Rio de Janeiro is celebrating three years to go until it hosts the 2016 Olympic Games, with the Organising Committee announcing that the project is on track to make Olympic history by delivering the first Games ever held in South America.
Monday 5 August marks three years until the Opening Ceremony of the Games, when the Brazilian city will welcome around 10,500 athletes from around the world.
At the heart of the Rio 2016 project is a commitment to use the Games as a catalyst to accelerate the development and improvement of Rio in areas such as urban infrastructure, transport, security, accommodation, education, and sports participation, in order to leave a lasting legacy for many generations to come.
Due to the legacy of hosting the 2007 Pan American Games, almost half of the Rio 2016 venues are already built, with construction projects for the new permanent and temporary venues underway, ahead of a full test event programme, which is planned to run from August 2015 to April 2016.
The Games will take place with venues in clusters across four Olympic zones – Barra, Deodoro, Copacabana and Maracana – while, uniquely, Rio 2016 will also feature two Olympic Parks, with Barra Olympic Park hosting nine Olympic sports and the Deodoro Olympic Park staging eight Olympic sports.
IOC President Jacques Rogge underlined how Rio was using the Games as a catalyst for the cities development.
“In Copenhagen in 2009, the Rio 2016 bid team promised to deliver Games of celebration and transformation,” he said. “Four years on and, using the Games as a catalyst, that transformation is taking shape, with new sporting and transport infrastructure already in use, new hotels under construction, the port area being renovated, and social projects helping to improve security and life for local communities through sport.
“As we reach the three-years-to-go mark, Rio 2016 is working hard to deliver on its vision and its commitments to the athletes of the world and to the people of Brazil. I am confident that Rio’s transformation will continue apace and that athletes, fans, and citizens will celebrate great Olympic Games together in Rio in 2016.”
Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman added: “Thanks to the dedicated and experienced team of Rio 2016, we are keeping up with commitments, and working rationally to stage excellent Games in 2016.
“In three years’ time, history will be made as the first Games to be hosted on South American soil are officially opened. It will be a proud moment for Rio, Brazil and everyone involved in the project, and we look forward to welcoming the world with open arms.”