Category Archives: IOC

Nathan Adrian adds to medal haul in Rio

Nathan Adrian reacts after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Nathan Adrian reacts after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Nathan Adrian of Bremerton won his third medal at the Rio Olympics on Friday when he finished with a bronze in the 50-meter freestyle in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Adrian touched the wall in 21.49 seconds. U.S. teammate Anthony Ervin won the gold in 21.40 and France’s Florent Manaudou, who won gold in 2012, earned the silver in 21.41.
Adrian won a gold medal on Sunday anchoring the 4×100 free relay and then won a bronze in the 100 freestyle in Wednesday.

He will swim in the 4×100 medley relay at 6 p.m. on Saturday and look to earn his fourth medal.

Here’s how to watch;

TV: CBC (live), NBC 8 p.m. (tape delay)

Online:, NBCSportsExtra app

Nathan Adrian into Friday’s 50 free finals

Aug 11, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nathan Adrian (USA) after the men's 50m freestyle semifinal in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nathan Adrian (USA) after the men’s 50m freestyle semifinal in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian was the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 50 freestyle Thursday at the Rio Olympics.

Adrian finished second in his semifinal heat to defending gold medalist Florent Manaudou of France. Manaudou touched the wall in 21.32 and Adrian in 21.47.

This is the first Olympic 50 free Adrian will swim as he didn’t qualify in the event in 2008 or 2012, when he was favored to do so.

Joining him will be U.S. teammate, and former California teammate, Anthony Ervin who finished tied for first in the second semifinal with Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov in 21.46.

Nathan Adrian qualifies for 50 free semifinals

Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian

Coming off his bronze-medal finish in the 100 freestyle late Wednesday night in Rio, Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian won his heat in the 50 freestyle Thursday morning to qualify for tonight’s semifinals.

Adrian touched the wall in 21.61 seconds, out-touching teammate Anthony Ervin in 21.63.

The evening session starts at 6 p.m. It can be seen live on CBC locally, on or on tape delay on NBC at 8 p.m.

Nathan Adrian earns bronze in 100 free

Nathan Adrian of Bremerton with his bronze medal after the men's 100m freestyle final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Adrian of Bremerton with his bronze medal after the men’s 100m freestyle final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of Bremerton earned a bronze medal in the 100 freestyle on Wednesday evening, in 47.85 seconds at the Rio Olympics.

Adrian was trying to become the first American to win back-to-back golds in the sprint event since Johnny Weismuller did it in 1924-28.

“I feel great about getting another medal, man. No doubt,” he said. “To be able to look at the side of the block and see that there’s lights there. It’s what you work for. It would be great to have gold, but in this day and age in the 100 freestyle’s maybe the most fickle event out there.”

It’s Adrian’s second medal of the games, he anchored the 4×100 free relay on Sunday to a win, and his sixth career Olympic medal. Adrian was out-touched at the wall by gold medalist Kyle Chalmers in 47.58 and Belgium’s  Pieter Timmers in 47.80 for silver.

Adrian said he believed he was able to swim his own race.

“I did. I was next to a couple of guys who come home really fast,” he said. “In a pool this small, there’s no getting away from that.”

He will swim Thursday morning in the preliminaries in the 50 freestyle with the semifinals at 6 p.m.

Nathan Adrian earns chance to defend 100 free gold

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian didn’t leave any doubt this time.

After just barely making the semifinals by .03 seconds in 16th place, Adrian won the first semifinal heat in 47.83 to beat out Australia’s Kyle Chalmers in 47.93.

The 100 free finals is at 6 p.m. Wednesday locally.

Here’s how to watch: (live), CBC (live, 3-8 p.m.), NBCSportsExtra app for smartphone/tablet (live), NBC highlight show (tape delay, 8 p.m.)



Nathan Adrian makes semis…barely

It would have been a major upset in Olympic swimming if the reigning 100 freestyle champion failed to qualify for the semifinals, but Nathan Adrian managed to squeak into tonight’s semis in 16th place.

Adrian, coming off a gold-medal performance Sunday as part of the 4×100 free relay, finished last in his preliminary heat in 48.58 seconds. Teammate Caeleb Dressel also made the semis with the second fastest time in 47.91. Australia’s Kyle Chalmers was the fastest qualifier in 47.90.

Adrian wasn’t too concerned and spoke to following his morning’s race.

“It was alright, feeling a little rusty this morning, trying to get back into the meet after a pretty late night the other night. It doesn’t affect anything really, you’re swimming for a lane, and tonight is going to be the same thing, we’re swimming for a lane. Actually, I’m pretty happy to get an outside lane, it’s always nice to get a little clean water, so looking forward to it tonight.”

Tonight’s session can be viewed live online at or on CBC locally starting at 6 p.m.

NBC is showing a highlight, tape delayed broadcast that includes swimming that starts about 7 p.m.

Olympian Tara Kirk Sell says don’t cancel the Olympics because of Zika

Bremerton’s Tara Kirk Sell, and her sister Dana Kirk Martin, paved the way for swimmers to dream big. The sisters were the first to make a U.S. Olympic swim team when they competed at the 2004 Athens Games. Tara won a silver medal as a member of the 4×100 medley relay.

She now lives in Baltimore with her husband and two young children, and wrote this op-ed piece for the Baltimore Sun. Kirk Sell, a public health researcher and associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore, gives a great insightful voice on the public health concerns of Zika from the Olympians point of view. There has been talk from some in the public health sector to cancel the Rio Olympics due to Zika.

Here’s an excerpt;

“With the Zika outbreak in the Americas raging and the growth of scientific support about potential birth defects from maternal infection, some in public health have called for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to be postponed or moved. As a fellow public health researcher and a pregnant Olympian swimmer and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, I have a close-up perspective on both sides of this issue and believe this opinion does not balance the risks appropriately.”

You can read the full article here.

AP: Russian Olympic medalist caught in country limbo

Here’s a another good column by Associated Press national writer Paul Newberry on Arkady Vyatchanin, who wants to compete for Serbia at the Rio Games instead of Russia. Vyatchanin won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games in the 100 and 200-meter backstrokes.

Here’s the story;

ORLANDO, Fla. — Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Arkady Vyatchanin wins the men's 200-meter backstroke at the finals of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country. The two-time Olympic medalist just doesn't want to compete for it anymore. The Russian swimmer has become a Serbian citizen, but now he's caught in a waiting game over whether he'll be allowed to compete in Rio. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Arkady Vyatchanin wins the men’s 200-meter backstroke at the finals of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country. The two-time Olympic medalist just doesn’t want to compete for it anymore. The Russian swimmer has become a Serbian citizen, but now he’s caught in a waiting game over whether he’ll be allowed to compete in Rio. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

He just doesn’t want to represent Russia at the Olympics.

That stance has left the swimmer in legal limbo with the Rio Games less than five months away, the pawn in a political tug-of-war that again shows just how little the guys in charge actually care about the athletes.

“I guess I underestimated the burden that I’ll carry,” said Vyatchanin, who lives and trains in the United States and wants to swim for Serbia in what very well could be his last shot at the Olympics.

Vyatchanin has an impressive resume. At the 2008 Beijing Games, he captured a pair of bronze medals, finishing behind American winners Aaron Peirsol in the 100-meter backstroke and Ryan Lochte in the 200 back. He also has four medals from the world championships — three silvers and a bronze.

After a disappointing performance at the London Olympics, where Vyatchanin failed to qualify for the final in either backstroke event, he had a falling-out with the Russian swimming federation over his decision to begin training in Gainesville, Florida, under renowned coach and longtime Lochte mentor Gregg Troy.

More troubling, Vyatchanin had serious concerns about just how committed his country was to the battle against doping, a stance that turned out to be very well-founded given the almost daily revelations of ramping cheating throughout Russian sports.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova acknowledged this week that she had tested positive for a banned substance, while the country’s track and field athletes remain barred from international competition — including, possibly, the Olympics — after a ruling Friday found “significant work” was still required to clean up a major doping scandal.

“It is pretty wide open right now with all the doping cases,” Vyatchanin said, a sadness in his voice. “I was afraid that I could get caught up with that stuff just for raising my voice.”

He began searching for a new country, sending letters to virtually every European nation with a swimming team. He also made inquiries with the United States, but learned the process for becoming a citizen might not be completed in time for Rio.

Knowing he would be 32 by the time of the Olympics, Vyatchanin couldn’t afford to let another quadrennial pass him by.

A year ago, he received his Serbian passport, which should’ve been enough to lock up his trip to South America.

Not so fast, said international governing body FINA, which invoked an onerous residency rule to hold up Vyatchanin’s bid to switch countries, according to Vyatchanin.

“The bottom line in my case is that I did not break any rules,” he said. “All I want to do is swim.”

When FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu was questioned in an email about Vyatchanin’s status, the organization’s legal team came back with a vague reply that merely said, “Thank you for your email and interest in the sports of aquatics. Please note that the request for changing the sport nationality of Mr. Arkady Vyatchanin is under consideration in FINA.”

Granted, FINA has some well-founded concerns about athletes hopping from country to country, sometimes merely looking to find a team better suited to their Olympic goals.

But Vyatchanin hasn’t competed for Russia in more than three years, skipping the last two world championships, and the doping scandal in his country would seem reason enough to allow him — and any other clean athlete, for that matter — to move on.

“I love my country,” he said. “I don’t like the government, though.”

This has been a poignant ordeal for Vyatchanin, who would certainly prefer to race for his home country at the Olympics. While he would be incredibly proud to win a medal for sports-mad Serbia, which is giving him a chance to fulfill his dreams, there would surely be mixed emotions about having a banner other than Russia’s raised in his name.

“It is not right that a person should have to leave his country because of fear,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t think the Olympics or any other major sporting event should be about countries. It’s about who’s the fastest swimmer. It’s about the competition.”

There are no regrets about moving to the U.S. to train in 2011. If anything, Vyatchanin only wishes he had started the process to find a new country even sooner.

“I didn’t feel like I needed permission,” he said. “I’m a grown-up man. I felt I could make the decision that is better for me.”

Vyatchanin, who is getting sponsorship help from the New York Athletic Club, remains hopeful that everything will work out in the end. As he says on his Twitter profile: “Never give up!”

There is only one thing for FINA to do when it finally rules on Vyatchanin’s case:

Let him swim.


AP Investigation: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio’s filth

This. Wow.

Great Associated Press investigative piece on the filthy waters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a year out from the Olympics.

I don’t see how it’s possible at this point that the waters will be safe and clean for anyone in the next year. I can see this becoming a huge problem for Brazil and the IOC.

(And think about the millions of people, including children, subjected to this disgusting water right now!)

AP Investigation: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio’s filth
BRAD BROOKS, Associated Press
JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Athletes competing in next year’s Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.

It is the first independent comprehensive testing for both viruses and bacteria at the Olympic sites.

Brazilian officials have assured that the water will be safe for the Olympic athletes. But the government does not test for viruses.

Extreme water pollution is common in Brazil, where the majority of sewage is not treated. Raw waste runs through open-air ditches to streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites.

As a result, Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.

Despite decades of official pledges to clean up the mess, the stench of raw sewage still greets travelers touching down at Rio’s international airport. Prime beaches are deserted because the surf is thick with putrid sludge, and periodic die-offs leave the Olympic lake, Rodrigo de Freitas, littered with rotting fish.

“What you have there is basically raw sewage,” said John Griffith, a marine biologist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Griffith examined the protocols, methodology and results of the AP tests.

“It’s all the water from the toilets and the showers and whatever people put down their sinks, all mixed up, and it’s going out into the beach waters. Those kinds of things would be shut down immediately if found here,” he said, referring to the U.S.

Vera Oliveira, head of water monitoring for Rio’s municipal environmental secretariat, said officials are not testing viral levels at the Olympic lake, the water quality of which is the city’s responsibility.

The other Olympic water venues are under the control of the Rio state environmental agency.

Leonardo Daemon, coordinator of water quality monitoring for the state’s environmental agency, said officials are strictly following Brazilian regulations on water quality, which are all based on bacteria levels, as are those of almost all nations.

“What would be the standard that should be followed for the quantity of virus? Because the presence or absence of virus in the water … needs to have a standard, a limit,” he said. “You don’t have a standard for the quantity of virus in relation to human health when it comes to contact with water.”

Olympic hopefuls will be diving into Copacabana’s surf this Saturday during a triathlon Olympic qualifier event, while rowers take to the lake’s water beginning Wednesday for the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships. Test events for sailing and marathon swimming take place later in August.

Over 10,000 athletes from 205 nations are expected to compete in next year’s Olympics. Nearly 1,400 of them will be sailing in the waters near Marina da Gloria in Guanabara Bay, swimming off Copacabana beach, and canoeing and rowing on the brackish waters of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake.

The AP commissioned four rounds of testing in each of those three Olympic water venues, and also in the surf off Ipanema Beach, which is popular with tourists but where no events will be held. Thirty-seven samples were checked for three types of human adenovirus, as well as rotavirus, enterovirus and fecal coliforms.

The AP viral testing, which will continue in the coming year, found not one water venue safe for swimming or boating, according to global water experts.

Instead, the test results found high counts of active and infectious human adenoviruses, which multiply in the intestinal and respiratory tracts of people. These are viruses that are known to cause respiratory and digestive illnesses, including explosive diarrhea and vomiting, but can also lead to more serious heart, brain and other diseases.

The concentrations of the viruses in all tests were roughly equivalent to that seen in raw sewage — even at one of the least-polluted areas tested, the Copacabana Beach, where marathon and triathlon swimming will take place and where many of the expected 350,000 foreign tourists may take a dip.

“Everybody runs the risk of infection in these polluted waters,” said Dr. Carlos Terra, a hepatologist and head of a Rio-based association of doctors specializing in the research and treatment of liver diseases.

Kristina Mena, a U.S. expert in risk assessment for waterborne viruses, examined the AP data and estimated that international athletes at all water venues would have a 99 percent chance of infection if they ingested just three teaspoons of water — though whether a person will fall ill depends on immunity and other factors.

Besides swimmers, athletes in sailing, canoeing and to a lesser degree rowing often get drenched when competing, and breathe in mist as well. Viruses can enter the body through the mouth, eyes, any orifice, or even a small cut.

The Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, which was largely cleaned up in recent years, was thought be safe for rowers and canoers. Yet AP tests found its waters to be among the most polluted for Olympic sites, with results ranging from 14 million adenoviruses per liter on the low end to 1.7 billion per liter at the high end.

By comparison, water quality experts who monitor beaches in Southern California become alarmed if they see viral counts reaching 1,000 per liter.

“If I were going to be in the Olympics,” said Griffith, the California water expert, “I would probably go early and get exposed and build up my immunity system to these viruses before I had to compete, because I don’t see how they’re going to solve this sewage problem.”



Ivan Bulaja, the Croatian-born coach of Austria’s 49er-class sailing team, has seen it firsthand. His sailors have lost valuable training days after falling ill with vomiting and diarrhea.

“This is by far the worst water quality we’ve ever seen in our sailing careers,” said Bulaja.

Training earlier this month in Guanabara Bay, Austrian sailor David Hussl said he and his teammates take precautions, washing their faces immediately with bottled water when they get splashed by waves and showering the minute they return to shore. And yet Hussl said he’s fallen ill several times.

“I’ve had high temperatures and problems with my stomach,” he said. “It’s always one day completely in bed and then usually not sailing for two or three days.”

It is a huge risk for the athletes, the coach said.

“The Olympic medal is something that you live your life for,” Bulaja said, “and it can really happen that just a few days before the competition you get ill and you’re not able to perform at all.”

Dr. Alberto Chebabo, who heads Rio’s Infectious Diseases Society, said the raw sewage has led to “endemic” public health woes among Brazilians, primarily infectious diarrhea in children.

By adolescence, he said, people in Rio have been so exposed to the viruses they build up antibodies. But foreign athletes and tourists won’t have that protection.

“Somebody who hasn’t been exposed to this lack of sanitation and goes to a polluted beach obviously has a much higher risk of getting infected,” Chebabo said.

An estimated 60 percent of Brazilian adults have been exposed to hepatitis A, said Terra, the Rio hepatologist. Doctors urge foreigners heading to Rio, whether athletes or tourists, to be vaccinated against hepatitis A. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends travelers to Brazil get vaccinated for typhoid.



The AP commissioned Fernando Spilki, a virologist and coordinator of the environmental quality program at Feevale University in southern Brazil, to conduct the water tests.

Spilki’s testing looked for three different types of human adenovirus that are typical “markers” of human sewage in Brazil. In addition, he tested for enteroviruses, the most common cause of upper respiratory tract infections in the young. He also searched for signs of rotavirus, the main cause of gastroenteritis globally.

The tests so far show that Rio’s waters “are chronically contaminated,” he said. “The quantity of fecal matter entering the waterbodies in Brazil is extremely high. Unfortunately, we have levels comparable to some African nations, to India.”

Griffith, the California expert, said the real concern isn’t for what Spilki actually measured, noting that “there are very likely to be nastier bugs in there that weren’t searched for and that are out there lurking.”

There is no lack of illness in Rio, but there is a severe shortage of health data related to dirty water, medical experts said.

The maladies often hit people hard, but most don’t go see a doctor, so no data is collected.

Globally, however, rotavirus accounts for about 2 million hospitalizations and over 450,000 deaths of children worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.

The AP testing found rotavirus on three separate occasions at Olympic sites — twice at the lake and once at a beach next to the Marina da Gloria, where sailors are expected to launch their boats.

Mena, an associate professor of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and an expert in water quality, conducted what she called a “conservative” risk assessment for Olympic athletes participating in water sports in Rio, assuming they would ingest 16 milliliters of water, or three teaspoons — far less than athletes themselves say they take in.

She found “an infection risk of 99 percent,” she said.

“Given those viral concentration levels, do I think somebody should be exposed to those amounts? The answer is no.”

The AP also measured fecal coliform bacteria, single-celled organisms that live in the intestines of humans and animals. Fecal coliforms can suggest the presence of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.

In 75 percent of the samples taken at the Olympic lake, the number of fecal coliforms exceeded Brazil’s legal limit for “secondary contact,” such as boating or rowing — in two samples spiking to over 10 times the accepted level. The Marina da Gloria venue exceeded the limit only once, while at Rio’s most popular tourist beach, Ipanema, fecal coliforms tested at three times the acceptable level in a single sample. At Copacabana, the AP tests found no violations of fecal coliform counts.

Fecal coliforms have long been used by most governments as a marker to determine whether bodies of water are polluted because they are relatively easy and cheap to test and find. Brazil uses only bacterial testing when determining water quality.

In Rio, the fecal coliform levels were not as astronomical as the viral numbers the AP found. That gap is at the heart of a global debate among water experts, many of whom are pushing governments to adopt viral as well as bacterial testing to determine if recreational waters are safe.

That’s because fecal coliform bacteria from sewage can survive only a short time in water, especially in the salty and sunny conditions around Rio. Human adenoviruses have been shown to last several months, with some studies even indicating they can last years.

That means that even if Rio magically collected and treated all its sewage tomorrow, its waters would stay polluted for a long time.



In its Olympic bid, Rio officials vowed the games would “regenerate Rio’s magnificent waterways” through a $4 billion government expansion of basic sanitation infrastructure.

It was the latest in a long line of promises that have already cost Brazilian taxpayers more than $1 billion — with very little to show for it.

Rio’s historic sewage problem spiraled over the past decades as the population exploded, with many of the metropolitan area’s 12 million residents settling in the vast hillside slums that ring the bay.

Waste flows into more than 50 streams that empty into the once-crystalline Guanabara Bay. An eye-watering stench emanates from much of the bay and its palm-lined beaches, which were popular swimming spots as late as the 1970s but are now perpetually off-limits for swimmers.

Tons of household trash — margarine tubes, deflated soccer balls, waterlogged couches and washing machines — line the shore and form islands of refuse.

Starting in 1993, Japan’s international cooperation agency poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a Guanabara cleanup project. The Inter-American Development Bank issued $452 million in loans for more works.

A culture of mismanagement stymied any progress. For years, none of four sewage treatment plants built with the Japanese funds operated at full capacity. One of the plants in the gritty Duque de Caxias neighborhood didn’t treat a drop of waste from its construction in 2000 through its inauguration in 2014. For 14 years, it wasn’t connected to the sewage mains.

By then, the Japanese agency rated the project as “unsatisfactory,” with “no significant improvements in the water quality of the bay.”

As part of its Olympic project, Brazil promised to build eight treatment facilities to filter out much of the sewage and prevent tons of household trash from flowing into the Guanabara Bay. Only one has been built.

The fluorescent green lagoons that hug the Olympic Park and which the government’s own data shows are among the most polluted waters in Rio were to be dredged, but the project got hung up in bureaucratic hurdles and has yet to start.

“Brazilian authorities promised the moon in order to win their Olympic bid and as usual they’re not making good on those promises,” said Mario Moscatelli, a biologist who has spent 20 years lobbying for a cleanup of Rio’s waterways. “I’m sad but not surprised.”

As the clock ticks down, local officials have dialed back their promises. Rio Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao has acknowledged “there’s not going to be time” to finish the cleanup of the bay ahead of the games.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has said it’s a “shame” the Olympic promises wouldn’t be met, adding the games are proving “a wasted opportunity” as far as the waterways are concerned.

But the Rio Olympic organizing committee’s website still states that a key legacy of the games will be “the rehabilitation and protection of the area’s environment, particularly its bays and canals” in areas where water sports will take place.


Associated Press sports writer Stephen Wade and senior producer Yesica Fisch contributed to this report.

IOC confirms swimming finals will be late night for Rio 2016

As with everything these days, money talks and NBC wants the finals competition of swimming and beach volleyball to be on during primetime of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Whether or not that’s good for the athletes is of little concern to NBC, the International Olympic Committee or FINA. the IOC confirmed Friday that the finals for both of the popular events in the upcoming Games will run from 10 p.m.-midnight (Rio local time, about seven hours ahead of Pacific time) while beach volleyball may not start until after midnight.

That means there will be 13 hours between the typical morning sessions (now afternoon) and the evening sessions. That takes a toll on swimmers with the longer wait time. I mean, you can only nap and eat for so long.

Glad to hear at least someone (officials with the Australian Olympic Committee) protested the obvious pressure by NBC toward the IOC.

Here’s the story from Associated Press writer Stephen Wilson;

MONACO — Swimmers and beach volleyball players will be competing in the midnight hour at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Olympic Committee and Brazilian organizers confirmed Friday that the competition schedule includes late-night sessions in the two sports — swimming finals running from 10 p.m. local time to midnight, and some beach volleyball matches starting at midnight on Copacabana Beach.

The times are geared toward NBC’s night-time coverage in the United States, as well as Brazilian TV’s tradition of showing sports events at late hours. Rio will be one hour ahead of U.S. eastern time during the games.

“The Olympic Games are a global event that is seen around the world and the schedule has to work around the world to give the best showcase for each sport,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “It’s quite a balance. They seem to have reached a conclusion that suits everybody.”

The IOC executive board also praised Rio’s progress in tackling the delays that had put the Olympics at risk a few months ago, saying the crisis has eased but that there still is no time to lose with the games less than two years away.

“I’m 100 percent confident that we will get the venues that we need ready in time,” said the IOC’s executive director of the Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi. “There is nothing today where we say, ‘Whoa, this test event is at risk’, or, for that matter, the games.”

Putting together the sports competition timetable for an Olympics is always a challenge of meeting requests of broadcasters and sports federations. The International Association of Athletics Federations announced this month that it will hold some Rio track-and-field finals in the morning for the first time since 1988.

Swimming and beach volleyball, meanwhile, are going for late-night competition.

Australian Olympic Committee officials have objected to holding the swimming finals so late, complaining that the move was taken under pressure from U.S. broadcasters and would mean some medals would be decided after midnight.

Swimming governing body FINA and other officials said the following day’s heats will be moved from the usual morning hours to 1 p.m., meaning swimmers will have 13 hours between sessions.

“We need to organize a schedule that the television asks, together with the international federations,” Rio organizing committee head Carlos Nuzman said. “They decided with us. We have no problems with this. It will be good for the athletes.”

Rio’s overall preparations for the Olympics reached a crisis stage in May when sports federations and the IOC voiced concerns that the games were in jeopardy because of chronic delays.

The IOC introduced special measures, including assigning veteran administrator Gilbert Felli to work with organizers in Brazil.

While concerns remain over pollution in the Rio bay that will host sailing events, delays in construction of the main broadcast center and legal wrangling over the golf course, the IOC said the situation has much improved.

IOC vice president John Coates of Australia, who a few months ago publicly called Rio’s preparations the “worst” he had ever experienced, told the Brazilians on Friday that “great progress had been made,” Adams said.

“There are 20 months to go and we are in that phase with all games, less than two years to go, when it’s really about delivery now,” Adams said.

On Saturday, the IOC board will review preparations for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where a dispute over construction costs has raised concerns about the project.

The two-day board meeting in Monaco comes ahead of a two-day session of the full IOC that will vote on President Thomas Bach’s 40-point reform program, including changes to the bidding process and sports program and creation of an Olympic television channel.