Olympic Rower on Rio Conditions: 'I Will Row Through S--t for You, America'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2016

Environment Institute of Rio de Janeiro State (INEA) staffers collect a bed mattress as the tide moves away from the 'eco-barrier' set up to catch floating debris before they enter Guanabara Bay at the mouth of the Meriti river, in Duque de Caxias, next to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 20, 2016.  / AFP / YASUYOSHI CHIBA        (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Much has been made of the water pollution that will play a role at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but United States Olympic rower Megan Kalmoe is done talking about the conditions.

She's ready to do whatever it takes to win a gold medal for her country. Even if it means competing in less than savory conditions.

Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times reported Tuesday that health experts are advising Olympic marathon swimmers to keep their mouths closed while they compete—because the waters in Rio are heavily contaminated with superbacteria and rotaviruses. Oh yeah, the athletes will literally be in the same water as human waste.


That nastiness may deter some people from competing in the Olympics. Not Kalmoe. She doesn't care what's in the water; all that matters is that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"My request to everyone who is fixated on s--t in the water: stop. Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us," Kalmoe wrote in an essay for the Guardian.

The 2012 bronze medalist in quadruple sculls noted that it does no good to complain about the water quality and that there have been similar concerns about the host cities of each of the past few Olympic Games. While the pollution is an issue (not just for the Summer Games, but for everyday life in Brazil), she is just thankful Rio has put in a lot of time, effort and money to host the Olympics.

Now that the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 are just days away, the 32-year-old Kalmoe doesn't want to talk about the water quality. She is ready to compete: "If you are that insecure about where we stand, America, let me be the one to say it. I'll say it, if it will allay your fears and put some of these issues to rest: I will row through s--t for you, America."

There you have it. No matter what the conditions are, Kalmoe is going to give it her all and represent her country the best she can. After all, she has spent the past decade working hard to get to this point. Now, it's go time.

Nothing is going to keep her from going for gold—not even bacteria-infested water.

[Guardian, h/t CBS Sports]