The Greening of the Rio Water Polo Pool


Updated, 16:41 CDT

FINA, the governing body for international aquatic sports has formally attributed the green plague affecting the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center in Rio to a chemical imbalance.

FINA can confirm that the reason for the unusual water colour observed during the Rio 2016 diving competitions is that the water tanks ran out some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process. As a result the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discolouration. The FINA Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded that there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes, and no reason for the competition to be affected.


A green contagion has reared itself at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre. The Olympic diving well in Rio took on a Mountain Dew hue on Tuesday while just next to it the water polo course remained a sparkling Palm Springs blue.

On Wednesday during men’s water polo group play the pool appeared to take on some of the vegetal qualities of its counterpart garnering copious news coverage and red faces among Rio Olympics officials.

Confusion reigned on Tuesday as the Olympic diving pool in Rio mysteriously turned green. Now, the water polo facility next door is doing similar. It’s led to embarrassment for Games chiefs.

Officials have blamed lower alkalinity and raised levels of algae due to rising air temperatures for the color but assert there is no danger to any of the athletes.

Midwesterners are familiar with the phenomenon.

Chicago River.

Maria Lenk?

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