By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This past weekend, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced that Parque Radical (Radical Park) at the Deodoro Sports Complex, one of the many Rio 2016 Olympic legacy projects for Rio’s Zona Norte and Zona Oeste (North and West Zone) residents, would reopen in September 2017.
“Everyone will be able to go to the park,” exclaimed the Mayor about the 500,000 square meter park that was the scene of canoe slalom competitions and BMX events during the Rio 2016 Games.
“We were careful to repair everything that had been broken,” said Crivella. “[W]e made new contracts for which there is no type of waste during this time of crisis, and we guarantee that people who are there will be secure, it is going to be clean with a lot of leisure.”
Parque Radical first opened to the public in December 2015, then closed for several months for the Olympics. The site’s water attractions reopened to the public in September 2016, benefiting the many residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. But, the fun was short-lived as the site was promptly closed again at the end of 2016 when the company managing the park closed operations.
With the park now scheduled to reopen next month, Mayor Crivella assured that “the weekends there will be as charming as they were before.”
Accompanied by the Secretary of Sports and Leisure, Patrícia Amorim, Mayor Crivella toured the various venues at Olympic Park, the largest of the Rio 2016 Olympic competition hubs.
At the Carioca Arena 3, Crivella and Amorim attended a series of sports workshops for about 400 hundred children who had the chance to try their hand at table tennis, badminton, judo, and gymnastics.
“Carioca Arena 3 is a great temple of sport,” exclaimed Amorim. “The space has received great Olympic medalists and now our children and athletes can dream of becoming winners.”
Though Olympic Park has been little-used since the Games and has even been labeled as “abandoned” in many circles, Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani, who also attended the event, praised the support of Rio City Hall in overseeing the site’s various venues.
“I want to thank Mayor Marcelo Crivella who has been responsible, together with us, for upholding the Olympic legacy,” said the Sports Minister. “Also he has been a great partner in developing sports and young athletes with these wonderful facilities.”
“I bring here my word of gratitude, of respect for this Olympiad and everything we did,” Crivella added. “And my commitment is for all this to continue as a lighted torch here and in the heart of every Brazilian.
In regards to the recent fire at the Velodrome, one of the Olympic Park facilities, officials asserted that repairs are already underway. “The track was cleared by Comlurb following the guidance of the architect-designer and is already covered and protected from contact with the water and the sun,” said Picciani. “In the coming days, AGLO will determine when it can be reopened.”