Poised on the starting blocks at the Olympics, the 15 swimmers had good reason to feel apprehensive. But the cause of their nervousness was not the race itself – it was the piranhas, anacondas and crocodiles lurking in the turbid waters below. […]
The swimming events all take place in the murky waters of the Loretoyaco river, a tributary of the Amazon. Waiting for her 100m freestyle race, Lina Castro, a 20-year-old member of the Tikun indigenous community, gazed into the water and considered the hazards. “When the race is about to start I need to be calm and not think about all the things that live in the river,” she said.