Rio Summer Games ready to go, IOC chief says
Rio de Janeiro, Aug 1 (IANS) Rio de Janeiro is ready to host “great” Summer Olympic Games despite any last-minute problems that might occur, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said.
The IOC Executive Board wrapped up its meeting to evaluate the status of the Games in four hours, with all the members’ questions addressed, Bach said on Sunday, reports Efe.
“We have the expectation that we’re going to have great Games, although, as always, we’ll have some last-minute challenges. But the Brazilians have shown us that they are capable of dealing with these challenges, including in the short term,” the IOC chief said during his first appearance before the media at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Park’s Press Centre.
“We’re sure that we are going to have some great Olympic Games Brazilian style,” Bach told the hundreds of reporters from around the world who are in Rio to cover the Games, which start on August 5.
“Brazilian-style Olympic Games are Games full of passion and the joy of living,” Bach said in response to a question about whether his comment referred to last-minute problems on the part of Brazilian organisers in completing facilities.
Bach acknowledged that after receiving complaints from different teams about electrical and water problems at the Olympic Villa, the first thing he did after arriving in Rio de Janeiro was to inspect the housing facilities.
“But when I got there and spoke with the athletes and chiefs of the delegations, I saw that they all had positive views of the Olympic Villa. They admitted that there had been problems with water leaks a day earlier, but everything had been fixed. The consensus is that the villa is beautiful, fantastic, with spectacular amenities and has everything you need,” the 62-year-old former Olympic champion fencer said.
The rest of the Olympic facilities and venues, including the much-criticised Guanabara Bay, the polluted body of water where the sailing competition will take place, are all being monitored thoroughly, Bach said.
“At this time, we are doing four examinations per day that show that the water in the bay meets World Health Organisation standards,” the IOC chief said.
The IOC Executive Board discussed several issues, including doping among Russian athletes, and members’ concerns were all addressed, Bach said.
“As you can tell from the fact that a meeting scheduled to last two days ended in half a day, everything was very efficient. The main topic was the presentation of the Rio Games. We received a report from the organising committee and all the members were able to ask questions,” the IOC chief said.
The board also discussed Rio de Janeiro’s “Olympic legacy,” such as the new Metro line, the port’s revitalization and new highways built exclusively for buses, Bach said.