Why is risk management so challenging for large organizations?

Chronicle of a announced storm at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nobody wants to read a bad story of a storm at sea in these days. No worries, all went well but I learned a big lesson with this storm and this is worth sharing and to read in these coronavirus days

Chronicle of a announced storm at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nobody wants to read a bad story of a storm at sea in these days.

No worries, all went well but I learned a big lesson with this storm and this is worth sharing and to read in these coronavirus days.

Click on the images to see more photos from the Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Sailing 15th August 2016

We are at the daily media briefing, for us sailing photographers this briefing is mandatory as we work on the play of field during the event. Due to the nature of our sport we are very close to the athletes/boats while they are racing, actually even closer than the coaches.

We knew a storm will come over the Guanabara Bay, but we didn’t know how bad this storm will be. I remember that day I challenged the media manager asking why are you not briefing the media people about the upcoming storm.
We can shoot in storm but you need to be ready for it, clothing, life jackets, protection for the equipment, boat needs to be ready to etc.
They didn’t took it to serious, somehow I asked myself, maybe I’m too nervous or I simply see it bigger as it may be. But my weather forecast tools where clear.

All the boats left the harbor and went out on the racecourse anyway. It was a warm day no wind and the usual humidity. Looked like a boring no wind day.
Out on the Guanabara Bay, I did a few images about of the sugarloaf of Rio. While taking these photos I felt an uncomfortable calm, sometimes you have this Déjà vu feeling, it’s way to calm, something is wrong but you can’t find the explanation.

Brazil Rio de Janeiro August 2016 Marina di Gloria, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ©Jürg Kaufmann go4image.com

A bit later we left the Bay to the outside course in the open sea.
Once after a bit of a ride we came close to the starting vessel and we found a fresh breeze but the wind was shifting a lot, I knew this can’t be any good.
I Looked at the clouds, was expecting a black big front coming in, but could not see any. The crew on the starting vessel/race management just had to cancel the starting procedure due to the wind shift.

Brazil Rio de Janeiro August 2016 Marina di Gloria, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ©Jürg Kaufmann go4image.com

Suddenly, less than 5 minutes later the water flew horizontally over the Olympic racecourse the radio communication got more and more intense and around us, we could see boats capsizing, breaking masts and sails.

One hour later standing safe on the pier in the Marina de Gloria I asked myself, how this can happen at the Olympic games. What went wrong the best meteo specialist of the world where onsite at the Olympic games. I’m sure the information was available like it was for me already in the morning.

Yesterday Tokyo 2020 has been postponed, just had a longer conversation with my colleague Daniel Forster who is working in the Olympic circuit since the Summer Olympic Game 1972 and he doesn’t remember anything similar during all these years.

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I knew about a virus in China since the beginning of January, ⁠we even went to buy some Vitamin C pills, but who would have expected such a situation.
We humans are great we are intelligent but how comes that we make such mistakes once we work in bigger organization or teams.

I hope the world will learn what’s necessary out of this Coronavirus crisis. We know since many years that Climate Change is serious but we still struggle to take the necessary measures.

Many say the world after the Coronavirus will not be the same, I really hope we will learn the important lessons, hopefully also about climate change and make the right decisions for our plant and for us.

RIO 2016 TUDO BOM !

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There are happy days and not so happy days in live…today is a very happy day.

Let’s call it Swiss Olympic efficeincy as today I got my accreditation for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
This will be the third Olympic Games after Beijing in 2008 and London 2012…

Now it time to learn barazilian….Tudo bem or Tudo bom?
Simple: if asked, “Tudo bem?” you reply “Tudo bom.” If asked, “Tudo bom?” reply “Tudo bem.”

A Step closer to Rio
Video produced for the Swiss Olympic Sailing Team Nathalie Brugger and Mathias Buhler.

The scenes where produced in Rio during the Olympic Test event this summer 2014. Editing job by James McIntyre and grafic work by Marina Brugger.

Great teamwork

Good luck for Nati & Mati

More about the team: http://www.buhlerbrugger2016.ch

Water Quality in Guanabara Bay Rio

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After one week in Rio there are three points wo seem apparent about the water quality.

First, the water is still dirty, and it smells bad in some places.  Most of the day though, especially with the current running, it’s not so bad.  The race course that will be near the bridge still has lots of plastic bags and floating debris around; those seem to be the major risk for sailors at the moment.

Second is the water quality: Days ago, our head coach took some samples and sent to an independent lab for review.  We will have final results in a couple of days, but (and this is incredible), the water quality is within normal limits!  For sure, the water quality is far, far from what I’m used to on our alpine lakes in Switzerland, but still, we saw a turtle today and some of our sailors saw dolphins, so that’s good news.

Third, I remember the Star Worlds here 4 years ago here in Rio, and since then, the water quality has improved A LOT.  We had a race on the future medal course back then, and the water was so horribly brown and even black at times that I couldn’t use a single photo from that race.

We can complain about the water quality, but the reality is that we are seeing a major ecological change here on Brazil’s shore.  Being an outsider it is hard to predict what will happen come 2016, but if the Chinese could solve hundreds of tons worth of algae, it’s not hard to hope that the Brazilians will solve their water management issues.

Jürg