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Rio 2016 Organizers Get Pointers From London 2012

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Associated Press

LONDON -- Brazilian officials say organizers of the 2012 London Olympics are their "inspiration" as they begin preparations to host the first games in South America in 2016.

Rio de Janeiro officials met with London organizers Friday and toured the main Olympic complex to learn from the British capital's experience in planning for 2012.

It's the first visit to London by Brazilian organizers since Rio was awarded the games by the International Olympic Committee in October.

"London was our inspiration during the bid and will continue to be our inspiration as organizers," said Carlos Nuzman, the Brazilian IOC member who heads the Rio 2016 organizing committee.

The delegation also included Brazilian sports minister Orlando Silva and Rio de Janeiro state governor Sergio Cabral.

"We are creating a bridge between London and Rio and between Europe and South America," Silva said. "We are getting very good lessons from London. We hope to implement these lessons in our games in Rio. We get the feeling we are going in the right direction."

The Brazilians visited the Olympic Park construction site in east London, where work is continuing on the main stadium, aquatics center, velodrome and other venues. They also talked with London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and leaders of the Olympic Development Authority, which is in charge of building the venues.

Cabral said the delegation will also meet this weekend with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was instrumental in London winning the bid in 2005 and was in office until 2007. "It is very important for us to hear from his perspective about his experience after the bidding and in planning," Cabral said.

The Brazilians reiterated their assurances that the Rio Games will be safe, despite the city's problems with crime and drug gangs.

"The question of security is the same all over the world," Nuzman said. "Fortunately, we do not have a problem with terrorism."

The chairwoman of the IOC's oversight panel, Nawal El Moutawakel, spent two days in Rio this month touring the city's venues and visiting slums where police have been maintaining a constant presence to control drug-related violence. The full IOC panel will be in Rio in May.

Meanwhile, Nuzman said a Rio delegation of about 25 people will be in Vancouver to observe operations during the Feb. 12-28 Winter Games.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=oly&id=4869226

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They also talked with London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and leaders of the Olympic Development Authority, which is in charge of building the venues.

This won't be the first time the press gets this wrong.

London 2012 ODA = Olympic Delivery Authority

Rio 2016 ODA = Olympic Development Authority

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Well its their fault for choosing a similar name.

Cape Town 2020, ODA (Olympic Delivery Agency)

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Rio Olympic delegation to seek advice from Tony Blair over his 2012 experiences

The governor of Rio Sergo Cabral and the Brazilian minister for Sport Orlando Silva said they were meeting Mr Blair in London to quizz him about his Olympic experiences.

”The purpose of meeting Mr Blair is because he was the prime minister when London was bidding and he was involved when London won the bid. He has a lot of where from where he stood... there is a lot to absorb, the impact of integrating the organising committee with the government - this is a very strong point we are taking back with us,” Mr Silva said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/7105107/Rio-Olympic-delegation-to-seek-advice-from-Tony-Blair-over-his-2012-experiences.html

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