ISAF Statement regarding Erik Heil, 49er sailor

Published on August 28th, 2015

(August 28, 2015) – The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is aware of the admittance to hospital of the German 49er sailor Erik Heil. ISAF are working closely with the Deutscher Segler Verband, the German Member National Authority, to ensure Erik fully recovers fully in advance of a busy period that includes the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final and 49er World Championship.

Erik commented, “We have been sailing in Rio for a few years, training and preparing for the Olympic Games. I feel as though I got the infection from the launching ramp in the Marina da Gloria, as the water quality was the worst there. Compared to the 2014 test event, the water quality inside and outside of Guanabara Bay was a bit better because it had not rained in Rio in the weeks before the test event.

“I hope the improvements promised for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be fulfilled and no athletes will deal with health issues, leaving a legacy for the city of Rio de Janeiro.”

The health and welfare of the athletes is a top priority for ISAF, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee (Rio 2016) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Water quality is an important aspect at all Olympic Games and is regularly addressed between ISAF, the IOC and Rio 2016.

ISAF, Rio 2016, the IOC, the Brazilian Government, Rio State Environment Institute (INEA) and State Environment Agency (SEA) are all working together to prepare for Rio 2016, and Brazilian authorities are working to guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the safety of Marina da Gloria and a fair field of play for the athletes.

Throughout the recent test event, ISAF worked closely with Rio 2016 sustainability and the local government to ensure the racing areas were safe for fair competition.

Measures taken to increase safety include a new pipeline that will divert sewage from Marina da Gloria, ready by November 2015, well in advance of the Olympic Games, which compliments the other proactive measures around the Guanabara Bay, such as closing landfills, reducing industrial pollution and increasing water treatment works.

The Rio organizers’ focus has remained on delivering excellent sporting competitions for sailing. While work remains to be done, ISAF, Rio 2016 and all relevant local authorities are confident that the venue will be ready to host 380 sailors during the Olympic Sailing Competition in one year’s time.

ISAF continues to support and track all activities related to improving the water conditions in the competition areas. We are working with our partners to ensure fair sailing and that the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition is a fantastic event for athletes, spectators and TV viewers.

Report by ISAF

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