Jump to content

Rio's Olympics Quest: Can It Handle The 2016 Games?


Recommended Posts

Since many Rio supporters like to post U.S. articles about Brazil and Rio, I have one too!

-

Rio's Olympics Quest: Can It Handle the 2016 Games?

By Andrew Downie / São Paulo Friday, Sep. 25, 2009

If life is fair then the International Olympic Committee will next week declare that Brazil has been chosen to host the 2016 Olympics and thus become the first South American nation to win one of sports' greatest honors.

At least that's the claim Brazil is making. The other main contenders are the U.S., Spain and Japan and they've all hosted the Olympics before. Brazil, meanwhile, is a tourist mecca, with beaches, sun, a welcoming population, and a vibrant economy whose recent performance has shamed many of its developing world rivals. Rio — and South America — deserves the chance to show what it can do.

"It isn't right that the Olympics be held in the U.S. for the eighth time," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said recently in what was just one in a series of typical appeals to IOC delegates. "It's not possible that it be in England in 2012 and in another European country in 2016... It's not fair that Brazil, one of the 10 biggest economies in the world for 30 years, that Brazil, one of the world's industrialized countries, a nation that has demonstrated its love for sports, it's not fair that Brazil not be chosen."

Lula has a point but as the former union leader knows, life isn't always fair. If it was, then Rio, while a front-runner, would be in a stronger position to win next Friday's decision and edge out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. It can claim experience: Rio hosted the Pan America Games in 2007, an event that should have transformed the still sometimes provincial resort into a more modern, more international and safer city.

The problem is, it didn't quite do that. Winning the 2007 Pan American games was considered a big, if sometimes chaotic, success for Rio. To triumph over rival bidder San Antonio, officials used the same argument that this was Rio's turn. To back that up they promised to transform the city with a new ring road system, something called a "via light" railway (presumably a light railway), a new state highway and 54 km of new metro line.

But none of the roads and not one kilometer of proposed metro lines was built. Authorities also promised to clean up the Guanabara Bay, the fetid body of water whose smell assails visitors driving into town from the international airport. Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, the stench persists and the bay remains a stinking eyesore.

Those broken promises are still an issue for those admittedly few Cariocas who care about such things. The Pan Ams might have provided a three-week jamboree for millions of athletes, locals and visitors, but when the closing ceremony ended the city returned to its usual mess, said Chico Alencar, a Rio Congressman who campaigned for investigations into the massive overspending at the Pan Am Games. "The chronic problems that we have here are the same as they always were," Alencar said. "I want Rio to win the right to host the games but we need to learn from our past mistakes and the myth of the Pan American Games and all that they didn't leave behind. If we get the Olympics then all sectors of society need to unite to ensure that there is a social legacy and no overspending."

The Pan Ams reportedly ended up costing many times the original estimate of $177 million, a phenomenal amount given that none of the money went to the promised infrastructure projects. (Some reports had the final costs in Rio close to $2 billion; the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, according to Chinese organizers, totaled roughly $2.5 billion.) Some commentators said that is indicative of corruption but it also suggests serious deficiencies in organization and planning. "Brazil is still learning how to do continuous public policy," Alencar said. "Public works are emergency, localized, specific, there is no strategic planning involved. That was what happened with the Pan Ams."

More worrying still is that lessons appear not to have been learned. Almost two years after it was awarded the right to host the 2014 soccer World Cup, work has yet to start on the 12 stadiums. A proposed bullet train linking Sao Paulo and Rio is supposed to be operational in time for the tournament but the official tender has not been issued yet and even politicians are now admitting it could be late.

Nevertheless, those betting on Rio may take heart from the fact that the IOC appears to have skimmed over the Pan Am Games debacle. Rio's bid, which promises more such transport links and infrastructure projects, was described as "detailed and of a very high quality" by the games committee in its most recent report. Another upside is that Rio has a well deserved reputation as one of the world's most stunningly beautiful and welcoming cities. The third upside is the one that Lula and Rio officials have been hammering home: that fair is fair; that this is South America's turn. It is a valid argument. South America deserves its chance. But it also needs someone to make sure it keeps its promises.

.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Since many Rio supporters like to post U.S. articles about Brazil and Rio, I have one too!

-

Rio's Olympics Quest: Can It Handle the 2016 Games?

By Andrew Downie / São Paulo Friday, Sep. 25, 2009

If life is fair then the International Olympic Committee will next week declare that Brazil has been chosen to host the 2016 Olympics and thus become the first South American nation to win one of sports' greatest honors.

At least that's the claim Brazil is making. The other main contenders are the U.S., Spain and Japan and they've all hosted the Olympics before. Brazil, meanwhile, is a tourist mecca, with beaches, sun, a welcoming population, and a vibrant economy whose recent performance has shamed many of its developing world rivals. Rio — and South America — deserves the chance to show what it can do.

"It isn't right that the Olympics be held in the U.S. for the eighth time," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said recently in what was just one in a series of typical appeals to IOC delegates. "It's not possible that it be in England in 2012 and in another European country in 2016... It's not fair that Brazil, one of the 10 biggest economies in the world for 30 years, that Brazil, one of the world's industrialized countries, a nation that has demonstrated its love for sports, it's not fair that Brazil not be chosen."

Lula has a point but as the former union leader knows, life isn't always fair. If it was, then Rio, while a front-runner, would be in a stronger position to win next Friday's decision and edge out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. It can claim experience: Rio hosted the Pan America Games in 2007, an event that should have transformed the still sometimes provincial resort into a more modern, more international and safer city.

The problem is, it didn't quite do that. Winning the 2007 Pan American games was considered a big, if sometimes chaotic, success for Rio. To triumph over rival bidder San Antonio, officials used the same argument that this was Rio's turn. To back that up they promised to transform the city with a new ring road system, something called a "via light" railway (presumably a light railway), a new state highway and 54 km of new metro line.

But none of the roads and not one kilometer of proposed metro lines was built. Authorities also promised to clean up the Guanabara Bay, the fetid body of water whose smell assails visitors driving into town from the international airport. Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, the stench persists and the bay remains a stinking eyesore.

Those broken promises are still an issue for those admittedly few Cariocas who care about such things. The Pan Ams might have provided a three-week jamboree for millions of athletes, locals and visitors, but when the closing ceremony ended the city returned to its usual mess, said Chico Alencar, a Rio Congressman who campaigned for investigations into the massive overspending at the Pan Am Games. "The chronic problems that we have here are the same as they always were," Alencar said. "I want Rio to win the right to host the games but we need to learn from our past mistakes and the myth of the Pan American Games and all that they didn't leave behind. If we get the Olympics then all sectors of society need to unite to ensure that there is a social legacy and no overspending."

The Pan Ams reportedly ended up costing many times the original estimate of $177 million, a phenomenal amount given that none of the money went to the promised infrastructure projects. (Some reports had the final costs in Rio close to $2 billion; the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, according to Chinese organizers, totaled roughly $2.5 billion.) Some commentators said that is indicative of corruption but it also suggests serious deficiencies in organization and planning. "Brazil is still learning how to do continuous public policy," Alencar said. "Public works are emergency, localized, specific, there is no strategic planning involved. That was what happened with the Pan Ams."

More worrying still is that lessons appear not to have been learned. Almost two years after it was awarded the right to host the 2014 soccer World Cup, work has yet to start on the 12 stadiums. A proposed bullet train linking Sao Paulo and Rio is supposed to be operational in time for the tournament but the official tender has not been issued yet and even politicians are now admitting it could be late.

Nevertheless, those betting on Rio may take heart from the fact that the IOC appears to have skimmed over the Pan Am Games debacle. Rio's bid, which promises more such transport links and infrastructure projects, was described as "detailed and of a very high quality" by the games committee in its most recent report. Another upside is that Rio has a well deserved reputation as one of the world's most stunningly beautiful and welcoming cities. The third upside is the one that Lula and Rio officials have been hammering home: that fair is fair; that this is South America's turn. It is a valid argument. South America deserves its chance. But it also needs someone to make sure it keeps its promises.

.

Andrew Downie

The IOC say yes in the Evaluation Report after days of visit. These guy that written to magazine (Andrew Downie - "american name") is suspicious because the magazine is american and he written from Sao Paolo. Any evidence that he visit the venues and Rio? The IOC visit! And the International Press praises the PAN AM games in the days after ends. Several written that was the best Pan Am all the times!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brazil has not signed contracts to renovate the city for the Pan American Games. The Pan American Games is not the Olympics.

The Pan American Games was a proposal of the city. The Olympics Rio 2016 is a proposal of Brazil. The federal government has only supported the PanAmGames to 45 minutes in second half. For 2016, the federal government is the great supported.

But the Pan American Games Rio 2007 was safe for everyone. In the Pan American Games Chicago 1959, one Brazilian (Ronaldo Duncan Arantes) he was murdered and so far this episode was not explained.

Soaring, If your intention is to create a "doubt" about the potential of Rio for the Olympics, Well... Atlanta (for me, a wonderful city) 96, latest edition of the games in U.S.A, was not considered a good example of organization of the Olympics.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Since many Rio supporters like to post U.S. articles about Brazil and Rio, I have one too!

-

Rio's Olympics Quest: Can It Handle the 2016 Games?

By Andrew Downie / São Paulo Friday, Sep. 25, 2009

If life is fair then the International Olympic Committee will next week declare that Brazil has been chosen to host the 2016 Olympics and thus become the first South American nation to win one of sports' greatest honors.

At least that's the claim Brazil is making. The other main contenders are the U.S., Spain and Japan and they've all hosted the Olympics before. Brazil, meanwhile, is a tourist mecca, with beaches, sun, a welcoming population, and a vibrant economy whose recent performance has shamed many of its developing world rivals. Rio — and South America — deserves the chance to show what it can do.

"It isn't right that the Olympics be held in the U.S. for the eighth time," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said recently in what was just one in a series of typical appeals to IOC delegates. "It's not possible that it be in England in 2012 and in another European country in 2016... It's not fair that Brazil, one of the 10 biggest economies in the world for 30 years, that Brazil, one of the world's industrialized countries, a nation that has demonstrated its love for sports, it's not fair that Brazil not be chosen."

Lula has a point but as the former union leader knows, life isn't always fair. If it was, then Rio, while a front-runner, would be in a stronger position to win next Friday's decision and edge out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. It can claim experience: Rio hosted the Pan America Games in 2007, an event that should have transformed the still sometimes provincial resort into a more modern, more international and safer city.

The problem is, it didn't quite do that. Winning the 2007 Pan American games was considered a big, if sometimes chaotic, success for Rio. To triumph over rival bidder San Antonio, officials used the same argument that this was Rio's turn. To back that up they promised to transform the city with a new ring road system, something called a "via light" railway (presumably a light railway), a new state highway and 54 km of new metro line.

But none of the roads and not one kilometer of proposed metro lines was built. Authorities also promised to clean up the Guanabara Bay, the fetid body of water whose smell assails visitors driving into town from the international airport. Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, the stench persists and the bay remains a stinking eyesore.

Those broken promises are still an issue for those admittedly few Cariocas who care about such things. The Pan Ams might have provided a three-week jamboree for millions of athletes, locals and visitors, but when the closing ceremony ended the city returned to its usual mess, said Chico Alencar, a Rio Congressman who campaigned for investigations into the massive overspending at the Pan Am Games. "The chronic problems that we have here are the same as they always were," Alencar said. "I want Rio to win the right to host the games but we need to learn from our past mistakes and the myth of the Pan American Games and all that they didn't leave behind. If we get the Olympics then all sectors of society need to unite to ensure that there is a social legacy and no overspending."

The Pan Ams reportedly ended up costing many times the original estimate of $177 million, a phenomenal amount given that none of the money went to the promised infrastructure projects. (Some reports had the final costs in Rio close to $2 billion; the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, according to Chinese organizers, totaled roughly $2.5 billion.) Some commentators said that is indicative of corruption but it also suggests serious deficiencies in organization and planning. "Brazil is still learning how to do continuous public policy," Alencar said. "Public works are emergency, localized, specific, there is no strategic planning involved. That was what happened with the Pan Ams."

More worrying still is that lessons appear not to have been learned. Almost two years after it was awarded the right to host the 2014 soccer World Cup, work has yet to start on the 12 stadiums. A proposed bullet train linking Sao Paulo and Rio is supposed to be operational in time for the tournament but the official tender has not been issued yet and even politicians are now admitting it could be late.

Nevertheless, those betting on Rio may take heart from the fact that the IOC appears to have skimmed over the Pan Am Games debacle. Rio's bid, which promises more such transport links and infrastructure projects, was described as "detailed and of a very high quality" by the games committee in its most recent report. Another upside is that Rio has a well deserved reputation as one of the world's most stunningly beautiful and welcoming cities. The third upside is the one that Lula and Rio officials have been hammering home: that fair is fair; that this is South America's turn. It is a valid argument. South America deserves its chance. But it also needs someone to make sure it keeps its promises.

.

The best thing to do when you read such kind of text is ignore. First, work already started for the WC, and Fifa choose the cities of 2014 WC less than 2 months ago, obviously you can't start building anything without know what cities would host the WC. Second, non promise were made about subway on the 2007 Pan Am Games. Third, Pan Am Games ended up costing $ 1,3 billions not $ 2 billions. And what about London 2012? Is already 3 times more than estimated, and dont forget Beijing 2008? Fourth, even with the budget problems the Pan Am Games had a profit of 58%.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sao Paulo media are desperate with Rio chances...

This article came from Time:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8...1926094,00.html

It's a U.S. magazine published primarily for U.S. audiences. The reporter is apparently an American who writes articles about Brazil.

Aside from that, several people have published Chicago 2016 articles from American media that is based in cities that can be thousands of kilometers from Chicago. But, I consider many of those media sources credible. I so far have no reason to discount the Sao Paolo's media credibility about what happens 400km from them and in the same country.

CHItown '16

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, you're right.

But, probably Time's reporters got its vision from Sao Paulo, and I Sao Paulo resident, you can't imagine how the rivalry Rio vs. Sao Paulo have been increased because of 2016 bid... Mainly in these final days...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent article, ChiTown. Thanks for posting. The "new frontier" argument is compelling. But it is also true that Rio needs detailed oversight -- especially considering what was demonstrated with the Pan Am Games. It's a very good summary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry. I though I posted the link to Time's article.

Anyway. I don't want this to turn into a personal fight between Chicago and Rio. I just thought some valid points were raised in this article, just as Brazilians have been posting articles on other bids, and siting U.S. media in support for Rio (which is fine).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall, I would say it was balanced, but the only reason it gave for Rio to be host is that "South America has never hosted"

It did not give a full perspective of their bid, but it did bring up some very valid points especially in regards to the Pan Ams, which seem to have a mixed view on how successful/beneficial they really were.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The truth is that Rio's biggest strength is that South America has never hosted. That's why they stand a good chance of winning. If this same bid were coming from some other part of the world it wouldn't have as much momentum. Rio's whole bid has been viewed through the "new frontier" lens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Excellent article, ChiTown. Thanks for posting. The "new frontier" argument is compelling. But it is also true that Rio needs detailed oversight -- especially considering what was demonstrated with the Pan Am Games. It's a very good summary.

Hey, friend, I don't think you got what Rio did to PANAMS. Rio simply changed their level. I assure you, any PANAM bidding city will have to make the strongest efforts to present an edition or these regional games close to Rio's Edition. Something like Santo Domingo is out of question. Rio transformed this regional event into a world class one. Of course, with things to be improved. Mistakes were made. But everything that happened during the PANAM GAMES is another reason to believe in Rio's proposal. Expertise. This is the word. This is the reason I believe in successful SOG in Rio. Tokyo can, Madrid can, Chicago can. Rio can and has just delivered an event the media - even those more critical newspapers and TVs - considered the best one so far.

I will not argue the "new frontier". I think arguments have been discussed enoghly during the last months. Now, it is more emotion and speculation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

the biggest problem in Rio Pan Ams were baseball and softball venues after the storm that reached the city in the middle of the games...

After that stormy day it was impossible to play anything in Cidade do Rock venue...

But can we blame the nature??? No.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Soaring,

The Rio 2007 PanAm Games were a big success. Despite some issues with the baseball and softball venues that suffered from the amount of rain that fell, surprisingly off-season, the games were very well run. The prepartions, however were chaotic to some extent.

During the PanAm preparations, as I've mentioned several times, there was a complete misalignment between Federal, State and Municipal governments. The former mayor of Rio (Cesar Maia) made it his own project, driving out support from Federal instances and, mostly, from the state government, which basically did nothing before 2007, when a new governor was elected. Hence the environmental and transport plans not accomplished which where state government responsibilities. At the end of the day, the Federal government rescued the Games and everything was delivered on-time.

This lack of governmental coordination was one of the reasons for many of the budget overruns, others were managerial decisions not repeated during the Olympic bid. The big point about the PanAm Games is its role as an Olympic rehearsal. The IOC understands that and the Rio 2016 BCOG recognizes those mistakes and already has plans to fix. The most obvious is the budget, the highest one among the bid cities and considered the most realistic. Unfortunately, Brazilian press does tend to say that whenever a budget is overrun, there was overbilling and corruption. It might be true, but the two occurrences are independent. However, Brazil has Accounting Courts responsible for investigating government spending and they have to do it when the budget overrun is very high. This process is underway.

Finally, the success of the PanAm Games in Rio, made the population strongly supportive of hosting the Olympics, which made the government instances unlikely to oppose or neglect the construction that will be done for this purposes. Meanwhile, the latest elections shown that the Rio population is not willing to keep in power figures like the Garotinho family and Cesar Maia, who dominated the political scene from the 90's until recently. The Federal government has never been an opposition to such events.

So, the problems faced before should not be repeated during the Olympics preparation. However, the World Cup preparations might be a big mess, especially for the smaller cities which have been chosen to host.

Link to post
Share on other sites
the biggest problem in Rio Pan Ams were baseball and softball venues after the storm that reached the city in the middle of the games...

After that stormy day it was impossible to play anything in Cidade do Rock venue...

But can we blame the nature??? No.

Daniel,

Regardless of the rain, it was clear that the choice of Cidade do Rock to host temporary stadia was bad. The off-seasonal rain was a problem, but so much so was the choice for the venues. I guess the point here is that the opportunity to correct those problems for 2016 was done. By the way, Softball and Baseball aren't in the SOG anymore, but preparing for unexpected weather events was an important experience.

How would Chicago cope with delays in preparations due to similar issues? They can say a bunch of things, but they have no real experience if it would work or not.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Daniel,

Regardless of the rain, it was clear that the choice of Cidade do Rock to host temporary stadia was bad. The off-seasonal rain was a problem, but so much so was the choice for the venues. I guess the point here is that the opportunity to correct those problems for 2016 was done. By the way, Softball and Baseball aren't in the SOG anymore, but preparing for unexpected weather events was an important experience.

How would Chicago cope with delays in preparations due to similar issues? They can say a bunch of things, but they have no real experience if it would work or not.

You point is valid.

Tennis championship in PanAms had problems with the final days rain too,

but Rio have more tennis courts and a already designated place for such case, and the championship was restarted in a Barra gym court.

The problem was where the hell play softball and baseball if the main venue have problems?

Both are not popular sports in Brazil and have no plan B for those sports.

I hope now they have plan B for all sports, even those not popular in Brazil.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The truth is that Rio's biggest strength is that South America has never hosted.

If that was true any other South American bid would be considered as highly competitive at this point.

Rio has its own merits (many of them, actually), including the one you mentioned. But I wouldn't say the South America card is their biggest asset.

Link to post
Share on other sites

About PanAm costs, Rio critics never considered the inflation rates of 5% fot 5 years and the devaluation/valuation of Brazilian currency against US Dollar.

They make a simplist sum and then points huge cost overruns...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course, big overruns in costs happened and this should be avoid to 2016 Olympic Games.

If we compare the four budgets the Rio's one is the more realistic. I believe if the city get the games the budget can rise, but less than the other cities.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Several reasons caused the budget overruns. One of them was lack of proper planning, since some issues were just not budgeted. Another was management, such as poor issue and risk management on government investments. There were also some problems with venue projects being adapted in the middle of the way and possibly corruption episodes also occurred.

Some of the planning, management and project apparently were very similar to those faced by London 2012. Probably, the exposure of the lessons learned from those episodes caused a great impression on the EC during their visit to Rio. There are hints indicating this at their report.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...