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Rio 2016 Preparations - Venue & Infrastructure Developments

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Work started for Rio De Janeiro Olympics in 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Rio is waiting.

As soon as the London Games end, the focus will shift to South America where, in 2016, the Olympics will be staged for the first time.

Rio should be in a good position to deliver the goods, especially since it's already preparing to host the 2014 World Cup and because it's taking advantage of some of the infrastructure and sporting venues built for the 2007 Pan American Games.

Still, there are many challenges.

Ongoing legal disputes, a worrisome hotel infrastructure and the large number of projects needed to be carried out simultaneously as the games approach are some of the obstacles that could end up derailing some of the city's plans. Although the International Olympic Committee says Rio has made great strides in its preparations, it has just warned organizers that the deadlines are getting tighter and the workload is increasing.

"There is large volume of work that needs to be accomplished between now and 2016," said Nawal El Moutawakel, leader of the IOC coordination commission for the Rio Games. "There is no time to waste. The clock will be ticking on Aug. 12 when your mayor will be carrying the flag (after closing ceremonies in London). All the spotlight will be on Rio."

More than 230 projects will have to be completed by the 2016 Games, 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, according to the IOC, which, beginning next year, will start making two annual full visits to inspect the city's preparations.

"The challenges become greater as the project advances," Rio 2016 organizing committee chief executive officer Leonardo Gryner 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."

For organizers, one of the biggest concerns from the beginning has been to make sure the city will have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the tens of thousands of visitors, officials and members of the media.

The IOC noted that although there is strong interest in new hotel projects in Rio, a "large number" still need be put in place to "fill the gap" presented at the time of the bid.

"This has always been our weakness since the bid," Gryner said. "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."

The number of housing villages to be constructed will depend on the availability of hotel rooms expected in 2016. Cruise ships will also help ease the problem after the expected construction of a new pier and port upgrade in the city.

The IOC said the project of the port can be considered one of the priorities for local organizers, along with setting the deadlines and establishing the work needed for the Olympic Park and the Deodoro complex, which will host several sporting venues.

"All Olympic projects have a priority," IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said. "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 for the games.

"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," Rio 2016 Olympic committee president Carlos Nuzman said. "We acknowledge all the advice and the constructive feedback we have received from the IOC."

Local organizers also acknowledge that after the London Games the level of scrutiny on everything related to the 2016 Olympics will increase as much as the city's responsibilities. There's already been criticism over human rights violations, overspending and fears of a wasted legacy.

The eviction of thousands of families because of Olympic projects, especially in slums and poor neighborhoods, has prompted both Amnesty International and the United Nations to call attention to allegations of rights abuses, although city authorities have been defending their actions by saying it has all been done in accordance with the law. The city says U.N. officials have recently seen from up close that the families are being properly reallocated.

"The impact the games are having on these families is being forgotten," said Orlando Alves Jr., who works at an urban planning institute at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. "The Olympics will benefit many people who will be making money because of the games, but there is a hidden legacy that is not being made public and is not being taken seriously by authorities."

The Olympic Park, the heart of the games, will be built in an area where families will be displaced, and legal actions prompted by the evictions briefly affected the project's bidding process.

The Olympic Park also was affected by a dispute with the Brazilian auto racing federation over where to relocate the city's Jacarepagua track, which will be lost to the project.

During its last inspection in June, the IOC expressed concerns over the Olympic Park, which will host several sporting venues and the main media centers, but said it was satisfied with the solutions found by local organizers. Construction at the park is expected to get under way in August.

But there is no solution yet for the legal dispute over land for the golf course, which will host the return of the first Olympic tournament after an absence of 110 years. Although two developers are fighting for the land where the course is expected to be built, the city already has announced a deal with one of the reported owners.

The case is in the hands of Brazil's Higher Court of Justice and a final ruling could take months or even years. The course's construction is expected to begin in October, and it is touted as one of the games' greatest legacies because it will remain a public venue.

But many local groups argue whether the Olympics will bring many real benefits for the city after the event ends. They say there has been excessive spending for some projects that will only be effective during the games and won't improve the city in the long term.

"The new subway line is a great example," said Gustavo Mehl, a member of the watchdog group Comite Popular, which is monitoring the city's preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics. "The original project would have helped many more residents, but they changed it to fulfill the needs of the Olympics."

There are also complaints over the high costs of Maracana stadium, which was renovated for the Pan Am Games in 2007 and now is being upgraded again for the World Cup and the Olympics.

Rio 2016 organizers will be observers at the London Games, hoping to learn from the event's successes and mistakes.

"This will be a great opportunity for Rio organizers to get a firsthand look at what it takes to host an Olympic Games, enabling them to refine their plans and streamline their operational processes," the IOC said.

Rio will get its first moment in the spotlight during an eight-minute segment at the closing ceremony in London.

After that, it's showtime.

"We have a gigantic job to do," Nuzman said.

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Rio 2016 presents progress on eve of London 2012

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee, led by its President, Carlos Nuzman, today presented to the IOC Session, as it prepares to take over the mantel of being the next Games of the Olympiad from London 2012.

Nuzman is joined in London by 152 Rio staff, who will be participating in the IOC Observers’ Programme, and 51 representatives of different levels of government, who are also here to learn from this Games experience. During his intervention, President Nuzman also congratulated London 2012 Chair Sebastian Coe and his team for their work in delivering the 2012 Games.

Construction underway

During its presentation, Rio 2016 presented the progress being made on its venues and how they would be laid out across the city. The Rio project is split into four clusters – Copacabana, Barra, Deodoro, and Maracaña – with a mix of existing, new, renovated and temporary venues to be used for the Games. Work has already started on the Rio 2016 Olympic Village and the Olympic Park, with the sites expected to leave an important legacy for housing and sport respectively.

Bus Rapid Transit

Developments in a number of other areas are also moving forward according to the Rio team, with the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system taking shape. The Transoeste BRT is already partially open, with work underway on the Transcarioca and the Transolimpica BRTs, while the Transbrasil BRT has just had its federal funding agreed. The Rio presentation also highlighted the plans for the port area of Rio, which is currently being redeveloped, and the advances being made in planning for accommodation needs for the Games.

A unique opportunity

Speaking after the Rio delegation, IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel underlined the importance of the London experience for Rio 2016 when she said, “The detailed observations the Rio delegation is now conducting across the London Games are going to be invaluable. The Debriefing of the London 2012 Games in Rio next November will also be a unique opportunity for the Rio organisers to learn as much as they can from the current Games and test some of their assumptions. This will help them tremendously as they move into operational mode.”

She concluded her speech by underlining the IOC’s confidence in the Rio project, “We welcome in this respect the renewed commitment from all levels of government in Brazil and we would like to reiterate our total support and availability to facilitate the journey to Rio 2016. We are convinced that Brazil has the energy, the willingness and the resources to carry out this fantastic ambition that Brazil set out to achieve in Copenhagen in 2009.”


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  • 4 months later...

There was a very good half-hour programme about Brazil's preparations for 2014 and 2016 on the BBC News Channel last night. Interviews with Coe, Nuzman, Paes, Ronaldo, Valcke etc.

I doubt I'll be able to find a stream of it that works outside the UK, but I think it'll be here soon:


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Brazil to Auction Rio Airport Amid World Cup Build-Out Rush

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s government announced plans to auction control of Rio de Janeiro’s international airport as it rushes to upgrade aging terminals in time for the 2014 World Cup.

By ceding management of Rio’s Antonio Carlos Jobim airport, the country’s second busiest, and Confins airport in Belo Horizonte, the government aims to attract 11.4 billion reais ($5.5 billion) in investment, Wagner Bittencourt, the civil aviation minister, said at an event today in Brasilia.

Investments in Brazil’s aging airports have struggled to keep pace with air travel that has doubled in the past decade as incomes in Latin America’s biggest economy have risen. Last year, as the world’s fifth-biggest country by land mass trailed only the U.S. and China in volume of domestic air travel, 1 of 20 flights were canceled compared with 1 in 50 in the U.S.

Rousseff, in a bid to speed up airport investments, went against her Workers’ Party’s decades-old resistance to privatization and sold control in February of three airports accounting for a third of Brazil’s 179 million passengers last year. Still, the auction failed to attract the world’s biggest airport operators, as the government insisted on maintaining a 49 percent stake in each consortium and lax auction rules drew investors with less experience, pushing up bidding prices.

“We learned a lot” from the previous bidding round, Rousseff said at the event today. “We believe it’s extremely important to have a partnership between Brazilian investors and operators of major international airports.”



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  • 1 month later...

Big Update on what have been in works in Rio.

Port Area (the biggest urban refurbshment ever done in Brazil)

New sidewalks, asphalt and illumination of the whole area:




Work in the new Port Avenue (Binário Line)



New Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro (refurbshment and building a new complex just annex)


Refurbshment of favelas near Port area


Restoration of Valongo Gardens (done)


New Metro Bus Terminal along the Intercity Bus terminal of Rio (done)


New avenue just the side of Intercity Bus teminal of Rio (done)


Refurbshment of Morro da Providência favela (first Rio's favela) (almost done)


New tunnel linking the Port and Downtown (also the Tramway Downtown new line tunnel) (under works)


Underground part of Binario Line (new port Avenue) (under works)


New Public Buildings in the area - to make it less decadent and attract commerce (under works)


Refurbshment of Morro da Conceição Favela (under works)




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New lift from Downtown area to Morro da Providência


New system of trashcans in Port/Downtown area


Refurbshment of old housing in Downtown area


Refurbshment of National Belle-Arts Museum



New signage being placed first in Rio de Janeiro Downtown subway stations - following International standards.





And a picture of Flamengo Park just along Downtown Rio to finish


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The Airport will be operated by International Private companies from 2014 to 2034.

The name of the operators will be unveiled in Oct 2013 after a international competition.

New Terminal 2 area just opened to public in January





Thankfully the useless Infraero (Federal Govt. Company for Airport) will be kicked from Rio International.

Because of them, we still have **** like this:


Even my English is better...

Or this:



Meanwhile Sao Paulo International, already operated by Private Companies gained new signage, refubshment in the terminal, new parking lots... All of this in just 4 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New signage in Sao Paulo Intl...


New modern-eletronic parking lot...


Go away from Rio, Infraero!!!

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  • 9 months later...

Brazil awards $9 bln of airport deals, prepping Rio for Olympics

Nov 22 (Reuters) - Brazil opened two of its busiest airports to private investors on Friday, awarding $9 billion worth of contracts in a hotly contested auction as the country overhauls crowded terminals ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

The concessions, in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, mean private operators will be running the international airports in both World Cup host cities next year, but there will be little time for their investments ahead of the tournament in June.

Local contractors and foreign airport operators won the two concessions for a combined 20.8 billion reais ($9 billion), paying a premium of more than 250 percent over minimum bids as they hope to cash in on a recent boom in Brazilian air travel.

Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht and Singapore's Changi Airport Group will have two years to expand Rio's Galeão airport before the city hosts the 2016 Olympics, sprucing up an underwhelming international gateway to Brazil's postcard city.

Brazil's CCR SA and the operators of airports in Zurich and Munich edged out builder Queiroz Galvão and Spain's Ferrovial for rights to Confins airport in Belo Horizonte in bidding that lifted their offer 30 percent.

Airports have been the most appealing aspect of President Dilma Rousseff's plan to privatize some 200 billion reais of infrastructure projects, including Brazil's clogged roads and ports.



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"IOC vice-president John Coates reignited the debate about Rio’s delays in the Sunday Times of London, saying the current state of preparations was “more of a crisis than Athens”, a reference to the Greek city’s challenges delivering venues on time. "

These quotes have already been discussed I think. They were said in September, but re-reported in this weekend's newspaper. Unless things have moved on significantly in the last two months, I don't suppose Coates will have changed his opinion in the meantime, however.

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There was a very good half-hour programme about Brazil's preparations for 2014 and 2016 on the BBC News Channel last night. Interviews with Coe, Nuzman, Paes, Ronaldo, Valcke etc.

I doubt I'll be able to find a stream of it that works outside the UK, but I think it'll be here soon:


Was that this programme? http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xx0bb3_bbc-brazil-welcoming-the-world-12-1-13_sport

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Giving them the Olympics 2 years after the World Cup might not have been too sensible, after all, this isn't the 70s. I hope Brazil hasn't 'bitten off more than it could chew'. And before Danny & Catra latch on to this, I really hope you can finish in time, & I actually think you will, if you ramp up after next summer is done (as you will, obvs) Good luck! :)

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Yes, you're a genius at finding tthings, thanks!

Shame it's 11 months old now, but still worth a watch.

Yeah, it's still worth to watch! (thanks for pointing out the programma)

(Thank you for mentioning the programme. With the title it wasn't that hard to find :-))

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Giving them the Olympics 2 years after the World Cup might not have been too sensible, after all, this isn't the 70s. I hope Brazil hasn't 'bitten off more than it could chew'. And before Danny & Catra latch on to this, I really hope you can finish in time, & I actually think you will, if you ramp up after next summer is done (as you will, obvs) Good luck! :)

I have nothing to "iatch" about...

USA did the two events two years apart and it was not in the 70s...

Still, I'd like to read the link about the speech from IOC president... "He said something" and no link available means nothing to me.

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