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  • Rio Olympic Legacy: $16 billion


    (ATR) Government leaders talk Olympic legacy while strikes continue and the IOC prepares for a visit to Rio de Janeiro.

    In a bid to improve the image of preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics, Mayor Eduardo Paes and representatives from state and federal government go on the offensive. In a series of presentations to the media Wednesday afternoon in Copacabana, the government leaders explained what’s being done to make the city ready for the Games and the legacy of that spending.

    More than $16 billion will be spent on two dozen plus projects explained Paes.

    The exposition by the mayor and his colleagues follows last month’s revelation of the budget for the organizing committee and projects directly related to the Olympics. While officials in Rio are vowing transparency in the budgets for the Games, they admit they are under great pressure to complete the work in the 842 days remaining until opening ceremony in August 2016.

    This time next week, outgoing IOC Executive Director of Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli should be in Rio for his first visit on an accelerated inspection schedule mandated by IOC president Thomas Bach. Ahead of his visit Felli held conference calls with organizers this week. The increased attention to Rio de Janeiro comes after Bach and the IOC Executive Board heard a litany of worries from international sports federations about difficulties in Rio.

    Besides the sudden visit by Felli, the IOC president is in the process of naming a task force to help keep Rio progress on track.

    Workers remain on strike at the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, the western suburb which will contain most of the venues for the games. The workers went on strike April 3 and voted on Monday to continue the walk out on an indefinite basis. They are seeking more pay and better benefits. The Olympic Park will host 12 sports, the Main Media Center and the Olympic Village.

    Written by Ed Hula.

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