The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has declared the facilities for the Rio Olympics ready for action despite well-publicised delays of some of the venues.
Making a statement less than a month before the opening ceremony kicks off in the Brazilian city, IOC Coordination Commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel said the event was “ready to welcome the world”, with the organising committee “delivering all the venues and services that the Games require on time”.
She added that the new infrastructure will “create a legacy that will benefit local citizens and the whole country for decades”.
While there had been question marks about the readiness of certains venues such as the velodrome and the equestrian facility – which were “being monitored closely” – the governing body confirmed they are in the “final stage of preparation, and will be ready for the Games”.
Host venues have staged 44 test events in the run-up to the Games and facilities are “receiving their final Olympic touches” before athletes start to arrive in around two weeks time.
The hosting of the Games has provided Rio with new transport infrastructure, sports venues, 70 new hotels, improved waste management systems and outside investment for local business.
Although some problems have been encountered along the way – such as economic problems in Brazil, the collapse of a cycleway built for the event and the Zika virus – Rio 2016 president Carlos Arthur Nuzman was confident the city would “deliver a great Games”.
“Our journey is now entering its most critical phase: Operation of the Games. We are obviously very proud that we are ready to welcome the world and we can also see the transformation of Rio everywhere we go,” he added. “A lot of work lies ahead of us but we have plenty of energy.”
First published on www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, 12 July 2016, written by Matthew Campelli