Thursday, August 11, 2016


As the Rio Olympics continue to chug along with its many events for the first week a sudden, surprising, and ultimately not harmful mishap took place at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, where several of the Games’ aquatic sports are being contested. The Guardian reports that seemingly overnight from Monday August 8 to Tuesday August 9, the normally clear blue water on the diving pool suddenly turned a curious shade of green.

That was certainly a big shocker for the competitors of the women’s synchronized 10 meter platform final, especially since the diving pool water’s new color was such a stark contrast to the synchronized swimming and water polo pool just right next to it. And like any strange occurrence, the green pool quickly became a hot topic on Olympics social media.

Take for instance a tweet by Tom Daley, who just that Monday had dived in synch with his partner Daniel Goodfellow into that same pool to win bronze for their event. The British diver was utterly flabbergasted and at a loss for words for how the water he had won his triumph in had changed color 24 hours later, and he posted a picture of the adjacent pools to drive home the difference.

Numerous explanations for the discoloration popped up all throughout that Tuesday. Pedro Adrega, the communications head of FINA, the international governing body for swimming, opined that perhaps the green tint was requested by the athletes themselves of the venue, so that the sun’s glare, much worse when reflected against blue water, would be more subdued. But that didn’t quite explain why the shade of green in the pool only seemed to grow darker and darker as the day went on and the divers took their turns.

It wasn’t all negatively perceived however, if competing British diver Tonia Couch has her say on the matter. She claimed that the green pool actually worked to her advantage during her synch dive with Lois Toulson, since it made the water surface easier to judge the distance of while they were flipping in mid-air during their routine, to ensure they were in proper position before hitting the drink. To be fair, the two of them finished in fifth place that day.

Not until the following day, August 10, did the organizers discovered the “culprit” behind the green water mystery. Reuters has it that poor pH control on the diving pool resulted in an abnormally high alkaline content, turning the water into the ghastly hue. Fortunately, the damage, for what it was has been repaired, and future events there will have a welcoming blue shade waiting for them when they dive.

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