Despite promises that it would be cleaned up, the waters outside of Rio remain unsanitary just 18 months before the Summer Olympics are to take place. Now the city is admitting that promises it made to improve the water quality likely won't be kept.

As reported by USA Today, the bay where Olympic sailing is scheduled to take place remains a cesspool of human waste. Environmentalists monitoring the bay's condition are outraged at the lack of progress made by local authorities to improve the water quality ahead of the Olympics.

“There are parts of the bay where you are literally inside a latrine where hundreds of thousands of people defecate daily,” Mario Moscatelli, an independent biologist, told USA Today.

He also said that sewage is far from the only problem. Hospital waste, tires, electronic equipment and even dead bodies have been found in the water, worsening an already unsafe situation.

When Rio made its official bid to host the 2016 Olympics, officials had promised that the city's raw sewage flow into the bay would be reduced by 80 percent in time for the Olympics.

Now, officials are admitting that this won't come to fruition. But they are insistent that the International Olympics Committee will understand.

"Of course they will understand if we don't meet our target," said state governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, according to Reuters. "We are going to show them that we are making lots of investment in this area."

In other words, Pezao is hoping the IOC will give Rio an "A" for effort -- even though environmentalists have decried those exact efforts.

Rio has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to correct the problem, but little progress has been made. Olympic sailors are also watching the situation closely and are concerned about the water's safety -- Reuters notes that when sailors toured the waters recently, they found floating animal carcasses and even a floating couch.

And that's not the only reason to be concerned for the safety of sailors. Biologists have identified in the bay a superbacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. The organism is being fed into the bay by a river, creating a serious risk that swimmers or other individuals entering the waters could contract a life-threatening infection.

But hey, they tried.

More: Can Rio Produce The Greenest Olympics?

Famous Olympians Before They Were Famous


Favorite Olympians Before They Were Famous

Who am I?


Michael Phelps

One of the most decorated Olympians of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps currently holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics. The mega-athlete won eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games, breaking Mark Spitz’s record. Phelps also holds 14 gold medals, another all-time record, as well as two bronze. His great success made him the American hero of the last Olympics, as well as Sports Illustrated’s 2008 Sportsman of the Year. After the 2008 Games, he started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes swimming and a healthy lifestyle. Phelps continues to compete today and plans on participating in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. We can look forward to seeing what new records Phelps may break in London.


Favorite Olympians Before They Were Famous

Who am I?


Mary Lou Retton

The unquestionable darling of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was Mary Lou Retton, a pert 16-year-old gymnast from West Virginia. Retton charmed audiences and judges alike by scoring perfect 10s on her floor routine and vault, winning the all-around title for the Games. Here is Retton in her brightest Olympic moment. This earned the Bela Karolyi-coached gymnast an appearance on the Wheaties cereal box and Sports Illustrated's Sportswoman of the Year. After her success in the 1984 Games, Retton went on to several lucrative endorsements, including becoming the first official spokesperson for Wheaties. Today she frequently works as a commentator for various gymnastics events.


Favorite Olympians Before They Were Famous

Who am I?


Mark Spitz

Swimmer Mark Spitz became an American hero when he won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games. After his great success in Munich, Spitz retired from competition at the age of 22. He went on to sign several lucrative endorsements, while a poster featuring Spitz, his bathing suit, and his seven gold medals made him a popular pinup. He was voted one of the six greatest Olympians by Sports Illustrated in 2000. Today, Spitz works as a motivational speaker and entrepreneur.


Favorite Olympians Before They Were Famous

Who am I?


Greg Louganis

Diver Greg Louganis was a star of both the 1984 Los Angeles and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he won gold in both the springboard and tower diving events. After the Games, Louganis enjoyed lucrative endorsements until he disclosed his HIV status in his 1995 best-selling autobiography Breaking the Surface. Only Speedo stood by the athlete, endorsing the diver until 2007. Today, Louganis works as a diving coach and an HIV activist. Actor Michael Fassbender cites Louganis as his physical inspiration for playing an android in the upcoming Ridley Scott film "Prometheus."

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