‘Big smiles’ at Rio 2016 as organisers start to reflect on Games
When Rio de Janeiro won the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games, the city promised the world an amazing party.
And as Rio 2016 reached the halfway point the Cariocas are delivering on their promises. That was the verdict of Christophe Dubi, Executive Director of the Olympic Games at the IOC.
As the man tasked with overseeing the organisation of the Games, Mr Dubi has daily briefings in Rio, starting at 7.15am with all the parties involved.
Later, he gets out to each of the venues and to check up on all of the sporting facilities and public sites.
“You go to Campo Grande, you go to Madureira, you go to the Olympic Boulevard, the Park, the Live Site and you only see big smiles across faces. And this is what these Games are about: smiles and positive energy,” says Dubi.
But as well as bringing out the joyful side of Olympism, Rio 2016 has also been what he describes as an “intelligent” edition of the Games.
Organisers responded quickly to make the final adjustments to transport systems around the Olympic Park in the first few days of the Games as well as ensuring the smooth running of the security operations.
At the same time, using sustainability as one of the key messages, Rio 2016 has kept legacy in mind throughout the planning and implementation stages.
“When we look back in a few years from now, these Games have transformed the city, they have transformed more importantly the lives of the citizens and when you do that through a sporting event, there was a very strong vision and the vision has been delivered,” continues Dubi.
In the run-up to Rio 2016, Dubi joined the Coordination Commission in its regular visits to the city to assess preparations.
And the vision began to come together during the test events, which got under way in earnest last year.
“When you go through the Coordination Commission, you’re in plans and concepts and you can only imagine what it will be like,” he says.
“Then you have the test events and the test events started to demonstrate what we could do here, which was a good solid field of play with a great party around.”
Contributing to the atmosphere in Rio was the return of golf and rugby to the Olympic programme.
“We made the right choice,” says Dubi. “Both had objectives in mind to further develop their sport and you can see the exposure and medals in rugby achieving just that.
“So far, I’ve heard only positive things including from the golf community where you have some of the most prominent players that are raving about their experience here.”
As the Games entered their final week, Dubi said he was “really thrilled” with the results of years of planning and organising.
“I’m very proud of everybody who has been part of this effort, starting with the Brazilians and all those partners involved: international federations, NOCs and sponsors,” he adds.
“The Games in general and here in particular are really delivering what we all want, which is positive energy, good values, understanding and love between each other and this is really something of which we can all be proud.”