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Steve Wilson @stevewilsonap

IOC seeks to calm the waters after VP John Coates cites "worst ever" preps for 2016 #Olympics in Rio. @AP

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The IOC released a statement trying to defuse the tension following Coates' comments.

It mentioned working "with our partners" in Rio on measures to "support the games," including establishing joint task forces, a local construction manager and a high-level decision-making body "bringing together" the IOC, the government and all key partners of the project.

The IOC said there would be more "regular visits" to Rio by executive director Gilbert Felli, the senior troubleshooter sent to the city last week as part of a series of actions to tackle the delays.

"Mr. Felli has received a very positive response on the ground in the past few days, and a number of recent developments show that things are moving in the right direction," the IOC said. "Now is a time to look forward to work together and to deliver great games for Rio, Brazil and for the world, and not to engage in discussion of the past. We continue to believe that Rio is capable of providing outstanding games."

...

AP


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I hate this forum.

(Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates has called Brazil's preparations for the 2016 Rio Games "the worst" in his experience and critically behind schedule, but w

There's clearly fire under the roof and the IOC is bringing out their complete fire brigade now...

Rio will go ahead, no matter what, not only because Brazil will make it happen after all somehow but even moreso because the IOC just cannot afford a PR disaster of epic proportions, i.e. admitting Rio was the wrong decision and moving the Games elsewhere at short notice.

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didnt the US do it?

They did, but Atlanta wasn't among the WC venues and as far as I know all the stadiums not only existed but also didn't even need renovations before 1994.

And as was mentioned earlier, the events that Mexico and Germany hosted back in the 60's and 70's were much smaller than today.

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This is troubling news but how likely would a cancellation happen?

Does anyone else agree this recent news on Rio could be very damaging for Durban's Olympic bid?

South Africa delivered their stadia for 2010 mostly on schedule. There were NO snafus during the IOC Session. South Africa belongs very much to a Dutch work ethic whereas Brazil is still on Mediterranean time and temperament.

No comparison.

Well, it seems that the IOC should definitely reduce the summer and winter games as it was before 1984. The operation systems were smoother before and functional. No need for massive stadia, but definitely what is being needed is more creativity, such as London did versus Beijing.

Why to build expensive venues for unpopular sports, when everybody stick to the traditional starring sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Diving, Soccer and Gymnastics.

It's gotten SO HUMUNGOUS that even an alpha city like Rio and the muscle of a major country like Brazil find it difficult to meet the demands of an unreasonable spectacle like an Olympic SUmmer Games. They have to drop at least half a dozen of the least popular, repetitive sports.

didnt the US do it?

Yes; and Atlanta, the 1996 host, wasn't involved in the 1994 party...so the Olympic city was able to deliver its infrastructure on time and on budget. Rio is the star in both these parties. (Oops, reindeer already pointed that out...)

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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"I think this is a worse situation than Athens," Coates said. "In Athens, we were dealing with one government and some city responsibilities. Here, there's three.

"There is bureaucracy, there is little coordination between the federal, the state government and the city - which is responsible for a lot of the construction. The flow of funds from the federal government is not happening quickly enough. We think we need to help facilitate that."

exactly how will you help Brazil flow funds to your party IOC?

poor IOC can't figure out how to squeeze cash out of Brazil.

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"I think this is a worse situation than Athens," Coates said. "In Athens, we were dealing with one government and some city responsibilities. Here, there's three.

"There is bureaucracy, there is little coordination between the federal, the state government and the city - which is responsible for a lot of the construction. The flow of funds from the federal government is not happening quickly enough. We think we need to help facilitate that."

exactly how will you help Brazil flow funds to your party IOC?

poor IOC can't figure out how to squeeze cash out of Brazil.

Hey, don't want to pay? Don't bid.

There is no city in the history of the Olympics that was forced to host. Period.

Edited by Fox334
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It's gotten SO HUMUNGOUS that even an alpha city like Rio and the muscle of a major country like Brazil find it difficult to meet the demands of an unreasonable spectacle like an Olympic SUmmer Games. They have to drop at least half a dozen of the least popular, repetitive sports.

City mayors just need to be more realistic about the capabilities and priorities of their cities.

Why should the IOC decrease the number of events? There's no shortage of capable cities still interested in hosting the Games at the moment and no shortage of interest in the different sports in the Olympic programme during the Games.

Hey, don't want to pay? Don't bid.

There is no city in the history of the Olympics that was forced to host. Period.

Exactly!

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I get the sense that there is disagreement within the IOC about how to handle the Rio problem. Coates and Bitti clearly want to hold their feet to the fire by publicly calling out the failings. Others are trying to whitewash the situation and insist the Games will be excellent. The two approaches undercut each other and do not inspire confidence.

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I get the sense that there is disagreement within the IOC about how to handle the Rio problem. Coates and Bitti clearly want to hold their feet to the fire by publicly calling out the failings. Others are trying to whitewash the situation and insist the Games will be excellent. The two approaches undercut each other and do not inspire confidence.

That will only ruin confidence in the games, which will turn people off from going to the games, then Brazil will not make the money they expected and blame it on the IOC and media.

City mayors just need to be more realistic about the capabilities and priorities of their cities.

Why should the IOC decrease the number of events? There's no shortage of capable cities still interested in hosting the Games at the moment and no shortage of interest in the different sports in the Olympic programme during the Games.

Exactly!

Exactly, Rio may be an 'alpha' city, but it's no where near being an Olympic City.

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Both Mexico and West Germany did (even back to back), but the 60s and 70s were a totally different era anyway, WC had half the teams of today, and the Olympics were also much smaller.

Not to mention their Olympics came first, making them priority. Many questioned during the 2016 campaign if the IOC really wanted to be second fiddle to FIFA's big party in a soccer-mad county like Brazil.

This is bad news. But I don't see how you get from this, to cancellation.

What's the worst case scenario (again, ignoring things outside of Rio's control, WW3, etc.). A few venues are unfinished? Honestly, how bad would that be??

Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue towers above the Maracana stadium, a venue for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Simon Jenkins in Rio de Janeiro

Wednesday 23 April 2014 12.33 EDT

Has Rio de Janeiro the guts? The city is now desperately behind schedule for its 2016 Olympics one insider put it at 10% ready, where London was 60% ready at the same stage. But a visit earlier this month left me with an intriguing question. Could Rios chaotic planners make virtue of necessity? Could they be the first city to haul the Olympics back from its fixation with money and buildings, and restore them to sport? Could Rio fashion a sensation from a disaster?

The main Olympic park at Barra da Tijuca was until recently strike-bound. The secondary one at Deodoro is a military base and not even started. This month, the International Olympic Committee in Turkey declared a critical situation and demanded the Brazilian government do something. It set up a committee. The IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, had to deny rumours of plan B, to move the games from Rio altogether, but significantly failed to rule this out, merely saying at this stage that would be far too premature.

No one visiting Rio at present can imagine cancellation as anything but devastating. In this fantasy world of prestige, multibillion dollar budgets and white elephants, even a shambles is thought better than cancellation. But the city could yet seize the initiative. With domestic elections in October and the games faced with plummeting domestic support, Brazils politicians could plead force majeur, call the IOCs bluff and stage a slimmed down austerity games, as did Britain in 1948.

They could abandon the unbuilt cluster at Deodoro, intended for events such as rugby, kayaking and mountain biking. They could cancel some of the IOCs toff sports such as tennis, golf, sailing and equestrianism, as well as the absurdity of staging a second soccer competition just two years after this years World Cup. They could slash arena and stadium capacity to what it can already offer, and tell thousands of gilded IOC officials, sponsors and VIPs there will be no luxury apartments, limousines and private traffic lanes, just camping on Copacabana beach.

The catalyst might well be this Junes Olympics-lite, otherwise known as the football World Cup. It is costing Brazil $4bn (£2.4bn) on stadiums alone for 64 football matches a staggering $62m per match plus some $7bn for associated infrastructure. Only generals at war and Swiss sports officials contemplate such obscene spending. When Fifas secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, came to inspect preparations last month, he professed himself appalled. Two years ago he had warned Brazil to give itself a kick up the backside. His boss Sepp Blatter said the place was the most delayed World Cup since I have been at Fifa. They treated Brazil as a badly behaved child.

The main Olympic park at Barra da Tijuca (above) has been hit by strikes. The secondary one at Deodoro has not been started. Photograph: AFP/Getty

In truth Fifa was a fool. It had staged the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by the skin of its teeth, the country recouping a mere 10% of its $3bn outlay. Studies of such mega-events, financed by their sponsors, invariably estimate huge profits, later declaring little more than goodwill and reputational gain. Brazils World Cup spending was wild from the start. Domestic politics made it increase Fifas requirement of eight venues to 12, including new stadiums in Manaus and Brasilia that are not needed locally and may never see more than four football matches.

In June last year, the unheard-of occurred, with urban riots nationwide against even hosting the cup. Public support fell from 80% when the cup was awarded to Brazil in 2007 to under 50% now. At the last count, 55% of Brazilians think the cup will harm their economy rather than benefit it. While urban bus fares were being raised, millions of dollars were vanishing into corrupt building contracts. Demonstrators shouting There will be no World Cup fought police. The protests continued sporadically and last month the army had to invade some of Rios favelas to restore some semblance of control ahead of the June deadline.

More worrying for Rio is the political backwash from the World Cup on to the Olympics. At present the talk is that if Brazil wins the cup (it is sixth in the Fifa rankings), the public may just tolerate the Olympics, but if not, the games are dead. As the citys famously short-fused mayor Eduardo Paes recently told the press: Dont ever in your life do a World Cup and an Olympic Games at the same time I am not cut out to be a masochist.

These mega-events traumatise a complex modern city. They upset the rhythms of its politics and infrastructure investment. They clear thousands from their homes and virtually close down whole cities for a month. IOC plutocrats arrive like visiting princelings long accustomed to living at the expense of others. In London they demanded and got exclusive limousine lanes (including outside Harrods) and traffic lights switched to green as they drove to their venues. They block-booked luxury hotels and dumped unwanted rooms onto the market when it was too late for re-letting. Their sponsors demanded the removal of rival advertisements anywhere near the venues (even on toilet equipment). They expected some 40,000 security staff to be on hand, or four times the number of athletes, to protect the Olympic family.

Even after shaking off past corruption scandals, the IOC is addicted to extravagance. The games nowadays float on national hyperbole and civic rivalry, festivals not of sport but of competitive mega-structures. The IOC requires each venue to meet meticulous specifications at whatever cost. The number of sports increases each time (currently 26 covering some 400 events), all craving their hour in the television spotlight.

Pele (right) and Brazil's president at the time, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (left), celebrate the decision to host the Games in Rio. Photograph: Reuters

Some 95% of the budget of a modern Olympics goes not on sport but on steel, concrete, bricks and mortar, even in cities such as London with perfectly adequate facilities already. Starchitects propose ever wilder arenas that everyone knows will come in at double or treble their estimates. They absorb labour, energy, materials, land and effort which are then not available for urban investment elsewhere. The global scale of such evanescent spending over the decades must be staggering.

Under the IOCs new president, Thomas Bach, there have been some signs of concern, if not of remorse, at this extravagance. Bach has declared his commitment to sustainable development, whatever that means. This has mostly taken the form of preferring rich hosts and stable governments able to deliver soaring budgets without significant protest from local people, such as Beijing and Sochi (and indeed London).

In these terms Brazil was always a gamble. Earlier this month one of Londons Olympic organisers, Lord Dyson, visited Rio to brief its team on lessons from London. He brought two messages, the need for total engagement in the games of the whole host nation and the need for a palpable legacy. It was good advice. Rios vanity is much resented elsewhere in Brazil, and a host city in crisis will need its nation on board. Rio has taken one bit of advice from London and hired the American project contractor, Aecom, to deliver the games.

Meanwhile legacy has become a ruling obsession of Olympics public relations. As one Rio official put it: Without legacy, there is no way so much money can justifiably be spent on a fortnight of sport. But what is legacy? All that is certain is that the sums spent on construction are gargantuan. The Brazil World Cup was originally bid at a cost of $1bn for new stadiums and upgrades. This swiftly rose with associated infrastructure to over $8bn, with only the vaguest concept of audit.

When Rio won the games in 2009, to ecstatic scenes on Copacabana beach, the talk was of holding down costs by re-using facilities built for the Pan-American games of 2007. The latest official count has this cost at $15bn, more than London. But estimates of committed Olympics-related legacy stretch as high as $90bn over the current decade. This must imply a severe distortion of Brazils normal infrastructure planning.

Guanabara Bay Rio's Olympic sailing venue has been promised a cleanup. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

On the Games themselves, 52 projects were to be located in four hubs. Nomadic architecture would be employed, whereby stadiums could be dismantled and rebuilt as schools. In addition there was a new Transcarioca urban highway with rapid transit bus track, two other lines, 57 new hotels and the renewal of the semi-derelict port area of the city. The citys Guanabara Bay would be relieved of its flotsam and of the pollution pouring into it from surrounding favelas essential for the sailing events.

Most exciting of all was the first coherent plan for investment in favela urbanisation, the so-called Morar Carioca. Fashioned in partnership with the Institute of Brazilian Architects, it committed $4.5bn to infrastructure, landscaping, leisure and living generating comfort and dignity for more than 200,000 people. This was to run in parallel with the favela pacification programme instituted by the state governor, Sergio Cabral, and security secretary, José Beltrame. Begun in 2008, this determined to liberate the fifth of the citys inhabitants living in mostly hillside districts outside the rule of law, rife with anarchy, drug-dealing, violence and few utilities of public services. The plan would be true legacy, one of the most imaginative urban renewal projects I have seen anywhere.

The legacy of the legacy has been bitter disappointment. The cross-town highway has been built and the port area is being revived. But the bay remains polluted. There have been battles over favela clearances to make way for games sites, notably at Vila Autodromo next to the main Olympic park. Activists from the Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics claim more than 170,000 people are being driven from their homes for games-related purposes. Rio may not match Beijings record for Olympic eviction, when a reported 1.5 million people were cleared for 2008, but it is rising fast.

Even in the favelas, Brazilians supposedly enjoy a right to consultation before compulsory removal and to being rehoused near their existing homes chief reason for the rarity of slum clearance. But the popular committees Renato Consentino says: When your home is impeding the Olympics, everything is short-circuited. Some eviction notices even carry the Olympic logo, hardly enhancing the games popularity. After such elevated expectations, to be hit by two mega-events in succession, says Consentino, has emptied out any time for democracy.

Military police on horseback patrol during a 'pacification' operation in the favela of Lins de Vasconcelos. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Brazilians are habitual sceptics of what their rulers say to them. Theirs is not the instinctive deference to government of Russians, Chinese or even Britons. The promises of power mean little since they are so rarely kept. In Rio, the tide of opinion appears at last to be turning. For Fifas World Cup, celebrity ambassadors were chosen from the nations soccer stars, such as Pele and Ronaldo. Both have been ridiculed by street protesters as enemies of the people. Meanwhile their former colleague, Romario, footballer turned politician, has taken to the airwaves and is running for the senate, hurling abuse at Fifas extravagance and deriding Blatter and Valcke as thieves and sons of bitches (and worse). He asks how they can demand that Brazil pay for first-world stadiums when we cannot afford first-world hospitals and schools.

Saddest of all has been the virtual abandonment of Morar Carioca. While the pacification programme has been moderately successful, with roughly half the favelas retaken by the police from gangsters, there has been little or no follow-up with sewers, water supply, streets and social infrastructure. By the end of last year, the Catalytic Communities website recorded that of the 219 favelas initially designated, upgrades have begun in none.

At the Institute of Brazilian Architects, its president Sergio Magalhaes shuffles gloomily over the plans and drawings of what had been proposed for his city and is now in abeyance. He sees the backtracking as recklessly adding to a general sense of dissatisfaction with mega-events as a whole. Infrastructure projects such as the urban highway merely link rich area to rich area. An interview with him in the Brazilian magazine Veja is headlined simply, The architects are furious.

Any visitor to Rio is left puzzled at the naivety with which it ever believed the IOCs hyperbole. There is no Midas touch to grand sporting occasions, just cost. An extravagant opening and closing ceremony, some gold medals for the hosts and good public relations can generate a passing feel-good effect, as they did in Barcelona and London. Even when the cost is crippling, as with Athens, the IOCs salesmen declared a return in glory, reputation and future tourism.

Serious economists despair of these events. The founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, saw them as forging peace between peoples. With the Berlin Games of 1936 they became more a festival of chauvinism, a beauty contest between nations and ideologies, reaching a sort of nadir at the Sochi Winter Olympics. A report by Bloomberg suggests the chief gain is not in peace but in construction company share prices. A study by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski predicts that this years World Cup will see a transfer of wealth from Brazil as a whole to various interest groups, mostly soccer clubs and private corporations. It will not be an economic bonanza.

The much-vaunted extra tourism is an Olympic chimera. Sydney in 2000 was told it would see a boom in visits and when this failed it ran angry advertisements with the slogan, So where the bloody hell are you? Athens and Beijing were half-deserted for the Olympics, and South Africas World Cup saw barely two-thirds of the predicted visitors. British tourism was blitzed by the 2012 Olympics and is still 3% down on 2011.

Boys play football in the Borel favela previously controlled by drug traffickers but now occupied by the city's Police Pacification Unit. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty

The nearest parallel to the Olympics nowadays is probably a war, an outburst of patriotic fervour, fathered by mild mendacity out of public expenditure. Criticism is suppressed. Medals tables are listed like battle honours. Home contestants are heroes. Winners are showered with state baubles and losers stripped of grants.

Some of Rios more cynical citizens even give this parallel a sort of welcome. They hope the Olympics might discipline a lethargic city bureaucracy, defeating the nay-sayers as deadlines fall due and yielding at least some projects of lasting usefulness. They are pleased that Rio is now the focus of world attention, with resulting self-criticism. The favelas are crawling with academics and camera crews as never before, as if waiting for them to explode for the World Cup and the Games.

This could suggest a new phenomenon, the mega-event as the critical mover in cities where the politics of urban renewal has seized up. Whether such a trauma is the best way of ordering any society is another matter. Any city that can blow billions of dollars on a fortnights party and not repair public services such as Rios has its governance seriously awry.

Even before the party has begun, much of Rio seems to be suffering from a hangover. The mayor is talking masochism and there are plenty of others, including within the IOC, wondering if it is too late to stop. The planning professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Orlando dos Santos Junior, sees dire conflict ahead in the clash between spending on white elephants and crying needs elsewhere in the city producing what he calls an agony of disappointed loyalties.

I believe Rio still has time to show the courage London lacked in 2005. London boasted it would stage a Peoples Games, a low-cost festival of urban fun. But it capitulated to the IOCs grandiosity, building a new stadium rather than using Wembley and raising a $4bn budget to $13bn.

Rio could do the precise opposite. It could welcome the world to whatever stadiums and arenas are left from the 2007 Pan-American games, and rely on television to reach audiences. It could tailor the Olympics to Rio rather than Rio to the Olympics. The city of carnival would offer a carnival of sport, proving that poor cities as well as rich ones can sometimes stage these mega-events. Do that and instead of being abused for delay and incompetence, this magnificent city would have the world cheering its daring and its guts. Go for it, Rio.

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/apr/23/world-cup-olympics-rio-de-janeiro-brazil

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/apr/23/world-cup-olympics-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-sensation-disaster

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The above article is an extraordinary and articulate indictment of the IOC and the current state of the "Olympic Movement." I hope the IOC themselves and all potential future bidders read it. It is time for a dramatic change.

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The above article is an extraordinary and articulate indictment of the IOC and the current state of the "Olympic Movement." I hope the IOC themselves and all potential future bidders read it. It is time for a dramatic change.

Not really. It continues to follow the thinking that money spent on infrastructure improvements for use of the Olympics follows two rules, it disappears after the Olympics are over and no one other than the Olympics uses said infrastructure. Please fly to Vancouver and get to downtown without taking a cab or shuttle. How do you get there, oh that's right Olympic infrastructure. The Olympics are like almost all civic projects. They are never or rarely going to be cost neutral or positive. But ask most Londoners if they are happy about the development of brown and gray fields into usable park, housing and entertainment land? Ask South Africans if the infrastructure from hosting the World Cup hasn't provided some positive legacies. Or Tokyo, Seoul, Atlanta, Barcelona and Sydney.

There are other factual errors in the article (saying sports keep going up, they have went down actually and events are not at 400 but 300ish and have never been higher than 28). Also Rio and Brazil are contractually obligated to host the entirety of the Olympics. Its why the federations have asked about using venues in Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte.

The issue with Rio is not the demands of the IOC, capacities or architecture but or internal politics and lack of experience. You can build cheaper venues that meet the same requirements as the IOC.

Using the USA as an example:

New arena in Pittsburgh 321 million

New arena in Newark 375 million

54 million difference. Its will on the part of organizers and builders and their own vanity and narcissism that bloat budgets and create white elephants.

Look at NFL stadiums. Mile High and Foxboro were built for 400 million and 325 million in 2001 and 2002. Metlife and ATT were built for 1.3 and 1.6 billion 8 years later. Was that kind of spending absolutely necessary? Hell no, decent stadium for 500 million in today's dollars. But they were built because of the owners vanity not the NFL wanting the biggest and best.

Look at the costs of Torino and Vancouver, Vancouver was cheaper because they cut the fat (excess arena in Whistler), reused existing venues, built venues to standards necessary for the city and only built what was absolutely needed. London came close to this as well. Sochi could have easily hosted 2014 for a 1/5 of the cost. It was Russian vanity and pride that spent so much, not the IOC and their vanity.

And finally, all the luxury and limos and the like the IOC and Olympic family get, all paid for by the people that use it not the Brazilians or Russians or Brits or Canadians, as per posts by Pure Facts related to the Norwegian governments demands.

Rio choose to built a new golf course instead of using an existing suitable one, Rio chose to build a new rugby stadium instead of using the athletics or Maracana or another stadium in Rio. Rio chose to spend all the money on building and developing a sailing venue instead of using existing ones up or down the cost that needed far less improvement. Rio chose to build new venues instead of re-purposing existing ones. Brazil chose to have 12 World Cup stadiums instead of 8 or 10. You cannot fault the IOC or FIFA for the vane and narcissistic choices of the Brazilian government and organizers.

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The games will go ahead in Rio. They will get there... (I hope) but I must say I am not surprised with these stories. The IOC need to keep their feet to the fire and push all the way. Get ready for two years of constant reports that RIO are behind schedule.

Lets just hope they can pull the rabbit out of the hat in the end and deliver a successful games. I have my fingers crossed.

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. Brazil chose to have 12 World Cup stadiums instead of 8 or 10. You cannot fault the IOC or FIFA for the vane and narcissistic choices of the Brazilian government and organizers.

It's not that easy. The way you get chosen is by promising all that vane and narcissistic stuff.

Oh, and just to be picky about an earlier post... several of the US stadiums for WC1994 had to be modified to fit the pitch size, and to add natural grass.

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I think Brazil chose 12 Stadiums, so that the Tournament could be spread across the Country, hence why Manaus (In the North West) and Porto Alegre and Curitiba (Both in the South) are Venues. Of course, Cities like Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo were going to get chosen either way, because they are the 3 Major Cities in Brazil and Cities like Porto Alegre and Curitiba were going to get chosen, because they had the Existing Stadiums (Of course, needing Renovations/Expansions). Countries like Qatar, which is a tiny Country, would only need 8 Stadiums.

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It's not that easy. The way you get chosen is by promising all that vane and narcissistic stuff.

Oh, and just to be picky about an earlier post... several of the US stadiums for WC1994 had to be modified to fit the pitch size, and to add natural grass.

Yes, I remember the talk especially about New York. I don't remember if FIFA eventually accepted a smaller than standard pitch. Still, it's not a major renovation compared to what many of the hosts have done since that.

Brazil didn't need 12 stadiums, FIFA actually recommended a smaller number to make it all more manageable. Besides, Brazil was unopposed in the election so they didn't need to impress anyone.

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Not really. It continues to follow the thinking that money spent on infrastructure improvements for use of the Olympics follows two rules, it disappears after the Olympics are over and no one other than the Olympics uses said infrastructure. Please fly to Vancouver and get to downtown without taking a cab or shuttle. How do you get there, oh that's right Olympic infrastructure. The Olympics are like almost all civic projects. They are never or rarely going to be cost neutral or positive. But ask most Londoners if they are happy about the development of brown and gray fields into usable park, housing and entertainment land? Ask South Africans if the infrastructure from hosting the World Cup hasn't provided some positive legacies. Or Tokyo, Seoul, Atlanta, Barcelona and Sydney.

There are other factual errors in the article (saying sports keep going up, they have went down actually and events are not at 400 but 300ish and have never been higher than 28). Also Rio and Brazil are contractually obligated to host the entirety of the Olympics. Its why the federations have asked about using venues in Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte.

The issue with Rio is not the demands of the IOC, capacities or architecture but or internal politics and lack of experience. You can build cheaper venues that meet the same requirements as the IOC.

Using the USA as an example:

New arena in Pittsburgh 321 million

New arena in Newark 375 million

54 million difference. Its will on the part of organizers and builders and their own vanity and narcissism that bloat budgets and create white elephants.

Look at NFL stadiums. Mile High and Foxboro were built for 400 million and 325 million in 2001 and 2002. Metlife and ATT were built for 1.3 and 1.6 billion 8 years later. Was that kind of spending absolutely necessary? Hell no, decent stadium for 500 million in today's dollars. But they were built because of the owners vanity not the NFL wanting the biggest and best.

Look at the costs of Torino and Vancouver, Vancouver was cheaper because they cut the fat (excess arena in Whistler), reused existing venues, built venues to standards necessary for the city and only built what was absolutely needed. London came close to this as well. Sochi could have easily hosted 2014 for a 1/5 of the cost. It was Russian vanity and pride that spent so much, not the IOC and their vanity.

And finally, all the luxury and limos and the like the IOC and Olympic family get, all paid for by the people that use it not the Brazilians or Russians or Brits or Canadians, as per posts by Pure Facts related to the Norwegian governments demands.

Rio choose to built a new golf course instead of using an existing suitable one, Rio chose to build a new rugby stadium instead of using the athletics or Maracana or another stadium in Rio. Rio chose to spend all the money on building and developing a sailing venue instead of using existing ones up or down the cost that needed far less improvement. Rio chose to build new venues instead of re-purposing existing ones. Brazil chose to have 12 World Cup stadiums instead of 8 or 10. You cannot fault the IOC or FIFA for the vane and narcissistic choices of the Brazilian government and organizers.

So Brazil is entirely to blame and the IOC has no culpability?

The IOC is not prodigal and self-serving at the expense of others?

The IOC does not demand that their hosts restructure their cities to fit the Olympics rather than restructuring the Games to fit the host?

I spotted a couple small factual errors (which you already highlighted), but the overall tenor of that article is dead on.

Brazil has definitely screwed up, but I believe it is wrong to say that the problem here is that Brazil has put excessive demands on themselves beyond what the IOC and federations require. That doesn't fit with the complaints Mr. Paes is making about the IOC's unreasonable demands.

Can you cite details behind each venue? For example, is there another existing golf course in Rio that is logistically capable of hosting Olympic competition and acceptable to the Golf IF?

Rio certainly made a point of working with what they already have by splitting Maracana and Havelange for the OC and athletics. It's hard for me to see much new construction that isn't needed.

Yes, there are other hosts who have derived benefits from hosting the Games, but the cities most likely to see that benefit are in strong first world nations, i.e. Vancouver. One of the points of this story is that the most essential infrastructure improvements are simply not happening in Rio because resources are being diverted from important projects to complete venues that should be much lower on the priority list in terms of Rio's civic development. Being a much more advanced city, Vancouver was not in a similar position.

Finally, based on decades of Olympic votes, it's clear what the IOC wants. Rio played the game to win and they did so by promising what the IOC wanted to see. The IOC chose not to see the implications on Rio. They chose to believe their fairy tale would work out. They chose to ignore the practicalities. The IOC created a climate that encouraged Rio to make terrible decisions and, sadly, Rio did. Rio created the bid they needed to in order to win and now they have to follow through.

I do not agree with everything written in the article FYI cited (certainly not the author's encouragement of Rio to bail on the Games), but I do think that the overall tenor of his representation of the IOC and the misguided "Olympic Movement" is spot on.

The Games do not deliver meaningful financial benefit. The IOC are a bunch of privileged, out-of-touch prodigals who expect the world to fall at their feet and unfortunately most of the world does. The Games promote international posturing and one-upmanship far more than they promote peace. They cause far more social unrest than they soothe. The party is glorious for two weeks, but those two weeks do not justify the enormous cost that exists financially and socially for the host.

Frankly, Faster, I'm quite surprised by the way you rushed to the IOC's defense and threw Rio under the bus. Rio is failing, but the IOC has failed too.

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So Brazil is entirely to blame and the IOC has no culpability?

The IOC is not prodigal and self-serving at the expense of others?

The IOC does not demand that their hosts restructure their cities to fit the Olympics rather than restructuring the Games to fit the host?

I spotted a couple small factual errors (which you already highlighted), but the overall tenor of that article is dead on.

Brazil has definitely screwed up, but I believe it is wrong to say that the problem here is that Brazil has put excessive demands on themselves beyond what the IOC and federations require. That doesn't fit with the complaints Mr. Paes is making about the IOC's unreasonable demands.

Can you cite details behind each venue? For example, is there another existing golf course in Rio that is logistically capable of hosting Olympic competition and acceptable to the Golf IF?

Rio certainly made a point of working with what they already have by splitting Maracana and Havelange for the OC and athletics. It's hard for me to see much new construction that isn't needed.

Yes, there are other hosts who have derived benefits from hosting the Games, but the cities most likely to see that benefit are in strong first world nations, i.e. Vancouver. One of the points of this story is that the most essential infrastructure improvements are simply not happening in Rio because resources are being diverted from important projects to complete venues that should be much lower on the priority list in terms of Rio's civic development. Being a much more advanced city, Vancouver was not in a similar position.

Finally, based on decades of Olympic votes, it's clear what the IOC wants. Rio played the game to win and they did so by promising what the IOC wanted to see. The IOC chose not to see the implications on Rio. They chose to believe their fairy tale would work out. They chose to ignore the practicalities. The IOC created a climate that encouraged Rio to make terrible decisions and, sadly, Rio did. Rio created the bid they needed to in order to win and now they have to follow through.

I do not agree with everything written in the article FYI cited (certainly not the author's encouragement of Rio to bail on the Games), but I do think that the overall tenor of his representation of the IOC and the misguided "Olympic Movement" is spot on.

The Games do not deliver meaningful financial benefit. The IOC are a bunch of privileged, out-of-touch prodigals who expect the world to fall at their feet and unfortunately most of the world does. The Games promote international posturing and one-upmanship far more than they promote peace. They cause far more social unrest than they soothe. The party is glorious for two weeks, but those two weeks do not justify the enormous cost that exists financially and socially for the host.

Frankly, Faster, I'm quite surprised by the way you rushed to the IOC's defense and threw Rio under the bus. Rio is failing, but the IOC has failed too.

Did they need two Aquatics Centres? I don't think they did. The Existing Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre could of Hosted all the Aquatics Events. IF they wanted it indoors, they could of always put a Temporary OR Permanent Roof on top. So 1 of the Aquatics Centres is an unnecessary Construction IMO. I can understand why they have 1 Venue for Ceremonies and 1 Venue for Athletics, because Maracana doesn't have/need space for an Athletics Track. But would the Athletics Stadium need 60,000 Seats after Rio 2016, seeing as though most of the Football in Rio de Janeiro will be at the Maracana Stadium.

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Btw, it is really idiotic that golf is on the Olympic program at all. The golf world certainly doesn't need it and it places huge demands on host cities. Btw, golf was added after Rio was named host, so this is definitely a new requirement that the IOC is throwing at them. It is vanity on the part of the IOC, plain and simple.

Also at the risk of annoying you all, the adjective describing narcissistic preoccupation is "vain." "Vane" is a noun, as in a weathervane. The fact that they are homonyms creates confusion.

Did they need two Aquatics Centres? I don't think they did. The Existing Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre could of Hosted all the Aquatics Events. IF they wanted it indoors, they could of always put a Temporary OR Permanent Roof on top. So 1 of the Aquatics Centres is an unnecessary Construction IMO. I can understand why they have 1 Venue for Ceremonies and 1 Venue for Athletics, because Maracana doesn't have/need space for an Athletics Track. But would the Athletics Stadium need 60,000 Seats after Rio 2016, seeing as though most of the Football in Rio de Janeiro will be at the Maracana Stadium.

Maria Lenk is not big enough to meet FINA's demands. FINA would not have accepted it. So yes, they needed another facility.

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Btw, it is really idiotic that golf is on the Olympic program at all. The golf world certainly doesn't need it and it places huge demands on host cities. Btw, golf was added after Rio was named host, so this is definitely a new requirement that the IOC is throwing at them. It is vanity on the part of the IOC, plain and simple.

Also at the risk of annoying you all, the adjective describing narcissistic preoccupation is "vain." "Vane" is a noun, as in a weathervane. The fact that they are homonyms creates confusion.

Maria Lenk is not big enough to meet FINA's demands. FINA would not have accepted it. So yes, they needed another facility.

So why is some of the Aquatics Events being held at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, if it's 'Not big enough to meet FINA's demands'. FINA is the governing Body of Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming, so surely if that's the case, none of the events would be held there?

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Btw, it is really idiotic that golf is on the Olympic program at all. The golf world certainly doesn't need it and it places huge demands on host cities. Btw, golf was added after Rio was named host, so this is definitely a new requirement that the IOC is throwing at them. It is vanity on the part of the IOC, plain and simple.

Also at the risk of annoying you all, the adjective describing narcissistic preoccupation is "vain." "Vane" is a noun, as in a weathervane. The fact that they are homonyms creates confusion.

Maria Lenk is not big enough to meet FINA's demands. FINA would not have accepted it. So yes, they needed another facility.

Well damn said Athens, why Golf is an Olympic sport is something I baffle today. Just a waste of money for Rio.

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