Green Water? No problem for Canadian Olympic Divers: ‘Close Your Eyes, Close Your Mouth, You Should be Fine’
RIO DE JANEIRO — Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion stifled belly laughs from atop the 10-metre platform Tuesday during their synchronized diving final at the open-air Centro Aquatico Maria Lenk. They looked down and saw water as green as split-pea soup.
“It’s water,” Benfeito said. “We know that it’s water down there.”
It just didn’t look like regular water, especially compared to the crystal blue in the adjacent pool for water polo and synchronized swimming. Viewers around the world were fretting over the divers’ safety via social media.
In the end, it didn’t really matter for the Canadian bronze-medal winners.
“The fact that it was green actually helped because it is a visual sport and you have to see the water,” Benfeito said. “So the fact that it was completely different from the sky really helped us and was really on our side today. So I’m happy about that.”
As Filion explained later: “We just said, ‘Close your eyes, close your mouth, you should be fine.’”
The culprit was likely algae, said Diving Canada’s Mitch Geller, who offered to bring in a Canadian pool expert Wednesday morning to help fix the problem.
“Everybody was scratching their heads, going, ‘What’s going on?’” Geller said. “I think that the filter is busted. But I’m not sure. It’s possible.”
“We’re investigating what the cause of the situation was,” an IOC spokesman was quoted by The Telegraph.
“Water tests at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre diving pool have been conducted and there was found to be no risk whatsover to athletes.”
The green dive tank is the latest water debacle at these Olympics to add to concerns about raw sewage in the rowing lagoon and dangerous debris — including discarded furniture — at the sailing venue.
But the issue in diving is one of aesthetics, according to Geller.
“It’s not really dangerous,” he said. “It’s not toxic and dirty or any of that. It’s just that the algae can multiply very, very quickly. And it seemed to get worse over the course of the competition.
“I don’t know what it’s going to look like tomorrow. I hope it’s not a swamp.”