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danfla
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The only thing that worries me is the water quality. I get the boat from Niteroi to Rio regularly and I see no change and I think this will hardly change in less than a year. At least the water quality on Flamengo beach (next to Marina da Gloria) is good. I was there this week and even entered the water.

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So is it still only those Russian athletes competing in the athletics events that are still banned, or hopefully ALL of Russia is banned???

And omg how hilarious would it have been if the 2016 games were hosted in Moscow, and their own athletes wouldn't be able to compete? lol

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Very harsh words from a dutch sailor about Guanabara: https://almanautica.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/ganhei-porque-tive-menos-lixo-na-quilha/ (portuguese)

Is there time to fix this? it's honestly the single thing that is most worrying me about the games.

I'll save some of you the trouble of google translating it:

"I won because I had less trash on keel"

Olympic champion in London-2012 in the RS: X World Cup winner Brazil and sail-event preparation for Rio 2016 newly occurred – the Dutch sailor Dorian van Rijsselberghe came home with the title of the competition, but also with severe criticism regarding the quality of the waters of the Bay of Guanabara. He said on his official blog that "the water is filthy and dangerous and nobody feels that it is important enough to change the situation".

"No one did anything. All alarms go off, but nothing has changed and we are only months away from the Olympic Games. Recently, I ran and trained at bay and only once saw a cleaning boat. I often had plastic in my keel. My training partner took thirteen times plastics in a race. We had to reverse to navigate during regats to be able to take these floating debris of our boards. How can this be during the Games? "

"The Guanabara Bay is how many plastic bags that everyone in the world could do your Christmas shopping with them. In short, water is disgusting and dangerous "

"Sewage pure. Athletes do not talk about it. Most people think that athletes should focus on the work ahead, as athletes. We're not there to solve the environmental problems of the world. But these athletes are all involved and concerned "

"I'm glad I won last week. Maybe I won because I had the least amount of trash in my keel. Looking back on a win this plastic soup gives me no joy. Not even a little"

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AND here's the translation from the original blog post http://www.lifeofdorian.com/blog/we-moeten-terugvaren-om-het-plastic-er-af-te-krijgen :

We have to sail back to get the plastic off

I am a sportsman. I am not a magician who can solve the water pollution in the Bay of Guanabara. Had I but because the water is disgustingly dirty and dangerous and no one feels it is important enough to change that.

Research indicates that only a few drops make you pretty sick. Often our athletes as promised by the authorities, local government and the Olympic Committee, would solve the problem.

alarm bells
Nobody has done anything. All the alarm bells went off, but nothing has changed and we are only months away from the Olympic Games. I recently raced and trained in the bay and have only once seen A cleaning boat. Often I had plastic on my fin. My training partner came across this thirteen times in one race.

We have to sail back during the race to get off this floating debris of our surf boards. How could that be during the Games? Windsurfers and sailors who sail back to win a race. This is what will happen if no one is willing to take drastic measures to change this continual pollution of local waters.

Guanabara contains so many plastic bags that the world population, there Christmas shopping can join, if they have all the luck they can do Christmas shopping. In short, the water is disgusting and dangerous.

Sewage
A member of our coaching staff nearly vomited when he sailed the Olympic Port. Pure sewage. Athletes do not talk about it. If I do not talk about this pollution, it will not be my problem. That's what most people think of the other athletes. They should focus on the job that lies ahead, as an athlete. They are not there to address the environmental issues in the world.

But these athletes are all involved and very worried.

For example, it is so. And that's sad. Humanity can not even just cleaning the bay, let alone remove the plastic soup from all our oceans. We have to save our environment and pass on to our children. Their ability to enjoy Mother Earth depends on what we do now.

plastic soup
If we can not solve a problem like this, what does that say about us? That we can not get a cleaner world? I'm glad I won last week. Maybe I won because I had the least amount of garbage on my fin. Looking back on a victory in plastic soup gives me no joy.

Completely not!

I'm windsurfer. No environmentalist. We race in Rio because we're athletes. That's what we do. Others must now stand up and take responsibility for the disgusting and dangerous water. And we must all begin to recycle plastic.

Merry Christmas!

Dorian
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Rio 2016 Olympic Stadium to hold emergency talks over unpaid utility bills

An urgent meeting is due to take place tomorrow after it was revealed that the Olympic Stadium, scheduled to host athletics during Rio 2016, is currently without electricity or running water due to unpaid bills.

The Stadium currently owes $225,000 (£152,000/€207,000) in outstanding utility bills for the past two months, Brazilian newspaper Globoesporte reported.

An immediate solution has not been possible due to the Christmas and New Year holiday in Brazil.

"We have to look at who is responsible [for the unpaid bills] and will have an answer on Monday," Carlos Eduardo Pereira, the President of Botafogo, the football club who play at the Stadium, said.

Officially called the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, it was constructed for the 2007 Pan-American Games.

It has a capacity of 45,000 that is being temporarily increased to 60,000 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, during which it will stage group-phase football matches and the athletics track and field competitions.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1032932/rio-2016-olympic-stadium-to-hold-emergency-talks-over-unpaid-utility-bills

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  • 2 weeks later...

200 days to go: preparations for Rio 2016 Olympic Games enter the home straight

New venues, test events, torch relay, medals, slogan... find out what’s still to come on the road to the opening ceremony

In 2009, Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the first edition of the Olympic Games in South America. After seven years of hard work, what looked a distant dream is now a tangible reality: in just 200 days, the Maracanã Stadium will stage the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, signalling the start of the greatest show on earth.

Preparations are in the home straight, but there is still plenty to do between now and 5 August. Rio2016.com has broken down the main deliveries into four blocks of 50 days.

200 days to go (as of 18 January):
  • The selection of 12,000 volunteers to join the casts of the opening and closing ceremonies is underway. On 25 February, the second wave of auditions will begin, lasting until 20 March. Want to be part of the show? Hurry, there’s still time to sign up.
  • Rio 2016 will host and feed 10,500 of the world’s finest athletes in the Olympic Village. The restaurant, which has a floor-space of 25,000m2 and will serve 60,000 meals per day, will be furnished during this period.
  • The logistics team will be working around the clock: they must finalise the planning for bringing 800 boats and 315 horses to Rio for the sailing and equestrian events, as well as providing equipment for 37 competition venues, the International Broadcast Centre, Main Press Centre and athletes’ village and other accommodation clusters (for officials, media and workforce).
  • In February, the printing of Olympic Games tickets will begin. Find out how to buy yours.
  • There will also be sporting action galore, with eight of the final 24 test events to be staged in this period.
  • The medals, slogan and official song of the Rio 2016 Games, as well as the workforce uniform, will be in the final stages of production.

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Diving, powerlifting, taekwondo, wheelchair rugby and wrestling are the next test events (Photo: Getty Images) 150 days to go (as of 8 March):
  • Furniture will begin to be installed in about 15,000 rooms in the athletes’ village and other accommodation clusters (for officials, media and workforce). The assembly process will be very precise as everything that is installed for the Games during these five months must be disassembled in two weeks.
  • The sporting action keeps coming with 10 more test events in this period.
  • From March, Brazilian educational channel TV Escola will start broadcasting Transforma no Ar: a series of four monthly programmes with an athlete and a teacher giving tips on how to teach different sports to students, in a simple, affordable manner.
  • Currently present also in Portugal, the USA and Peru, the Rio 2016 Eduction programme Transforma will offer teaching materials to schools in all Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries from March.
  • On 21 April, the Olympic flame will be lit in the Greek city of Olympia, the home of the ancient Olympic Games. From there, it will be carried on a relay in Greece until 27 April, when it will be handed over to Brazil at a ceremony at the Panathinaiko Stadium, stage of the Athens 1896 Olympic Games, the first of the modern era.

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The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay will start on May 3 (Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro)

100 days to go (27 April):

  • On 29 April the Rio Olympic Velodrome and the Future Arena will become the last of the new venues to host test events, with track cycling and handball starting on this day.
  • After leaving Greece, the torch will be on display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, until 2 May when it sets off for Brazil.
  • The Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay will begin in the capital city, Brasília, on 3 May.
  • The pre-Games app and website will go live on 3 May, with a new layout and comprehensive coverage of the torch relay.
  • Abraça, the Rio 2016 culture programme, will be declared open. Among various initiatives will be the launch the official Games posters, designed by 10 renowned Brazilian artists, and start of production of the official film, directed by Breno Silveira.
  • Rehearsals for the opening and closing ceremonies will begin at the Moça Bonita Stadium in May, with production of the costumes, floats, props and scenery also getting underway.
  • At the end of May, the Maracanã will start to be prepared to host the ceremonies and Olympic football matches.
  • The design of the tickets for the Games will be revealed.
  • The final six test events will be staged, finishing with athletics at the Olympic Stadium.

arenas_200_dias_rio_2016.png

Carioca Arena 3, the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Future Arena and Youth Arena will open in the coming months (Photos: Brasil2016) 50 days to go (16 June):
  • Fans will start to receive their Olympic Games tickets at home in June.
  • On 24 July, the Olympic Village will open its doors to welcome the stars of the Rio 2016 Games.
  • On 1 August, the Games-time website and app will go live, with all the information about the greatest sporting event on the planet: athlete profiles, live results, news, videos, photos, live blog and full integration social media networks.
  • Already present in 5,586 schools serving four million students in over 1,500 cities across Brazil, the Rio 2016 education programme Transforma will increase reach 12 million students and 20,000 schools by the end of the Games.
  • The 95-day torch relay will enter its final stretch on route to the Maracanã, where on 5 August the big moment will arrive: with the eyes of the world watching, the Olympic cauldron will be lit and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad will begin.

gettyimages-452113566.jpg

The Maracanã Stadium will host the opening ceremony on 5 August (Photo: Getty Images/Buda Mendes)

http://www.rio2016.com/en/news/200-days-to-go-preparations-for-rio-2016-olympic-games-enter-the-home-straight

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  • 1 month later...
Insulted Rio mayor hits back at Australian Olympic Committee

Clearly fed up with a sense of negativity he has detected for some time, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes has hit back at the AOC for being "a source of aggressions to Brazil".

Mike Tancred, the AOC's media chief, told Fairfax Media: "He [Paes] has taken it the wrong way. We didn't mean to upset him. It was not intended to be a slur against the people of Brazil. It's just a security question for our team and it's nothing more than that. We're disappointed and upset if he has taken it the wrong way."

The committee expects that other large teams will impose similar limits on their teams for security reasons.

"We're saying that officially they're off limits," Tancred said. "It's a security risk and we can't guarantee their security if they go to a favela on their own."

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So, the dumbass Rio mayor is upset that the media chief of the AOC repeated exactly what the IOC said about the Olympic preparations of Rio around the same time??? lol oh please! The statements about the preparations were accurate! Preparations were slow-going and they didn't speed up until after the World Cup left. And I agree with an athlete count of over 400, it's smart to tell their athletes to stay away from favelas, considering that they are in fact the most dangerous places in Rio for tourists or people who aren't generally familiar with the city. That advice comes in handy in every major metropolitan city.

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maybe the mayor of Rio would be better off spending his time getting the transport link to the main Olympic precinct finished on time rather than worry about what the AOC is saying. Imagine what the world will be saying about Rio is people cant get to events.

I do have concerns about transport at these games more so than i did for Beijing. Very little detail on expected travel times between venues.

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I can't wait for Rio 2016! I'm sure those will be great games. And you guys might want to enjoy them even more cause they will be the last non-Asian Games until 2024 (in Paris hopefully ^_^ ). At least a great opportunity for the world to finally understand the difference between Japon, China, and South-Korea!

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CDC issues Olympics advisory: Pregnant women should ‘consider not going’ to Rio-Washington Post

U.S. officials on Friday issued their strongest travel warning yet regarding Zika, urging pregnant women to "consider not going" to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The CDC also warned that pregnant women who have a male partner who goes to the Olympics may be at risk of sexual transmission of Zika. "Either use condoms the right way, every time, or do not have sex during your pregnancy," the CDC advised. Pregnant women who "must go" to the Olympics should talk to a health-care provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

Rio’s tourist industry could be shaken by new CDC warning to pregnant women


Pregnant women should consider avoiding the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil this August, according to a new warning by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s Feb. 26 statement, its strongest yet, relates to risks posed by the Zika virus–an infection believed to be linked to serious birth defects.

Clearly Zika’s greatest threat is to public health. But the CDC’s warning may now put Brazil’s government in the unenviable position of determining whether they need to advise the country’s businesses to allow refunds for cancelled travel plans–and force Rio’s tourist industry to firm up policies for cancellations related to Zika.

Edited by paul
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Less Than Half the Tickets Sold So Far for Rio Olympics-ABC

With five months to go before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian organizers are struggling to sell tickets for South America's first games.

On a day when Rio organizers sought to provide reassurances over the Zika outbreak, venue delays, doping legislation, metro construction and other issues, Rio organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said only about 47 percent of the 7.5 million tickets on offer have been sold so far.

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Link doesn't work for me, but if the article is trying to link unsold ticks to Zika, I doubt it. Most of the tickets are reserved for the domestic market, not possibly virus-phobic foreigners. I suspect most of the unsold tickets are football... They are something like 1/3 of the total tickets available and should always be separated out.

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They are not blaming Zika. Local sales and the economy seem to be the issue.

Here's the text of the article.

With five months to go before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian organizers are struggling to sell tickets for South America's first games.

On a day when Rio organizers sought to provide reassurances over the Zika outbreak, venue delays, doping legislation, metro construction and other issues, Rio organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said only about 47 percent of the 7.5 million tickets on offer have been sold so far.

The revenue from ticket sales stands at $194 million, or 74 percent of the total target, he said.

Tickets for "premier events" and the Aug. 5 opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium are essentially sold out, Andrada said.

Most tickets for the foreign market have been sold, he added, leaving domestic sales as the main priority.

"We are going to increase the ability for people to buy tickets," Andrada said. "We plan to set up electronic ticket sales kiosks across the city."

For the 2012 London Olympics, British organizers sold 8.2 million out of 8.5 million tickets. They raised 659 million pounds (nearly $1 billion) in ticket sales from the Olympics and Paralympics.

Ticket prices for the Rio Olympics range from 40 reals ($10) to a high of 4,600 reals ($1,170) for the opening ceremony. The average ticket price is 70 reals ($18) or less.

Amid a severe economic downturn, Brazil's minimum wage is 880 reals ($220) and the unemployment rate is running at about 10 percent.

Rio organizers gave one of their final detailed progress reports to the International Olympic Committee executive board, as Brazil faces severe economic and political crises.

Brazil is mired in its worst recession since the 1930s, President Dilma Rousseff is fighting impeachment and the country is dealing with a vast corruption scandal centered on state-controlled oil-and-gas giant Petrobras.

Brazil is also the epicenter of the spread of Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to a rise in cases of babies born with abnormally small heads.

Rio organizers told the IOC they are following the guidance of the World Health Organization, which has declared the Zika outbreak a global health emergency but has said the Olympics should be safe during Brazil's winter.

Andrada said there had been no discussion about the advice issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said pregnant women should consider not going to Brazil and that their male sexual partners use condoms after the trip or abstain from sex during the pregnancy.

Andrada said athletes will have air conditioning in their rooms in the village and will be advised to keep the windows closed to keep any mosquitoes out.

"Zika is a moving target," he said. "It's a global tragedy, especially for women and pregnant woman. But from a broader games perspective, the WHO believes it will not be a major factor."

Rio organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman spoke to the IOC board in person, while CEO Sidney Levy and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes appeared by video link.

Rio has been seeking to save $500 million to balance its $1.8 billion operating budget, but Nuzman insisted the quality of the games would not be hurt by the economic pinch.

"The games will not be affected by any cuts," he said. "There are no cuts that impact the games, the athletes or the field of play. We are not cost cutting. We are organizing a balanced budget. The most important thing is that we will have absolutely fantastic games in spectacular venues."

Nuzman said 90-95 percent of the venues are finished. Delays on the velodrome will be overcome, he said, and the track cycling venue will be ready for a test event in late April.

On other issues, Nuzman said:

— a key subway line extension connecting the Copacabana and Ipanema beach areas to the western suburb of Barra da Tijuca, where the main Olympic Park is located, will be completed in time for the games. He said the state governor had given assurances that the 10.3 billion Brazilian real ($2 billion) project will be ready.

— a presidential decree will be enacted on March 15 to meet the March 18 deadline set by the World Anti-Doping Agency for Brazil to meet its global rules. If Brazil fails to comply, doping samples during the games could have to be sent outside Brazil for analysis.

— Rio will do monthly testing until April of the polluted waterways that will host Olympic sailing and rowing competitions. The testing will increase to twice a week after April and then will be conducted on a daily basis during the games.

Edited by paul
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This is what happens when you host an event like the Olympics in a country where the people have no money to begin with. Regardless of the current economic downturn of the country, Brazilians weren't that much better off financially before Rio was awarded the games. And also I imagine most Brazilians could care less about the Olympics, especially when the country just finished hosting the World Cup 2 years ago, which is if they even had any money they would spend it all to try to attend those games since they eat and breathe soccer/football.

I believe South Africa also had a ticket sales problem among their local population as well. I even read somewhere that at some games they ushered in some locals for free just to make the stadium look crowded. Not sure if there was any truth to that though.

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With five months to go before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian organizers are struggling to sell tickets for South America's first games.

In the northern hemisphere, Summer Olympic Games can be timed to coincide with the long summer break for schools and colleges. As it's winter in Rio in August, I see that the Federal State University of Rio is having to have a special "Recesso Olímpico" from 5-21 August (which won't cover the Paralympics, of course).

Are all educational institutions in the area doing something similar?

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