IOC pleased with Rio’s preparations for 2016 Games

The IOC ended its visit to Rio de Janeiro on Friday, satisfied

with the city’s preparations for the 2016 Olympics while stressing

there is ”not a second to waste.”

The International Olympic Committee team met with Brazilian

President Dilma Rousseff a day earlier and praised the support to

the games from all levels of government.

”The challenge in front of the Brazilian team is an impressive

one given the scale of the games project and the immovable deadline

of Aug. 5, 2016,” coordination commission leader Nawal El

Moutawakel said in a statement. ”Rio 2016 and its partners

continue to deliver successfully on their commitments.”

Moutawakel said organizers needed to continue to work hard

despite the progress, but for now everything was working as planned

leading to the first Olympics in South America.

”As we have said since Day One, there is not a second to

waste,” she said. ”We have been reassured to see that the

government support that we’ve seen since the bid phase remains

strong, with all levels of the state continuing to work hand in

hand with each other and the Rio 2016 organizing committee to

deliver great Olympic Games in 2016.”

Moutawakel said the meeting with Rousseff in Brasilia, the

nation’s capital, helped show IOC officials the importance of the

games to the Brazilian people.

”With London 2012 almost upon us, it will soon be Rio’s turn to

be under the spotlight,” she said. ”It was therefore an opportune

time for us to come and visit President Rousseff. She has always

been a strong supporter of the Rio project and today’s meeting has

underlined that once again. Indeed, the importance of these Olympic

Games to the Brazilian people was evident throughout our

discussions.”

Also meeting with Dilma were IOC executive director Gilbert

Felli and IOC sports director Christophe Dubi. Rio de Janeiro state

and city officials, Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and Carlos

Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 Olympic committee president, also

were present.

Nuzman said the union of the three levels of government makes

for speedier and more efficient planning.

”I am certain that Rio de Janeiro will be the greatest example

of transformation of a city in the history of the Olympic Games,”

he said. ”We are very pleased to be working with the three levels

of government to make Rio an example to other cities after the 2016

Games.”

The IOC’s project review visit included several meetings

involving its officials, city authorities and delegates of the Rio

2016 organizing committee. The IOC team also checked some Olympic

venues, including the Athletes’ Park, which was open to the public

Wednesday.

The same day, the team participated in the announcement by Rio

2016 organizers that American architect Gil Hanse will be in charge

of designing and building the Olympic golf course, the first in

more than 100 years since the sport was dropped following the 1904

St. Louis Games.

The next full visit of the IOC coordination commission is June

4-6.

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