- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
John Coates, the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, openly criticized the preparedness of Rio de Janeiro, which is getting ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in two years. He has visited the Brazilian city several times and has called the delayed preparations the “worst I have ever experienced.”
Coates was speaking at an Olympic forum in Sydney, where he announced that the IOC has set up an task force “to speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” reports The Guardian. His remarks were released in a statement by the Australian Olympic Commission.
The IOC has been forced to take on a more “hands-on” role in Rio because there is no plan B. “We are going to Rio. We have become very concerned, they are not ready in many, many ways,” Coates said. “We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach, you can't walk away from this.”
The IOC isn’t the only international sports body criticizing Brazil. CBS News notes that FIFA has also complained about the delays in building soccer stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which starts in June.
“We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways,” Coates explained. “And this is against a city that's got social issues that also have to be addressed; a country that's also trying to deal with the FIFA World Cup coming up in a few months.”
Coates said that the situation is even worse than the one faced for the 2004 Games in Athens, noting that the IOC only had to deal with the Greek government. In Rio, they have had to deal with the state, federal and city governments, which are all not coordinated.
“The flow of funds from the federal government is not happening quickly enough. We think we need to help facilitate that,” Coates said.
Particularly worrisome is the fact that the Deodoro, which will host eight events, isn’t built yet and the golf course doesn’t even have grass. This will be the first Olympics in over a century to feature golf.