Brazilian teamwork paving way for successful Games delivery and legacy
Closing its ninth and penultimate meeting (10 – 12 August 2015) in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission has praised the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and its local government partners for their teamwork in delivering the first pre-Games test events. The unity of spirit and mission is helping them to solidify their operations ahead of next year’s Games and to lay the foundations for an important Olympic legacy.
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel commented, “With less than one year to go until the opening of the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, we have been delighted with the unity of spirit and mission that is driving ‘Team Brazil’ to deliver a successful first wave of test events. We have already seen excellent volleyball, triathlon, rowing and equestrian events, with more exciting sport to come over the next few weeks. This common desire to succeed is manifesting itself through excellent test events held in Olympic venues, as well as in operations that are receiving praise from athletes and International Federations alike. This demonstrates the organisers’ capabilities and their capacity to deliver outstanding Olympic Games next year. The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games will also produce an important Olympic legacy that, as IOC President Bach said during the one-year-to-go celebrations, “will be the biggest urban redevelopment since the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992.” The work to deliver important infrastructure and social legacies like the venues, public transport improvements, and educational initiatives continues at full speed. I for one believe that people will certainly speak of a Rio de Janeiro before the Games and a Rio de Janeiro after the Games.”
She continued, “The delivery of the Aquece Rio test events has required an important mind-set shift for the organisers. They have now entered the stage of preparations, where their attention is focusing on how to deliver the most memorable, joyful experience for all participants. The athletes remain at the core of all these efforts. Thorough planning is also underway to offer spectators, Brazilians and overseas visitors to the Games an equally thrilling experience next year. From now until the Games, a tremendous amount of work remains to be completed. With the state-of-the-art venues starting to be delivered, it’s now about dealing in a timely manner with millions of operational details. Practical experience is very important in this regard, and so we expect the organisers to take each wave of test events as an opportunity to prepare the venues and teams for the Games.”
Following President Rousseff’s participation at Rio 2016’s one-year-to-go event last week, the unity and integration between Rio 2016 and the different government bodies continues to be clear. All levels of government were represented during the Commission meetings, with Governor Pezão and Mayor Paes both personally underlining their commitment to the success of the Games. The government parties were also joined by the Brazilian Olympic Committee, which shared its plans to prepare a competitive home team for next year’s Games, as well as to extend the elite sporting legacy of the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 to future editions.
The President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, said: “This was the most important Coordination Commission that we have had so far. I say this because of the advanced state of our preparations and the ever increasing integration between the IOC, Rio 2016 and our partners in the federal, state and city governments.”
On Monday, the Commission members visited the Barra Olympic Park and the Olympic golf course, where they were able to appreciate first-hand the significant progress that has been made on the venues since their last visit in February. The Games legacy was also apparent, as the Commission was able to enter the Future Arena, which after the Games will be dismantled and turned into four schools in Rio de Janeiro. The Park will also host the future Brazilian Olympic Training Centre, as well as a school for talented young athletes.
In addition, the Commission heard about other programmes that will leave a legacy by positively impacting millions of lives. These include 10,000 free English courses for Rio taxi drivers and the nationwide rollout of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Transforma education programme that will reach an estimated 7 million children across Brazil.
During the meeting, the Commission also received updates from the organisers and their partners in areas such as athlete and National Olympic Committee (NOC) services, sport and International Federation services, media operations, spectators, transport, marketing, technology and the Paralympic Games.
The Coordination Commission will return to Rio de Janeiro for the final time next year. In the meantime, the IOC will continue to support the Rio organisers with Project Review and expert visits.
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