POSTED: May 1st 2009

IOC tours the Rio 2016 venue sites

Rio welcome: Soccer star Pele and evaluation chair Nawal El Moutawakel / Image: COB
Rio welcome: Soccer star Pele and evaluation chair Nawal El Moutawakel / Image: COB

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

RIO DE JANEIRO: The 13-member IOC evaluation team were welcomed by a sunlit day as it focused its inquiry light on potential venue sites of the Rio 2016 Olympic bid.

Supporters showed up to greet the group at Copacabana carrying signs printed with US President Barack Obama’s now famous 'Yes we can!' slogan to prove they were behind the Brazilian bid.

The tour began at the Forte de Copacabana at the end of the beach where a military facility is stationed. The group was treated to an air show before moving on to Barra da Tijuca, the area set to house the Olympic Village and where most of the competition venues would be located.

The group then visited lago Rodrigo de Freitas which served as the venue for the rowing competitions during the RIO 2007 Pan American Games. Then the members moved on to the Omnisport Arena and the Maria Lenk Water Park which was also a Pan Am venue. At the water park even some of the members were so inspired to try out the diving boards.

At one point in the afternoon Pele showed up to greet the team at Maracana stadium to show his support. He even offered the challenge to bounce a soccer ball around with evaluation chairman Nawal El Moutawakel.

After the outing, the evaluation commission will be working tomorrow on further discussions the Rio 2016 team and fine tuning its understanding of the overall Games plan. The IOC evaluation commission will next visit Madrid as the last stop on the 2016 city investigations.

Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo are competing to win the bid race to host the 2016 summer Games. The vote is set to be held October 2 in Copenhagen at the IOC session.

Keywords · IOC · Rio 2016 · olympic bid

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