Organizing the Rio 2016 Olympics may cost as much as $4 billion, according to the Organizing Committee’s chief operating officer Leo Gryner.
With the Rio LOC marking three years to go for the Opening Ceremony, Gryner told The Associated Press that $700 million worth of government money is needed to meet the operating budget for the 2016 Games. He explained any shortfall was caused by inflation and Brazil’s slowing economy.
Rio’s original budget estimate was $2.8 billion as submitted to the Copenhagen IOC Session when Rio won the Games in 2009.
Celebrating the three years to go mark, Rio is described “on track to deliver unique and memorable Games, and to transform the city” in a press release.
“Thanks to the dedicated and experienced team of Rio 2016, we are keeping up with commitments, and working rationally to stage excellent Games in 2016,” Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman stated. “The partnership with the three levels of government has also been fundamental to successfully delivering these first stages of the great challenge that is organizing the Olympic Games. In three years’ time, history will be made as the first Games to be hosted on South American soil are officially opened. It will be a proud moment for Rio, Brazil and everyone involved in the
project, and we look forward to welcoming the world with open arms.”
Expressing confidence that Rio’s transformation will continue apace, IOC President Jacques Rogge said that “athletes, fans, and citizens will celebrate great Olympic Games together in Rio in 2016.”
“In Copenhagen in 2009, the Rio 2016 bid team promised to deliver Games of celebration and transformation,” Rogge continued. “Four years on and using the Games as a catalyst, that transformation is taking shape, with new sporting and transport infrastructure already in use, new hotels under construction, the port area being renovated, and social projects helping to improve security and life for local communities through sport. As we reach the three-years-to- go mark, Rio 2016 is working hard to deliver on its vision and its commitments to the athletes of the world and to the people of Brazil.”
Detailing Rio’s progress in preparing the 2016 Olympics, the press release continues: “…. The organizing committee is working in a fully integrated manner with the three levels of government (Federal, State and City) and other stakeholders to deliver on the promises made when Rio was awarded the honor of hosting the Games in Copenhagen in October 2009.
“At the heart of the Rio 2016 project is a commitment to bring positive transformation through sport. The Games are acting as a catalyst to accelerate the development and improvement of Rio in the areas of urban infrastructure, transport, security, accommodation and education, as well as sports participation, to leave a lasting legacy for many generations to come.
“Due to the legacy of hosting the 2007 Pan American Games, almost half of the Rio 2016 venues are already built. Meanwhile construction projects for the new permanent and temporary venues are on schedule to host the test events program, which is planned to run from August 2015 to April 2016.
“In April work began on the Olympic golf course, which will become the first public course in Rio de Janeiro in legacy mode. Meanwhile the construction of Barra Olympic Park’s three sports hall arenas, which will host basketball, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, is also underway on schedule. The new venues, along with the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, the Rio Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Tennis Center, will become Brazil and South America’s first Olympic Training Center following the Games and form the central part of the Rio 2016 Games sports legacy.
“The Athletes Village construction is also well under way with the first three condominiums already rising out of the ground. The Organizing Committee is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the interests of the athletes and sport are kept at the heart of Games planning. To date Rio 2016 has welcomed representatives from 36 National Olympic Committees, from all five continents, and received 24 visits from 18 International Federations in order to develop the detailed operational planning for the Games.
“During June the organizing committee initiated the “Model Venue Exercise” at the Rio Olympic Arena, which will host gymnastics during the 2016 Games. During the exercise, employees from various functional areas of the Committee attend presentations about the Games and perform integration activities. This important exercise is aimed at building an efficient operational plan to form the basis for the planning of resources – space, staff and equipment – required for all venues during Games time.
“The ambitious Rio 2016 commercial program is making strong progress, having already surpassed the initial estimates set in the bid. Rio 2016 is now aiming to raise the largest amount of Games sponsorship to date and 50% of this target has already been achieved.
“The Rio 2016 project includes a large proportion of private investment, therefore reducing the amount of public funds required; The Barra Olympic Park, Athletes Village, Bus Rapid Transit Transolimpica, International Broadcast Center, Main Press Center, Golf Course and the Porto Maravilha renovation are all private or private-public-partnership (PPP) projects.
“In May, the supporters in the packaged food and dairy products categories were announced, while partners in the beer, logistics, operating system software and network infrastructure sectors will be added soon. The licensing program is also advancing as planned, with nine contracts signed and 17 in negotiation. This month Rio 2016 will also launch the procurement portal – a highly transparent online one-stop-shop for all companies, both domestic and international, interested in becoming suppliers to the Rio 2016 Games.
“In March the organizing committee moved to headquarters in the Cidade Nova area of Rio de Janeiro. The new headquarters have been built with full commitment to sustainability and accessibility using an innovative construction technique which enables the structure to be dismantled and reused elsewhere following the completion of the Rio 2016 project…”
The above article was first appeared in The Sport Intern, a blog published by Karl-Heinz Huba in Lorsch, Germany. This article is reprinted here with permission from the blog publisher. Mr. Huba can be reached via email at ISMG@aol.com.