IOC President kicks off “one year to go” with Olympians on the beach in Rio de Janeiro
IOC President Thomas Bach has arrived in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the one-year-to-go celebrations for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016. Bach’s first appointment was to meet around 30 local Olympians and young athletes. They played beach football and volleyball, had a walk along the shore of the Atlantic, and even played a bit of rugby, which will be making its return to the Olympic fold next year in Rio de Janeiro.
They also talked about Rio’s progress, shared stories about their sporting careers, and spoke about the positive legacies that the Games are leaving to the host city and nation.
Speaking after the meeting, President Bach said, “This was a great start for the one-year-to-go celebrations. After a 24-hour long flight to get here, to have a little bit of sport with so many athletes, this is how it should be.” He continued, “I think that the Games are very important for the Cariocas and for Brazil because they will leave a great legacy. There will be a Rio de Janeiro before the Olympic Games, and there will be a Rio de Janeiro, a better one, after the Olympic Games.”
The athletes who met the IOC President represented 10 different sports and included more than 20 Olympic medallists. There was also a number of football stars in the gathering, with President Bach scoring a penalty against goalkeeper Gilmar Rinaldi, a member of the 1994 Brazilian FIFA World Cup-winning squad.