Lone U.S. Olympic kayaker to take water precautions

Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:02pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Nothing could keep Maggie Hogan from heading to Brazil to fulfill her dream of competing at the Olympics, but the 37-year-old American kayaker is on guard about Rio's risky water.

Hogan, who has won 14 national championships, treasures the opportunity to compete in her first Olympics but admits to some anxiety over the much maligned, sewage contaminated water.

"We're going to be as smart as we can. I'm more concerned about the water quality than I am about the Zika virus," Hogan, who will compete in the K1 500 meters, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Hogan, the only American to qualify in Canoe/Kayak Sprint events, will be based in Copacabana for the Games.

"We’ll stay in an air conditioned place. We usually wear long sleeves to stay out of the sun anyway, so we’ll try and avoid that best we can," Hogan said about keeping safe from mosquito bites that can transmit the Zika virus.

"We definitely get wet. That's a real concern, that super bacteria. We don’t want to get sick."

Scientists have found dangerous, drug-resistant "super bacteria" off Rio beaches that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe races will take place at the Aug. 5-21 Games.

"We're gonna try something a little funky, we're gonna try and waterproof the uniform. Hopefully we're creating less contact time. Make sure we get a lot of rest, wash our hands, take a shower right after and do the little things right."   Continued...

Jul 11, 2015; Welland, Ontario, CAN; Maggie Hogan after placing third in the women's K1 500m heats during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports