POSTED: January 24th 2009

Sydney lessons for Rio

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rio 2016 bid leaders were inspired by the opportunity to expand their organisational horizon by what they saw at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.

Observers who attended, under the terms of an exchange programme with the Austriam Olympic Committee, were Mario Cilenti, Rio's director of international relations, and Marcus Vinicius Freire who is sports executive superintendent for the Brazilian Olympic Committee.
Cilenti said: “Our experience there was exceptional and inspiring. The Brazilian Olympic Committee and the Rio 2016 bid committee are both committed to developing young sporting talent and one of the key aspects of our overall concept for 2016 is the unification of sport and education."

Rio officials claim that the Games offer them an opportunity to reach more than 65million young people in Brazil and more than 180m in South America.
Cilenti added: “Brazil hosts School Olympics every year with more than 3,000 participants aged from 14 to 18 and seeing what happens in Australia has been a valuable learning experience.

"These youth multi-sport events are a significant part of developing future Olympians as they embrace a high level of competition and offer these young athletes a glimpse of what they can achieve at the Games.”

Exchange programmes

Freire underlined the COB's commitment to exchange programmes with other National Olympic Committees.

He said: "Our aim is to share best practice and experience in preparing teams for the Games and importantly, keeping youth engaged. We have had the privilege of exchanging ideas with a number of NOCs to date and look forward to doing so increasingly in the lead up to 2012.”

Last November  COB members visited the Olympic Committees of Germany, Belgium and Great Britain. During their visit to London Sir Clive Woodward, the BOA's director of Olympic performance, agreed to visit Brazil in the first half of 2009.

In fact, an Olympic Development Authority - modelled on the London 2012 body - has been created to co-ordinate public services and deliver infrastructure for the potential Rio Games.

The Brazilian model has been adapted to local needs and demands are is intended to to ensure total coordination between the three levels of government, guaranteeing the quality of all services and full compliance with Olympic deadlines. Its divisions will also include traffic and transport and sustainability.

Keywords · Sydney · Australian Youth Olympic Festival · Cilenti · Freire · Rio de Janeiro · 2016 · Olympic Games

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