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Rio 2016 Olympics: Water Quality Problems as Opening Ceremony Quickly Approaches; Where to Watch Live Streaming of the Ceremony, TV Schedule

First Posted: Jul 31, 2016 10:45 AM EDT
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Athletes headed to the 2016 Rio Olympics in early August are being warned by health experts that the country's water system may not be up to par.

In addition to growing concerns about substandard Olympic Village accommodations, athletes are now also left to deal with reports that government and Olympic officials have come up short in their efforts to bring sewage and garbage standards up to the levels they should be.

Scientists Warn of Pollution

With nearby Guanabara Bay set to play host to The Games sailing and windsurfing competitions, scientists warn the waters are polluted with pathogens and viruses that are more contaminated than originally feared by virtue of tons of sewage once being pumped into the waters on a daily basis.

According to the New York Times, one doctor bluntly assessed that athletes will "literally be swimming in human crap." Health experts have also advised athletes to keep their mouths closed shut while competing.

Government officials counter the situation isn't as bad as what's being reported, adding that strong currents around the bay assure that the waters designated for competition will be clean enough for swimming.

In addition, Rio state secretary for environment Andre Correa insists that new barriers erected to prevent the flow of garbage into the waters have worked wonders.

"There is no bay in the world with no rubbish," he said. "Is there a chance we'll have some problem? There is a very small chance, but it can't be ignored. It's not impossible. But I am very optimistic that we can guarantee a fair regatta."

Rio Assurances

In winning the right to host The Games, Rio officials made assurances that pollution in the area would be reduced by at least 80 percent by the time competition commenced.

The Games are officially slated to open in Brazil on August 5, with the

Opening Ceremony is kicking off at 7 p.m. EST (NBC) at Maracana Stadium. Throughout the 16-day extravaganza, fans can watch a live stream of the competition by visiting .

Here is a list of NBC networks covering the Rio Olympics 2016:

Broadcast networks:
TELEMUNDO (Spanish language)

Cable channels:
Golf Channel
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
NBC UNIVERSO (Spanish language)
USA Network
Specialty channels (Basketball and Soccer)

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