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  • Rio Report - Golf Course Warnings from IGF; CFO Shakeup


    IGF “Very Concerned” Over Rio Course Construction

    Executive Director Antony Scanlon tells Around the Rings the International Golf Federation is “very concerned” over construction delays for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
    A rendering of the 17th hole from the golf course’s architect. (Hanse Course Design)

    “There is now very little time available to construct and condition a championship standard golf course,” he says.

    “The IOC is aware of our concerns and the IGF is hopeful that the upcoming IOC Coordination Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro will address these.”

    Scanlon’s comments come three months after a Brazilian company announced its intent to erect a housing complex atop land set aside for the Games.

    Elmway Participacoes, the firm fighting Olympics organizers for ownership, said at the time earlier plans to negotiate over the course will be abandoned if its ongoing suit proves successful.

    Lawyers are seeking a court order to bar any building at the site, a move that has so far failed in the three-plus years of this dispute.

    Rio 2016 has so far insisted all commitments will be delivered despite the legal wrangling, but the IGF is striking a less confident tone.

    “We are very concerned,” Scanlon admits to ATR.
    The site for the course as seen in early December. (CNN)

    “The IGF are anxiously waiting for the necessary legislation to be passed at the next sitting of the Rio de Janeiro council and that all the required contracts, licenses and permits are issued and able to be executed immediately so that construction proper can commence as soon as possible.”

    Rio will host golf’s first Olympics competition in 112 years. Paris and St. Louis staged tournaments at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Games.

    "Rio 2016 and the IGF have been working closely to stage a truly memorable Olympic golf event," Rio 2016 Communications Director Carlos Villanova tells ATR.

    "The Organizing Committee has been keeping IGF informed of all developments and counted on its expertise in several occasions, including the selection of the design for a new golf course.

    "American designer Gil Hanse has already relocated to Rio as planned, to oversee the construction works.

    "The necessary legislation has been voted by the Rio de Janeiro Council; hence the start of construction remains on track for April."

    CFO Leaves Rio 2016

    Rio 2016 tells Around the Rings “the solid basis in which we have been running our business remains the same” despite the departure of another top executive.
    Sidney Levy, Carlos Nuzman and Leonardo Gryner in November. (Rio 2016)

    "As part of the internal restructuring process, Chief Financial Officer Fernando Nóbrega left Rio 2016 at the end of January,” says Communications Director Carlos Villanova.

    “Marcos Beaklini, who has fulfilled the position of Finance General Manager since 2010, will now report directly to Chief Executive Officer Sidney Levy, who has assumed direct responsibility for the finance area of the organization.”

    Asked by ATR whether it’s fair to chalk this latest management change up to the new CEO simply putting together his own team since coming aboard last month, Villanova says “fair enough”.

    “Sidney has a strong background in finance and, as we are passing through this restructuring process, he understood he should oversee the financial area more closely.”

    Levy, a former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Rio de Janeiro, took over Jan. 1 from former CEO Leonardo Gryner, who became Rio 2016’s third chief operations officer in the past year.

    A member of the Coordination Commission for 2016 tells ATR the CFO’s recent departure could be “red flag” for Rio. Either way, it’s certainly a question IOC delegates will want an answer to next week.

    No Yellow Card for Rio 2016 – Yet

    Jacques Rogge was asked Wednesday by Around the Rings whether Rio deserved a yellow card to serve as a warning to 2016 authorities to step up a gear.
    IOC president Jacques Rogge on Wednesday. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    As chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Athens 2004, Rogge himself had recommended the former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch wave a yellow card at the Greek organizers. This he did.

    Rogge today said he hoped that wouldn’t be necessary for Rio 2016.

    “Today, nobody has requested from the Coordination Commission to take a yellow card. I am confident it is not going to be the case in the future,” he said.

    Reported by Matthew Grayson and Mark Bisson

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