POSTED: February 16th 2009

Rio 2016 banks on X factor

Carlos Nuzman: targeting a young audience / lake images
Carlos Nuzman: targeting a young audience / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Rio de Janeiro’s bid team for the 2016 Olympic Games has come up with a youth-targeted X Park concept to try to impress the IOC.

The X Park project was opened up in London today as bid president Carlos Nuzman, general secretary Carlos Roberto Osorio and ambassador Janeth Arcain unveiled details of the city’s candidate file.

“Rio would provide a stunning setting for every sport and write a new page in the history of the Olympic movement,” said Nuzman before turning to the detail being set before the IOC’s evaluation commission and then members in Copenhagen next October.

He added: “The most important factor is the support our bid has from the three levels of government which, in financial terms, is guaranteeing much more than the IOC is asking. We have a venues legacy from the Panamerican Games in 2007 which means we have 73pc of the  venues ready. Twenty per cent will be temporary so that means we are missing, even now, only seven per cent.”

Venues for BMX, mountain bikes and slalom canoeing will be set in the X Park.

Nuzman said: “Its atmosphere, with the right music, will attract young people in particular and create a dialogue between Olympic sport and youth.” Osorio said that the bid team would hope to persuade the IOC to create a “youth flag", a concept which he thought might also interest sponsors.

Reaching out to youth

The X Park idea will, Rio hopes, demonstrate the city's determination to pick up on the renewed Olympic movement ambition to reach out to young people.

Nuzman underlined the point by pointing to the “180m young people in South American, more than three countries put together.” The X Park concept also proved, he said, how the Rio team had amended and revised its plans from the learning curve of the candidacy.

The Athletes’ Village plan has been upgraded to incorporate a fully-equipped training facility, a leisure park and even an exclusive slice of the Rio beach. As Osorio said: “We want to offer a unique lifetime experience for each Games client.”

Positioning of the media IPC/MPC has been changed to take greater advantage of the “clean zone” potential of close-sited venues.

Nuzman and Osorio also described plans to “guarantee” full stadia and insisted on the added value being gained from the hosting of the football World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

The Maracana stadium, which would host the 2016 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, is to be shut down at the end of the year to undergo major redevelopment for the World Cup – but with Olympic demands in mind.

The IOC decides in Copenhagen in October between Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Keywords · IOC · 2016 Olympic Games · Rio de Janeiro · Nuzman · Osorio · Arcain · X Park

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