In a little debated programme by Carlos Nuzman’s organising committee for Rio’s
Olympic Games, 3 million US$ is to be invested in linking every school in the
country not only to the Olympic ethos but to the practicality of live sports, many of
them never before experienced, such as Rugby.
The programme is labelled ‘Transform’. A kit will be sent to every senior
school, instructing children how to make a hockey stick, a golf club, how to begin the
rudiments of the game. Facebook will link communities, families, teachers, thereby
informing some seven million children among whom maybe is hidden an Olympic
champion ten years hence.
Nuzman, staging a media conference in London yesterday immediately
following update presentation to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, confirmed
through his Communications Director Mario Andrada that at events where ticket
sales fall short of expectation, seats will be filled by school kids for the dual function
of increased ambiance and first hand audience experience.
Despite the controversies which have hampered Rio’s progress in preparation,
Nuzman is determined that South America’s first Olympic Games will not be a void
for the thriving millions of poor youngsters. Publicity regarding free tickets has been
guarded : there will be no free tickets for government officials and the social elite !
“We have opened the door for South America”, Nuzman says. ” There will be
no white elephants, the handball stadium will be transferred for school competition,
the swimming pool will become the national training centre. ” Despite the stress of
financial constraints,of alleged water pollution, of the Zika mosquito virus potential
infection, the man who has put Brazil’s Olympic profile on the map remains firmly
“I think we are in good health ” he insists. “There will be an enormous legacy
of infrastructure. Just consider transport. Since we were elected in 2009, public
transport, metro and bus, will have increased from being available to 18% of the
population to 65% “. In protection against Zika, the Organising Committee ill pay for
air conditioning in the Village.
Concerning pollution in the bay for Sailing, Nuzman is confidant that the
section of the bay to be used, distant from the populated side, will be constantly
monitored: that the IF has approved conditions. Margaret Chan , head of the World
Health Organisation, has stated that there will be “maximum protection” from Zika,
with daily inspection of all areas to eliminate any stagnant water where mosquitoes
Nuzman is emphatic that there is no diminution of facilities on account of
budget restrictions. „Yes, the situation is different from our bid in 2009, because it
now reflects attitudes approved at Agenda 2020. We have changed nothing on the
field of play, performance conditions. Cutbacks have been among volunteers, in
hospitality. We are comfortable in relations with all the relevant authorities.The only
test event that has been delayed has been at the Velodrome, awaiting delivery of the
wood for the track.
“The course for the Canoe Slalom is used by thousands of kids every weekend.
The Beach Volleyball holding 12,000 is the biggest in the world, something for
which I’m proud because of my long association with the sport. Golf will have its test
event next week.”
Nuzman denied rumours of impropriety in Rio’s bid that recently surfaced.
Confidant in clean sport, he confirmed that the testing laboratory is fully equipped,
approved by both WADA, the IOC and the government: will soon be tested, and will
engage the new supervision by CAS, just initiated by the IOC Executive Board.
A video gave a glimpse of what we can expect from Brazil’s torch relay — more
than a touch of the legendary Carnival.
Media tends to be pessimistic about every Games, not least London’s. I am
optimistic that Rio can charm the world.
By David Miller, this story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.