By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – After calling Rio de Janeiro’s Olympics preparations the ‘worst’ seen by the event’s organizers earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) praised the city’s progress this week, during its three-day visit to the city.
IOC Chair Nawal El Moutawakel said at the end of the tour that Commission members were satisfied with the progress that had been in Rio made since their last visit. “We remain confident that, despite a very tight schedule, our Brazilian partners will deliver successful Games.”
According to IOC officials, “the Rio team clearly demonstrated that they have the situation under control, with good progress being made.” This is the seventh visit by the IOC to Rio since the city won the right to host the month-long event in 2016. In this latest visit, IOC members visited the Olympic Golf Course, the Olympic Village, the Deodoro Olympic Park, and the Barra Olympic Park. During one of the visits Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff joined Committee members.
“Our commitment to our mission of organizing excellent Games with memorable celebrations remains intact. With the IOC’s guidance and the help of our sponsors, we have the confidence we need. It is very rewarding when we look around and see our partners from the city, state and federal governments, building the Games with us,” said the president of the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.
In April of 2014, after a visit, IOC vice-president, John Coates, had expressed deep concern over the rhythm of constructions of some of the venues to be used in the games. “It’s the worst I’ve experienced,” Coates was quoted as saying at the time. After that visit, the IOC decided to send experts to help the local organizing committee.
The Commission will return to Rio de Janeiro in February of 2016.