Ecological Crisis in Brazil is No Match for Competing Countries by Ciarra Wentzel, August 18 2016, 0 Comments

Photo courtesy of CBC News (Canada)

The 2016 games are on! On August 5th, Rio welcomed the Olympic games in Brazil during the opening ceremony. As impressive as the ceremony might have been, there has been some obvious controversy regarding the location of this year’s games.

Recently, Rio has been infested with the Zika virus, a disease caused by a virus transmitted primarily by mosquitoes. The virus has led to birth defects of babies in the prenatal stage. In addition, a number of people have been hospitalized due to illnesses caused by the virus. Recent tests also revealed that Rio’s waters where the Olympic swimmers will compete, are heavily polluted with human sewage and an alarming amount of diseases and bacteria. In fact, athletes competing in the polluted waters are encouraged to keep their heads out and above the water at all times during the games.

However, there is a brighter side to all of this. Some teams still have the environment's wellbeing on their minds and have tried to be eco-friendly through their competing athletes' active wear. 

South Korea is conscious of the harmful effects the current environment in Rio can have on their competing citizens. In response to the Zika Virus and bacteria-infested waters, South Korea sent their team to Rio decked out in special disease-repellent fabric to protect their athletes from catching the Zika Virus or any other disease-causing bacteria. Australia is also attempting to protect their athletes in Brazil by distributing Zika-proof condoms to their competing athletes.

While South Korea and Australia are busy protecting their athletes from the current unhealthy environmental conditions in Brazil, another country, Sweden, is taking more of a proactive approach to the poor conditions by protecting the environment in order to prevent future ecological downfalls.

Team Sweden has gone to Rio in head-to-toe active wear made entirely by recycled fabric including recycled polyester fibers. Swedish retailer H&M, produced the sustainable looks for the team, which include leggings, windbreakers, sweaters and T-shirts.

Photo courtesy of esquire.com

This is not the first time the retailer has dipped into eco-friendly fashion. This spring, H&M launched a campaign to promote sustainable apparel. The campaign encouraged consumers worldwide to donate used and unwanted clothing to H&M stores for recycling.

These teams are all in the lead in this year's Olympics games in my book for their dedication to preserving the environment despite the harsh conditions in Rio.