the president of Paris 2024, has conceded that contingency plans are in place should adverse weather conditions spike E. coli levels, making open-water swimming unsafe during the Olympic Games. In such an eventuality, the triathlon’s initial 1500-meter swim could be scrapped, transforming the triathlon into a duathlon consisting solely of a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run. This adjustment would be unprecedented in Olympic history.

There’s also the possibility of rescheduling the men’s and women’s triathlon events, originally set for July 30 and July 31, respectively. Additional events planned include a mixed relay on August 5, and marathon swimming for men and women on August 8 and 9.

Last August, the Seine failed pollution tests, prompting the cancellation of a marathon swimming test event. The river is also slated to feature in other Olympic activities, including a boat-based opening ceremony and events for paratriathlon and marathon swimming.

Efforts to render the river swimmable by 2025 have led to significant upgrades to Paris’s sewage system, including the construction of the Austerlitz Basin, an overflow tank capable of holding thirteen million gallons. Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris and President Emmanuel Macron of France have even vowed to swim in the river to prove its cleanliness.

However, the choice to potentially host events in the Seine has been criticized as unnecessarily risky for a marquee Olympic sport. Ana Marcela Cunha, the gold medalist in the women’s 10-kilometer marathon swim at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, emphasized to AFP the need for a backup plan, stating candidly that the Seine is not suited for swimming.