In an unusually blunt public warning, a vice president of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday called lagging preparations for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro “the worst I have experienced.”
John Coates, who has made six trips to Brazil as part of the IOC’s coordination commission for Rio, said the Brazilians are behind “in many, many ways” and are in worse shape than Greek organizers were in preparing for the 2004 Olympics.Despite the critical delays, the Australian said there is no backup plan and the games will take place in Rio.Coates noted the IOC had taken the unprecedented step of embedding experts in the host city to help the local organizing committee deliver the games.
“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations, but the situation is critical on the ground,” Coates told an Olympic forum in Australia. “The IOC has adopted a more hands-on role. It is unprecedented for the IOC, but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio.”
Brazil has also come under fire from football’s world governing body, FIFA, for long delays in construction of stadiums and other infrastructure and the overdue delivery of venues for the World Cup, which kicks off in June. Two years out from the 2016 Olympics, the situation on the construction front is just as bleak. CCTV’s Paulo Cabral reports.