Game Game

Rio Olympics on track but schedule tight


RIO-2016-SITERIO, October 2-Rio’s 2016 Olympic preparations are progressing solidly but the schedule is tight, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission said.

Concluding its seventh visit to Rio, the first South American city to be awarded the Games, the Commission expressed satisfaction at progress made since its last in March.

Over three days the Commission visited the Olympic Golf Course, the Olympic Village, the Deodoro Olympic Park and also the Barra Olympic Park in the company of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

“We leave Rio satisfied with the progress that has been made since our visit last March,” said Commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel.

Six months ago, the Commission had notably expressed concern at the slow pace of construction and polluted water in Guanabara Bay, which will host sailing events.

“The strong commitment of the Brazilian authorities to the success of the Rio 2016 Games has been underlined to us by the presence of President Rousseff during our visit to the Olympic Park yesterday,” the Commission said in a statement.

“We remain confident that, despite a very tight schedule, our Brazilian partners will deliver successful Games.

“As we enter the final two years of preparations, we are able to see that the core works are progressing at full speed, particularly in venue construction, where we have been receiving solid development reports.

Organizers are overseeing a program of 45 test events — last August saw the opening test for yachting.

The Commission noted Rio was “advancing full speed ahead towards these events,” saying it had paid close attention to progress on construction and accommodation, now “under control.”

On accommodation, the Commission, whose next visit will be in February, said it had received “very clear and reassuring information” that the building of 68 new hotels is on track.

Rio 2016 Organizing Committee president, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, said: “Our commitment to our mission of organizing excellent Games with memorable celebrations remains intact.

“With the IOC’s guidance and the help of our sponsors, we have the confidence we need” to deliver the August 5-21 extravaganza.

Swiss IOC member Christophe Dubi said: “We’re inside the two years (to go point) and we are facing an amount of work that has to be delivered on a day-to-day basis.

“There is no express deep concern that keeps us awake at night. However, at the same time we are in that critical phase and a lot still has to be done.”

Amid a a legal spat over the course after ecologists decried the choice of a venue in a nature reserve for golf, El Moutawakel said that was the preserve of the Rio authorities.

“Working is under progress and I think the city is handling the issue,” Moutawakel said.

Organizers said the Games will leave a strong legacy to the city with every real ($0.40) spent on venue construction five would be spent on facilities such as new transport links and better sanitation control as well as the regeneration of the city port area.