By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Arena Carioca 3 was unveiled on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro as part the on-going inauguration of Olympic and Paralympic venues for this year’s 2016 Olympics to be held in the city starting in August. The Arena Carioca 3 is the second of the three arenas to be concluded in the Olympic Park and will host the taekwondo and fencing competitions in August and the Paralympic judo in September.
The arena however was inaugurated without air conditioning and even Rio’s mayor complained about the heat. “It’s hot as h***,” he joked with journalists before the opening of the press conference.
According to Marcos Jorge de Lima, Ministry of Sports secretary, however, the equipment is ready and energy cables installation should be completed by April, when the arena will host test-events for the Olympics. With more than 20,000 square meters the arena will be able to receive 10,000 spectators during the Games.
The Olympic Committee says after the games the arena will be transformed into an Olympic Experimental School (GEO in Portuguese) with space for 1,000 full-time students.
“With 24 classrooms, plus science and media labs, Carioca Arena 3 will be the largest of the GEOs, offering pupils and youngsters from social projects with facilities for judo, badminton, basketball, wrestling, table tennis, archery, handball, football, volleyball, gymnastics and weight training,” states the press release on the arena released by the Committee.
In January the Carioca Arena 1 was unveiled with a capacity to seat 16,000 spectators. The arena is the largest in Barra Olympic Park, and will host the basketball events in the Olympics and the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby events during the Paralympics.