Rio Olympics main press centre opens

Rio Olympics main press centre opens

Rio de Janeiro, July 6 (IANS) With a month to go till the start of the Rio Olympics, the main press centre (MPC) opened its doors to the world’s media here.

The state-of-the-art building, about 27,000 square meters in area, will be the main base for the 6,000 journalists who have been granted accreditation for the Games, reports Xinhua.

The MPC is located in Barra Olympic Park, in the heart of the main cluster of Olympic venues for Rio Olympics. It is from the MPC that some of the most powerful and emotional stories of the year will be sent around the world, delivering the magic of the Games to billions of people.

Facilities for journalists at the MPC include a centre for media accreditation, a medical facility, a pharmacy, bank, post office, laundrette and an official Rio 2016 store. Journalists will also be able to validate their accreditations at the newly renovated international airport when they arrive.

Rio’s bay waters to be tested daily during Olympics

Rio de Janeiro, July 6 (IANS) Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara bay will be tested daily for water quality to ensure the safety of sailors at next month’s Olympic Games.

Testing will be conducted by Rio’s state environmental authority Inea, beginning on July 20, according to the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, reports Xinhua.

The measure meets a demand by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), which has expressed concern about pollution in the bay.

Last year, Rio’s city government admitted it would not be able to honour an Olympic pledge to reduce rubbish and waste in the bay by 80 per cent.

But large nets that block the flow of sewage and trash into competition areas and eco-boats that scoop up debris from the water’s surface will ensure the bay is fit for sailing, officials have said.

According to Inea, waters within the Olympic sailing routes meet international standards for the sport, and are even fit for swimming.

The Olympic Games will be held from August 5 to 21 and the Paralympics from September 7 to 18.

Don’t expect New York or London, Rio mayor tells Olympic visitors

Rio de Janeiro, July 6 (IANS) Visitors to Rio de Janeiro during next month’s Olympic Games should not set unrealistic expectations despite the city’s recent transformation, Mayor Eduardo Paes has said.

Around $10 billion from the private and public sectors have been poured into new infrastructure projects like a port district revamp, a subway line, motorways, a light rail service and express bus lanes, reports Xinhua.

But just one month out from the opening ceremony, the city continues to grapple with security threats, pollution and lingering infrastructure concerns.

“What made the people who voted for Rio take notice were the typical problems that Rio has — like traffic jams, floods, infrastructure issues,” Paes told a news conference on Tuesday.

“That is why we won the right to host the Games… So don’t expect Chicago, New York or London. We need to compare Rio with Rio.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Paes was forced to play down fears about public safety, just 24 hours after he told CNN that the state’s handling of security was “terrible” amid an uptick in violent crime.

While most of the city’s Olympic infrastructure projects have been completed, there is doubt over whether a new subway line will be ready in time for the opening ceremony.

Delays, violence and pollution are not the only causes for concern among Rio’s residents. Still fresh in their minds is the April collapse of an elevated bicycle track that killed two people just weeks after opening.

Rio 2016: Olympic logo, mascots inspired by all things Brazilian

Rio de Janeiro, July 6 (IANS) Does Brazil make you think of tropical jungles teeming with wildlife and cities inhabited by people of all shades and backgrounds?

It should, because all of those factors went into the making of the logo, mascots, souvenirs and other items having to do with the 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, which will be hosted this summer by Brazil’s famed beachside city of Rio de Janeiro.

The two mascots, one for each of the games, were inspired by “the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature,” according to the organising committee, reports Xinhua.

Vinicius, named in honour of Brazilian musician Vinicius de Moraes, is the mascot of the summer games, starting August 5, and his long legs lend him a decidedly athletic look.

Part wild cat, part monkey, and part bird, he also has the kind of long, curled tail that’s ideal for swinging from trees and some feathers. In short, he looks playful and ready for adventure, as an Olympic mascot should.

His sidekick Tom, who resembles an animated tree, is “a magical creature, a fusion of all the plants in the Brazilian forests.”

His mission, the committee says, is “to inspire everybody to use creativity and determination to always reach further and have fun.”

The logo, which evokes three people of different backgrounds dancing while holding hands in a circle — in a nod to the games bringing people from around the globe together for a single purpose — also alludes to one of Rio’s most iconic features.

“We tried to find the best balance between the idea of people embracing and the shape of our topography, in particular that of Sugarloaf Mountain, which is our most famous panoramic view in Rio,” its designer, Fred Gelli, founder of the firm Tatil, recently told online architecture and design magazine “designboom.”

Brazil is the first Latin American country ever to host the Olympics, which presents countries with a unique opportunity to showcase their cultural, historical and natural attractions, in addition to their athletic talents, to millions of people at the same time.

That’s why so much effort goes into the making of the visual identity of the games.

“The athletes need to relate to the symbol, but it has to inspire everyone,” a member of the Tatil design team explains in a company video.

The logo was unveiled on New Year’s Eve 2010 in front of some two million people gathered at Rio’s Copacabana Beach for the traditional fireworks display.

After the logo was projected onto giant screens to rousing applause from the crowd, the designers knew they had a success on their hands.

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