IOC to meet Brazil president on Rio Games

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach will meet in two weeks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and organisers of Rio’s 2016 Olympics to remind them there is no time to waste as they prepare for South America’s first Games.


Rio de Janeiro Olympic organisers said on Tuesday that Bach would meet Rousseff on January 21 in the capital Brasilia.

The IOC has expressed concerns about the pace of building, particularly for the main Olympic park and a smaller venue area in north Rio.

Also, organisers have yet to announce an operating budget, local sponsorship sales appear to be lagging and pollution is a major problem in waters that will host Olympic events.

Olympic sailors competing a month ago in Rio called Guanabara Bay, the Olympic venue for sailing, a sewer and the filthiest body of water they had tried to navigate.

Olympic officials are worried many of the problems surrounding this year’s World Cup in Brazil will also plague the Olympics. This includes the possibility of protests over the billions being spent on the two mega events. The Rio Olympics will cost as much or more than the World Cup, probably about $US15 billion ($A16.85 billion).

“The purpose is to ensure seamless cooperation between all stakeholders and to tell the Brazilian authorities the IOC is fully committed to the success of these Games,” Bach said last month. “I want to make this statement in person to demonstrate that the new president is behind these Olympic Games.”

Time will begin to close in on the Rio organisers with the first test events usually taking place a year before the Games, and some sooner.

“They have reported that there is good progress being made, that the organising committee is working well and that, on the other hand, there is no time to lose,” Bach said. “It needs all the efforts of all the stakeholders, not only the organising committee but also the different levels of government. The IOC is ready to ensure this seamless cooperation between all the stakeholders.”

Bach, who was elected in September in Buenos Aires, has his hands full with two Olympics that are proving problematic: the Winter Games in a month in Sochi, Russia and Rio in August 2016.

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