2016 Brazil Olympics subject to controversy

Ellie Bashian, Entertainment Editor


Used with permission / @maureew.photogrophy / Instagram

The famous Olympic Rings are used to represent the unity of the five continents and the interactions between the athletes during the games. Brazil will be hosting the official 23rd summer Olympic Games.

Just a year ago, Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup. Now, with the 2016 Summer Olympics looming, Brazil is behind schedule on the building of the infrastructure to support the Games.
Olympics are associated with extravagance and luxury for athletes and spectators alike. In preparation, Brazil has planned various public works projects such as overhauling urban transit, airports and ports, building new roads, sports stadiums and hotels, and upgrading communications and the energy grid. According to “America’s Quarterly,” as much as $1 trillion in public and private funds will be spent for the World Cup and the Olympics combined. In total, Brazil has an estimated 235 planned service projects for the Olympics. Furthermore, the International Olympics Committee requires all sports venues be ready between mid-2015 and early 2016.

Brazil first won the bid for the Olympics in 2009. Since then, public support has declined, falling under 50 percent in June, 2014. However, many argue that this might be a chance to return the focus to the athletics of the Olympics, not the extravagance. According to “The Guardian,” 95 percent is spent on facilities, building and mega-stadiums.  
According to “Rio 2016,” the official website for the 2016 Games, there will be 42 sports in the first Olympics in South America. There will be 306 medal events: 136 for women, 161 for men and nine mixed. Ten thousand and five hundred athletes from 205 countries will flood to Rio de Janeiro. In addition to golf, rugby will also be added to these Games for the first time in 92 years. Thirty three competition venues will be spread across four different regions of the city. Thirty nine test events will be staged between August 2014 and May 2016 to make sure everything runs smoothly. There are 7.5 million tickets available to attend the 2016 Olympics. To put the mass preparation needed in perspective, Brazil will have to supply more than 40 horses, 17,760 tennis balls, 8,400 shuttlecocks, 40,000 beds, 60,000 clothing hangers, 40,000 chairs, 80,000 tables, and 11 million meals, according to “Rio 2016.”

A land dispute threatens the golf course for 2016. For the first time since 1904, golf is to be played at the Olympics. However, the land that the course is supposed to go on is tied up in legal issues. Conflicting claims to the land have prevented construction, and it might not be ready in time for 2015 test matches, according to Golf.com.
In addition, the sailing venue in Guanabara Bay is under question as government officials have admitted that the target of 80 percent reduction in water pollution will not be met. Recently, thousands of dead fish showed up in Guanabara Bay, sparking the controversy.
In April, 2014,  the IOC Vice President John Coates stated that the preparations for the 2016 Olympics were the “worst ever,” and worries surfaced about Brazil rushing to finish building competition venues and the associated infrastructure in time.
Despite these issues, the International Olympic Committee is now confident in Brazil to finish in time.
According to Olympic.org, the competition venue will be clustered in zones connected by a high-performance transport ring. “Nearly half of the athletes will be able to reach their venues in less than 10 minutes, and almost 75 percent will do so in less than 25 minutes. Of the 34 competition venues, of which 18 are already operational, eight will undergo some permanent works, seven will be totally temporary and nine are being constructed as permanent legacy venues,” according to Olympic.org.
    With 463 days left until the scheduled start of the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee sees Rio 2016 as “an opportunity to hasten the transformation of Rio de Janeiro into an even greater global city.”
    After a visit in February, Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel stated, “We were pleased to be able to show President Bach [of the IOC] that good progress has been made on the Rio 2016 Games. The advancements made on both the Barra and Deodoro Olympic Parks were very encouraging, with both areas on track to leave fantastic legacies to the people of Rio and the athletes of Brazil. However, the Rio team is now entering the most intense phase in the preparation for the Games, as they reach a new level of detail while planning numerous test events.”
    Furthermore, public support has increased since a number of engagement initiatives, such as ticket sales, mascots and volunteer recruitment have been started.
    The IOC Coordination Commission emphasized that accommodation and transport need significant work to ensure the Olympics are presented at the highest level possible. The Commission will return to Brazil in August to monitor the progress made.


2015-05-19 08:11:51