With less than 500 days to go, Brazil and the Brazilians are ahead in the game for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year. A recent inspection by Olympic federations praised the city’s preparations and forecast a very special event. Brazilians themselves have taken wholeheartedly to the Games and pre-ordered over 2 million tickets.
The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) has just given Brazil the thumbs up for progress on preparations for the games. This is a complete turnaround on last year’s inspection, which found provisions badly behind schedule. Speaking on the tremendous progress made in the last 12 months, ASOIF President Francesco Ritti said he was “very optimistic about these games” and predicted “a very special event”.
ASOIF members have great confidence in Brazil’s ability to host the world’s most important sporting event on the back of the success of last year’s FIFA World Cup. “We are very, very happy to come back in 2016 for the Olympics,” said Walter Gagg on behalf of FIFA.
Olympic organisers in Rio de Janeiro claim that all installations will be ready at least eight months before the 31st Olympiad opens in Brazil’s carnival city in August next year. Facilities for the games are practically complete and some are already being used. This is the case of the Maracana stadium, upgraded and refurbished for the World Cup, the venue that will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium built for the Pan American Games in 2007 will host all athletics events in Rio.
The head of the Olympic Organising Committee Leonardo Gryner is highly confident everything will be ready and on time, allowing Rio de Janeiro pride of place in the world sporting spotlight. He points out that the 2016 Olympics will not be “a luxury event” but “fit, clean and fun”. ‘Fit’ refers to the policy of providing exactly what’s needed for the Games and nothing more. ‘Clean’ means an ethical event and ‘fun’ Brazil’s natural and world famous joie de vivre.
The Brazilians themselves appear to be fully behind next year’s Olympics. A recent poll found that 67 per cent of the population are in favour of the event and that there’s widespread backing within the city of Rio de Janeiro. Brazilians have pre-ordered over 2 million tickets for the event and massive requests have been made worldwide.
Like last year’s World Cup, the Olympics will boost Brazil’s international standing as a top tourist destination and place South America’s largest country firmly on the holiday map. “The experience people had when they came for the World Cup was wonderful,” said Mr Gryner, “and they will find the same again for the Olympics”.
Sources: ASOIF, The Telegraph