On Feb. 24, the last medals were handed out as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics came to an end. However, an unseen culprit unseen by almost everyone may have altered whom the medals were awarded to. Indeed, this undetectable culprit may have affected some of the top competitors, forcing them to compete at a less-than-optimal level or withdraw from the Olympic
This culprit? Dirty streets.
A Look at The Streets of Sochi
Building and street construction was finished right as the Olympic Games opened. As a result, the streets were covered by a fine grit which often accompanies new building construction. Moreover, new cement can also create fine dust particles when it’s walked on for the first time, and Sochi’s streets certainly saw an influx of traffic.
These fine particles are easily cleansed by power sweeping. Russia, however, employed a different, harmful cleaning tactic: manual sweeping.
Russian cities hired individuals to manually sweep the streets with straw brooms. These inferior brooms, combined with a lack of any sort of water cleaning or power sweeping, released dust particles into the air. When inhaled by athletes—particularly those prone to allergies or asthma—these particles can negatively affect performance.
Athletes get sick at every Olympics. It is to be expected as people with viruses and bacteria strains from all parts of the world share the same confined space and breathe the same air. Thus, when dust particles lead to an illness in one individual, that illness is easily spread.
One notable athlete who fell sick (presumably due to dust inhalation) was Norwegian Axel Lund Svindal. Svindal is a top alpine downhill skier who was supposed to contend for the medal stand. But as fate would have it, Svindal had a massive allergic reaction that forced him to withdraw from the Olympic Games and return to his native Norway.
Other athletes and personnel experienced running noses, lethargy, asthmatic symptoms, itchy eyes, and respiratory difficulties. Many complained of a heavy feel of concrete in the air and of fine dust entering their respiratory system. Sadly, these effects could have been minimized by proper power sweeping.
Don’t Repeat the Sochi Street Fail
Don’t let your family, customers, or passerby inhale concrete or fine dust particles. Whether you have recently completed construction or simply want to thoroughly clean the streets around your home or business, contact USA Services of Florida today. We have the tools to do it safely and effectively.