POSTED: February 25th 2015

Solid progress shown by Rio 2016 after IOC Coordination Commission visits

The IOC Coordination Commission inspected Rio's progress for the Games February 23-25 / IOC Ian Jones
The IOC Coordination Commission inspected Rio's progress for the Games February 23-25 / IOC Ian Jones

(L to R) IOC President Thomas Bach and Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman / IOC Ian Jones
(L to R) IOC President Thomas Bach and Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman / IOC Ian Jones

Nawal El Moutawakal, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission overseeing Rio 2016 / IOC Ian Jones
Nawal El Moutawakal, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission overseeing Rio 2016 / IOC Ian Jones

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 games, just had a visit from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission as they made their eighth visit from February 23rd to the 25th. They saw solid progress made by the 2016 host city with sports venues taking shape and has many up and running engagement initiatives like volunteering, the Olympic Torch Relay and ticketing. The Rio organizers are currently entering the operational phase of the project. At this stage of preparations, Rio 2016 along with its partners will start increasing their activity, while they reach a new aspect of detail in their the Games planning and deliver 21 test events at the same time.

IOC President Thomas Bach joined the Commission for part of the visit, as he led a delegation with Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel, to meet Dlima Rousseff the Brazilian President. Rouseff renewed the pledge to fully support the Games from "every level and ministry of [her] government as well as from State and City authorities." Bach was even able to take part in a meeting with Rio De Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, Brazilian Minister of Sports George Hilton, and Rio State Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, and joined the Commission during their tour of the Barra Olympic Park.

"We were pleased to be able to show President Bach that good progress has been made on the Rio 2016 Games. The advancements made on both the Barra and Deodoro Olympic Parks were very encouraging, with both areas on track to leave fantastic legacies to the people of Rio and the athletes of Brazil. However, the Rio team is now entering the most intense phase in the preparation for the Games, as they reach a new level of detail while planning numerous test events," stated Commission Chair El Moutawakel, at the end of the visit.

She added, "With 21 test events planned for this year and a significant number of the world's best athletes coming to Rio to try the venues, Rio 2016 will have a lot to deliver while still preparing for the Games. We were pleased to see that Rio and its government partners have put in place structures that will allow them to deal with what will be an intense year ahead, filled with thousands of details that will need to be dealt with before the Games. They will also need to ensure that the venues are delivered in time to host the test events. The golf course, velodrome and equestrian cross-country venues all have very aggressive timelines that will need to be met over the coming months."

The support of Brazil for the Games was shown as the government partners' leaders participated in the meetings with the Commission. The Commission thanked each one for their commitment to the Games. The IOC group was very happy to see the unity between the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee and the government partners. This showcased the importance in having an integrated approach to hosting a successful Games, especially during such an important and intense time in the coming 17 months. All three levels of government have a member who is on the Organizing Committee's board, which leads to even greater cooperation and transparency. 

In addition, the Commission highlight numerous areas for the local organizers to focus on, which included transport and accommodation, where a significant amount of work needs to be done for things to be completed within the year. Thus ensuring a great Games experience at the highest level for spectators, participants and athletes alike. 

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee commented,
"It was our pleasure to receive the IOC President, Thomas Bach, together with the members of the Coordination Commission. As we move at high speed from the planning to the execution phase of the project, we are dedicated to delivering on our vision for the Games. In a project of this magnitude, some obstacles will always exist, but with the help of our partners at the IOC and the three levels of government, we will overcome them. Our joint commitment to deliver excellent Games with memorable celebrations is stronger now than ever."

The Rio organizers assured the Commission that the support of the Games remains strong throughout Brazil and numerous engagement initiatives have been launched since their last visit, which include volunteer recruitment, the mascots, the Olympic Torch Relay and ticket sign-up. Over the coming months, nationwide engagement will start to increase and they expect their ticket sales to start in late March. Also, their volunteer program will enter the training phase, Rio's cultural program will begin, the Rio education program will continue to spread across the country, and torchbearer applications will open later this year. They will also hold the test events to bring sport to Rio and have the one-year-to-go celebrations to showcase the atmosphere that is expected in 2016. Brazilians will have the chance to participate in the Games through such initiatives, just like the events in 2016 will give the Brazilians a chance to watch the Olympic athletes in action take part in their respective sports.

The organizers and their partners in areas like sport and International Federation services, media operations, spectators, transport, test events, athlete and National Olympic Committee (NOC) services, marketing, technology and the Paralympic Games provided updates to the Coordination Commission. 

The Commission will make another visit to Rio de Janeiro in August of this year.

**MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog:

Keywords · Olympics · Rio 2016

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