The Olympic Games may still be a month away, but the transformation of Rio into an Olympic city is complete.Organisers marked the 30-day milestone by inaugurating a new Olympic City Museum along with a Knowledge Ship – a public space with free computer and library access - which is part of the Olympic legacy programme designed to turn Rio into a better integrated city.
On 5 July, Carlos Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, was joined by Brazil’s Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani and Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor, at the museum, which is located near the Olympic Stadium. “We are arriving at an important point, with one month until the Games,” Mr Nuzman said. “We are celebrating today the fact that Rio is opening its doors to all people.
“The first legacy that we had was the victory of bringing the Olympic Games to another continent. The second was the transformation of Rio. “Rio is the greatest transformation of a city, and changed the way the Games will be done. We are sure that it will be an unbelievable party and everyone will love it.”
“Rio is the greatest transformation of a city, and changed the way the Games will be done.Carlos Nuzman President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee
Since winning the right to host the Games in 2009, the city has benefited from improvements in public transport, as well as new public spaces including the regenerated port area, Madureira Park and the Museum of Tomorrow, which has had 680,000 visitors since opening in December.
The developments have encouraged greater movement and integration in the city. By 2017, more than 60 per cent of the population is expected to use public transport compared to just 18 per cent in 2009.
And the new Transoeste bus route had halved the commuting time between the neighbourhoods of Barra da Tijuca and Santa Cruz in the west of the city from an hour and 40 minutes to around 50 minutes.
Mr Paes said the city was ready to put on the biggest sporting event in the world with the Opening Ceremony on 5 August. “We’re going to live a very special moment, of much transformation, not just for Rio but for the whole population,” he added. “No one does a party like us cariocas.”
Also on Tuesday, the Main Press Centre (MPC) for the Games, which was handed over to the Rio 2016 Organising Committee in April, opened its doors to journalists for the first time. The MPC, which covers 27,000m2, will be operational 24 hours a day during Games time.