One Year From The Olympics – Will Rio Be Ready?
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. William Penn
There is another global event happening in a country where the day-to-day life of many people is harshly different from the shiny new city. A lot can go right and a lot can also go wrong. But like that dinner party, the guests will be showing up whether they are ready or not. Here is some pre Olympic info I picked up while I was in Rio. (They do have Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city, maybe it helps.)
Maracana Stadium will be the location of the opening ceremonies. The homes in the nearby Metro-Mangueira favela were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built yet. At its peak, the favela housed around 700 families.
Olympic security could resemble the World Cup with military police and soldiers patrolling the tourist areas.
The tram in the charming Santa Theresa neighborhood is working again after being closed since 2011 because of a derailment accident.
It had just started working when I was there and people were happy to see it.
Various transportation projects are being built.
The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots have been unveiled. Inspired by Brazil’s fauna and flora, the duo feature various pop culture influences. there is a competition to name the mascots and vote for your choice at http://www.rio2016.com/mascots (I like floracito and faunacito)
Olympic merchandise is not available yet.
Guanabara Bay which will be the site of the sailing events is notoriously polluted. Clean up is underway. Levels of bacteria and viruses in the water are high which is a concern for swimmers, rowers canoers, triathletes and sailors.
The building continues at the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca. (not my photo)
Events will be staged in 34 venues, of which 18 are already operating, nine will be new and seven are temporary. They are spread over four districts known as ‘Olympic clusters’: Barra de Tijuca, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracana. Football games will be held in various stadiums outside the city.
Construction is brightly colored and everywhere.
There are 45,000 volunteer jobs. Rio 2016 will offer online English courses for one year in addition to specific training for defined roles. Volunteers will receive uniforms, meals and transportation on working days plus a certificate of participation.
The 2016 Rio Games will be the first Olympic games to take place in South America.
The Games’ motto will be ‘Viva Sua Paixao’, which means ‘Live Your Passion’.
The official Rio 2016 Logo is made up of three figures to represent the city’s famous landmark, Sugarloaf Mountain. It depicts the three colours of the Brazilian flag, blue, green and yellow.
They insist that they are “on time and on budget.” So get your tickets and go. Many hotels and guides are already booked. I can’t wait. I am obsessed with the Olympics! Now I have a picture in my mind of where many of the events will take place. If you need me between August 5th and August 21 2016, I will be in front of a TV somewhere in the world.