2016 Rio Olympics preparations racing ahead: Organizers
The organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro said Thursday that preparations for the world`s biggest sporting event are racing ahead.
Rio de Janeiro: The organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro said Thursday that preparations for the world`s biggest sporting event are racing ahead.
"There are no venues (where it) can be said it`s delayed at this point. We have all the construction on time. We have the budget to finish the constructions," Mario Andrada, chief spokesman for the Rio2016 organizing committee, told AFP.
Asked to rate progress on a scale of one to 10, he said: "We are about nine.
"I`m not being overconfident when I say nine, because the main point right at this time is to make sure the constructions are going well and they are. Most of the venues will be ready by one year to go, if not totally ready."
The opening ceremony will be in Rio`s Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 and Andrada said that although work is on schedule, there remains "an Everest to climb" over the next 13 months.
A key new phase starts Wednesday when the Maracana hosts volleyball`s World League final, the first of 44 high level sporting events being staged in the city up until May next year as a way of testing the Olympics infrastructure.
"Test events will be the last chance to make mistakes," Andrada said.
Brazil hosted the World Cup finals in 2014 and was generally credited with having done a good job.
However, the country is in an ever-worsening economic slump, while already rampant street violence is rising. Even without those worries, bureaucracy and corruption have long made Brazil, the world`s seventh biggest economy, a notoriously complicated place to do business.
Delphine Moulin, general manager for test events, told AFP that she was "excited" and "pretty happy with the levels of preparation."
However, she admitted to encountering numerous "surprises."
"When you go from planning drawings and maps to reality, well, when you get on the ground you realize that it`s not the same thing," she said.
"That adds a certain element of urgency."
Already one of the most important goals touted by Rio de Janeiro in its winning bid to host the Summer Games -- cleaning the beautifully located, but badly polluted Guanabara Bay -- appears doomed.
Another big project,a new subway line that would link the Olympic Park to the tourist-friendly south of Rio, faces a "high risk" of not being completed on time, auditors said this week.