Sports OLYMPICS

The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close with Americans earning 121 medals -- 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze -- their biggest haul ever, not counting the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games or the 1904 St. Louis Games, when hardly anyone else showed up.

FINA attempts to explain mystery of green pool water

The Olympics diving pool on Wednesday morning (Larry W Smith / European Pressphoto Agency)
The Olympics diving pool on Wednesday morning (Larry W Smith / European Pressphoto Agency)

It's not easy being green.

Except at the diving pool at the Rio Olympics. Curiously, the water turned green at the pool on Tuesday -- causing a social media firestorm and raising questions from the divers.

There was no official explanation why it occurred until Wednesday afternoon when FINA, the international governing body of aquatics, issued a statement:

“FINA can confirm that the reason for the unusual water color observed during the Rio diving competitions is that the water tanks ran out of some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process.

“As a result, the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discoloration. The FINA Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded that there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes, and no reason for the competition to be affected.”

Pictures and reports were surfacing -- at about the same time as FINA’s statement –- of the water apparently starting to turn green over at the water polo pool, which is next to the diving pool.

The water polo, left, and diving pools on Wednesday morning (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)
The water polo, left, and diving pools on Wednesday morning (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)

"A sudden change in alkalinity, that was the reason. The water polo pool has been effected the same way," Rio 2016's Mario Andrada said during a news conference. "PH levels are at the required standard. We treated both pools in the night and the alkalinity levels have improved, we expect the color to be back to blue soon. People in charge could and should have done more intensive testing during the day."

Idle thought(s): Did someone not order enough chemicals -- or did they just forget to pay the bill?

“I’ve never dived in anything like it,” British diver Tonia Couch told BBC Sport.

Meanwhile, Times colleague Nathan Fenno, who was covering swimming preliminaries at the Olympics Aquatics Stadium, was happy to report that the water was the correct color on Wednesday.

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