The head of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Co-ordination Commission, Nawal El Moutawakel, has praised Rio de Janeiro for making “remarkable progress” in its preparations to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
Speaking after a three-day inspection of the Brazilian city, she cited the signing of an agreement for construction of the Olympic Village as a key symbol of progress and added that Rio had made significant steps since the Co-ordination Commission’s first trip to Rio.
In a statement, the IOC also praised the ‘steady progress’ being made and the pace of infrastructure work, as well as the government’s acceleration of airport construction projects, which are in a race against time to be ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
El Moutawakel stated: “Over a year ago, at the end of our first visit, I said that time was passing by and we had no time to waste. Today I am happy to say that Rio 2016 and its partners have taken those words seriously and made remarkable progress.”
El Moutawakel added that “infrastructure and civil works are moving forward” and noted that the Brazilian government “has made airports a priority issue and (this) seems to be moving in the right direction”.
El Moutawakel also said that railway and subway expansion “is moving forward and at full speed” although she highlighted the IOC’s concern about the relocation of residents from areas where infrastructure projects or sports facilities are being constructed, and added: “This is an issue that we are obviously watching closely.”
Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, said to the IOC delegation: “You have trusted us to hold a memorable Games. I guarantee that we will honour your vote of confidence and make a historic contribution to the Olympic movement.”