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  • On the Scene -- IOC Likes Early Pace for Rio Olympics


    Gilbert Felli (center) with Carlos Nuzman and Carlos Osorio of the Rio 2016 organizing committee. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)
    (ATR) The International Olympic Committee says Rio is moving quickly to organize the 2016 Olympics.
    Speaking to reporters at the end of the two-day meeting at Rio’s Copacabana Palace hotel, Gilbert Felli, IOC’s executive director for the Olympics said there were “specific issues” raised for Rio, but they were all mentioned in the IOC’s evaluation report.

    Felli added he is “fully confident” Rio will meet all its goals for Games preparation. The IOC would be there to help where appropriate.

    “It is a heavy task” he said, calling the Olympics the most complicated thing to plan “unless you have to go to war.”

    Rio organizing chief Carlos Nuzman said “few moments have been as important” to Rio 2016 as this weekend’s meeting with the IOC.

    Felli underscored the importance of this weekend saying though the Games are seven years away “there is no time to lose.” He said having representatives from all three levels of Brazilian government was “reassuring.”

    The nascent organizing committee also impressed Felli. He claims it is “the first time” an organizing committee has been assembled as quickly as Rio’s. In fact, from the moment Rio won the right to host the Olympics in October, there has always been an organizing committee. The bid leadership all transferred over to the organizing committee for a seamless transition.

    One thing Rio hopefully learned according to Felli, is that the Games different “clients”, athletes, media, sports federations, sponsors and so on, “all have a different view of the Games.”

    The points the IOC touched upon at the “seminar of information” with Rio, Felli said, included the different functions needed in all organizing partners, legacy, what kind of support the IOC can give, and an explanation of past Games’ success.

    The meetings took place during two beautiful days of a long weekend in Brazil and Felli said he was “pleased that nobody left the room.”

    One of the strong points of the bid was the solid support from all levels of government . This was on display with
    IOC executive director for the Olympics, Gilbert Felli said “there is no time to lose” for Rio. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)
     governmental representatives attending the entire meeting. Felli said he does not think an “Olympic czar” will be needed to coordinate the government’s efforts.

    He said his understanding is that all the governmental bodies have an Olympic chief who will coordinate that body’s efforts. Moreover, an Olympic Delivery Authority is forthcoming to support the organizing committee, and a meeting is planned with federal, state and city officials to mesh their efforts. The IOC is “pleased” with this arrangement he said.

    Speaking to Around the Rings at the conclusion of the meeting, Nuzman said Rio has an advantage in that “there is no change” from the bid to organizing committee. The transition means Rio is ready to tackle its next challenge -- a February report to the IOC. Rio will make a progress report at the IOC Session in Vancouver.

    Before Vancouver, Rio makes a presentation to the Pan American Sports Organization in Guadalajara, Mexico next week.

    Nuzman said Rio would go and present their progress since Copenhagen, and their presentation would include thanks.

    “We will present our thanks to our friends in the Americas” for their support. He added “it’s important” the national Olympic committees understand what is happening with the Games organizing.

    While there was no news on a selection for a golf venue, Nuzman said the IOC will organize a seminar with the two new Olympic sports and Rio was invited to attend. He added the IOC’s advice to Rio is “wait for the seminar” before proceeding.

    While many projects lie ahead for Rio, construction is not a concern. Construction responsibilities “belong to the government” Nuzman was quick to point out, adding “all programs are moving forward”. He has faith all projects will be completed on time.

    Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes told Around the Rings “real life begins” now for Rio.

    “We’ve got a lot of work to do. A lot a lot a lot. It's not an easy task but we’ll make it.”

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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