August 7, 2016 — 10:00 PM EDT Updated on August 8, 2016 — 11:47 AM EDT
Hot weather may lead to heatstroke and reduce concentration
Opening ceremony highlighted distress from global warming
Climate change warnings poignantly made during the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday are likely to resonate with athletes as they struggle to train and compete in Brazil’s tropical heat.
Marathon runners, swimmers, volleyball players and even soccer referees will succumb to extreme temperatures and lose concentration during the games, in some cases risking their lives to heatstroke, according to a report released Monday by Observatorio do Clima, a Brazilian civil society group.
“Because of warming, sport will never be the same again,” and fewer records than in previous games are likely to fall as a result, the report said.
Global warming was a key theme of the opening ceremony, featuring maps, charts and graphics of rising global temperatures, melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels encroaching on cities from Amsterdam to Shanghai.
Over the coming years, athletes are likely to “give into fatigue earlier on, even if they remain in the competition until the end,” according to the report.
He reckons European players won’t be used to the humidity, which will make them sweat more than usual.
“I believe that the English and the Swedish, for example, will fade out,” Meligeni said, according to the report.