Team USA rower Megan Kalmoe had a fervent message for media members who are covering the 2016 Olympics and focusing the narrative of their coverage on the poor water quality in Rio: “Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us.”
Kalmoe, who will compete next month for Team USA in the third Olympic Games of her career, took to her personal blog to post her strong-worded message.
“I can’t be sure when the first headlines about the water quality in Rio appeared and the conversation really started. But ever since then, it seems like it’s all people want to talk about,” Kalmoe wrote. “And I can’t really understand why. At this point, it is known that there are issues with the water quality. It is known that athletes are going to be at risk for illness. It is known that we are going to have to be smart, hygienic and take precautions. Great. Let’s move on.”
The 32-year-old Kalmoe went on to defend the Brazilian people in her post, saying that it is insulting to them when Americans harp on Brazil’s perceived shortcomings.
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“The people of Brazil have opened their country and their hearts to the global community to engage with us during this incredible event that will bring people together from every corner of the earth to celebrate humanity on a truly basic level,” Kalmoe added. “And the best we can do, our media can do, is insult them and try to make them feel ashamed of who they are and the work they have done to bring us all together.”
Near the end of her post, Kalmoe—who began her rowing career in 2002 and will complete it in Rio—added perhaps the most memorable bit of her commentary.
“I will row through s*** for you, America,” Kalmoe wrote. “And I will do it gladly, and proudly, because rowing on this Team in Rio is not something I’m afraid of, or going to complain about.”
Read Kalmoe’s full post here.