The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games today wrapped up its sixth visit to the Brazilian host city (19-21 March) with a clear message to the organisers that every second counts.
With just over two years to go until the Games open on 5 August 2016, the Commission indicated that a constant, concerted and integrated effort is required for the successful delivery of the Games and their legacy.
The Commission acknowledged the progress made in a number of areas since its last visit in September 2013 and IOC President Bach’s visit in February 2014, such as the finalisation of the overall venue master plan, the validation of Rio 2016’s lifetime budget, and the integration of the federal government’s efforts under President Rousseff’s Chief of Staff, Aloizio Mercadante.
A number of important decisions remain to be made, however. On 27 March, a crucial meeting between the federal authorities and key Games stakeholders will take place in Brasilia, where it is expected that the responsibilities for each Games-related project will be clarified, along with the associated funding, in order to avoid further significant delays in the delivery of the project.
The Commission conducted a full day of visits, assessing in detail the progress of all the venues in the Barra and Deodoro clusters. The delivery timelines of some of the venues for test events and the Games have faced delays, and now leave no margin for any further slippages. It is comforting that the risk level for each project has been clearly established and schedules of work clarified, and that a necessary sense of urgency is shared by all.
The next construction to start will be on the venues in the second Olympic Park in Deodoro. The city authorities should be commended for the rapid progress that has been made since taking over responsibility for the delivery of Deodoro, in addition to their large existing portfolio of works.
The Commission also praised the work of Rio 2016 and its partners to deliver a sustainable legacy from the Games. Public transport usage is expected to rise to 60 per cent by 2016, up from 12 per cent today; there will be a seven-fold increase in treated sewage around the Guanabara Bay by 2015; one million people will have the opportunity to learn English thanks to the Games; 75 new hotels are expected to be built, creating an estimated 11,000 new jobs; and numerous additional projects are already being organised by Rio 2016’s commercial partners.
“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have great potential for being a very exciting event which leaves many legacies,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel. “But although progress is being made, each decision that is postponed and each subsequent delay will have a negative impact on delivery. Total focus and dedication are therefore required,” she continued. “The Olympic Movement stakeholders will continue to actively and constructively assist the organisers towards their short and long-term objectives.”
The President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, said: “We enter this crucial phase of our journey without a minute to lose, and certain that our partners in government share this vision”.
The months ahead will see sailors competing in the Guanabara Bay, as Rio 2016 launches its “Aquece Rio” test event campaign. This will be a major step in allowing the local population to start to feel the Games come to life. With the volunteer and ticketing campaigns to be launched in the autumn, soon all of Rio and Brazil will have the opportunity to get involved with the 2016 Olympic Games.
During its three-day visit, the Coordination Commission examined preparations for the Rio project and received updates from the organisers and their partners in areas such as Athletes and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) Services, Sport and International Federations Services, Venues and Infrastructure, Accommodation, Media Operations, Spectators, Ticketing, Transport, Test Events, Marketing and the Paralympic Games.
The Commission will return to Rio de Janeiro in September this year.
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