By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Less than six months before the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, government officials unveiled two new installations on Wednesday (March 2nd) in the Deodoro Olympic Park. City officials presented the Olympic Committee with the Deodoro Stadium and the Youth Arena.
The two facilities are scheduled to receive the women’s basketball tournaments, men and women’s rugby teams, equestrian competitions, and the running and shooting segments of the modern pentathlon during the Olympics as well as the football 7-a-side competition for the Paralympic Games.
The stadium will have 15,000 seats installed for the games, while the Youth Arena will have the capacity to hold 5,000 spectators during the sporting events.
The Deodoro Stadium will host the International Rugby Sevens Tournament next weekend as a test and the Modern Pentathlon will be held in both the stadium and the Youth Arena next week.
The completion of the two facilities was a relief for Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes. The Olympic venue at Deodoro has been a major concern for organizers, with construction workers going on strike for more pay and city officials canceling contracts with engineering companies due to delays.
“What was our greatest problem is today a certainty,” Paes said during the ceremony. “Much was said about the installations … that they would not be ready even after the Olympics. Fortunately we have everything ready in the region,” he added.
Rio 2016’s CEO Sidney Levy, also at hand for Wednesday’s unveiling, agreed, “The organizing committee is on top of everything. We’re on time, on budget and are setting an example for Brazilian society of serious, professional work. This is part of the legacy that we are leaving: not only the stadiums, but also the attitude and professionalism that we will show until the end.”