Rio 2016 Awaits Its Turn
Once the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games end, the focus will be on Rio, site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says Rio has made great strides in its preparations, but has just warned organizers that the deadlines are getting tighter and the workload is increasing.
There are reportedly ongoing legal disputes, a worrisome hotel infrastructure, and a large number of projects still need to be carried out simultaneously as the Games approach.
Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Rio 2016 Games, said, "there is large volume of work that needs to be accomplished between now and 2016. There is no time to waste. The clock will be ticking on August 12 when your mayor will be carrying the flag (after closing ceremonies in London). All the spotlight will be on Rio".
The Associated Press reports more than 230 projects have to be completed by 2016, and 66 are finished or are in an advanced stage. Many of the projects are scheduled to begin in 2013 and all of the sports venues must be ready between mid-2015 and early 2016 for test events, and the IOC will, beginning next year, start making two annual full visits to inspect Rio's preparations.
Leonardo Gryner, Rio 2016 organizing committee chief executive officer, told The Associated Press, "it's always critical when you have to do a lot of things at the same time. When you have many projects simultaneously you take more risks. But we remain confident. We are working to make sure we can anticipate the problems and take the necessary measures to keep preparations on track".
One of the organizers biggest concerns has been making sure Rio will have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the tens of thousand of visitors, officials, and media.
The IOC noted that although there is strong interest in new hotel projects in Rio, a "large number" still need to be put in place to "fill the gap" presented at the time of the bid.
Gryner said, "this has always been our weakness since the bid. There's been an increase in the number of hotels already and it's continuing to increase. In the beginning of next year we will look at what we have and evaluate how many rooms we will have to provide in new accommodation villages".
Cruise ships will help ease the problem after the expected construction of a new pier and port upgrade in the city.
The IOC said one of the priorities for local organizers is the port upgrade, along with setting deadlines and establishing the work needed for the Olympic Park and the Deodoro complex, which will host several sporting venues.
IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said, "all Olympic projects have a priority. But we need to have a good understanding about the port because we will have eight boats there with 12,000 people, 10,000 people, so we need to understand all the connections when you get out of the boats and how you are going to get your transportation to go to the venues. We have working groups with the different levels of government and they have deadlines to come back and respond".
The IOC also said it is imperative local governments work closely together so all the needed projects can be completed in time.
Rio 2016 Olympic Committee president Carlos Nuzman said, "I remain confident in the integration and unity between the three levels of government, Rio 2016 and other stakeholders, which is crucial for the success of this project. We acknowledge all the advice and the constructive feedback we have received from the IOC".Write or read comments about this article
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