IOC Says Rio 2016 Olympic Preparations Have Made “Big Step Forward”

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Planned equestrian cnter for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Planned equestrian cnter for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

July 9, 2014 International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach declared Wednesday preparations for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro have made “a big step forward” following dire warnings that construction of several sports venues were behind schedule. The positive report came after an IOC Executive Board meeting received reports that grass is now being laid on the golf course, construction of the Olympic Village is advancing quickly, the Barra Olympic Park is taking shape, and the first stone has been laid in Deodoro, the area which will host several sports including dressage, eventing and jumping events. The reports underlined what the IOC described as “the progress that had been made since” in the three months since the last board meeting which heard reports that were highly critical of preparations. “We have witnessed over the last few months great dynamism in Rio, in particular from the mayor and governor, who are working closely with the Organizing Committee and are clearly taking responsibility,” the IOC president said. “A big step forward has been made with regard to the organization of the Games. There is still no time to lose–not a day to lose==but there has been significant progress. Now is a time to look forward, to work together and to deliver great Games for Rio, Brazil and for the world, and not to engage in discussion of the past.” Thomas Bach said he did not believe Brazil’s stunning 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup on home territory Tuesday night should provoke a backlash toward the Olympics and a repeat of the unrest and protests that marred last year’s Confederations Cup soccer.