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Brazil vows good use of abandoned Olympic venues

Brazilian authorities are vowing to keep venues used in last year’s Rio Olympics from falling into disrepair © AFP/File / Yasuyoshi CHIBA

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Jun 15Brazilian authorities launched a plan Wednesday to make sure expensive venues used last year in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Games do not fall into disuse.

Paulo Marcio Dias Mello, head of the Olympic Heritage Governance Authority (AGLO), said all the venues in the city’s Olympic Park would be re-opened by July.

“Everyone is keen to see the Olympic Park going full steam ahead,” he said at a public presentation at the Olympic cycling stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

“We need to involve the public in this heritage plan.”

The government and city authorities set up the heritage body in March after plans for a public-private partnership to run the sites fell through when no one stepped forward to invest in them.

AGLO announced plans for five events to be staged in the Olympic complex including an international beach volleyball tournament in a tennis court that will be filled with sand.

Key venues have lain empty and in disrepair since last August’s games. Mello played down the scandal, saying that previous Olympics hosts have also taken time to re-adapt their venues.

Cycling activities returned to the stadium in May and Brazil plans to apply to use it to host a world indoor cycling championship.

The authority said it also plans to host events in the venues for children from poor districts.

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