“Solid Progress” Reported for Rio Olympics, But Eventing Cross-Country Course Facing Tight Deadline

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The Olympic equestrian center for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games
The Olympic equestrian center for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 25, 2015–The International Olympic Committee reported “solid progress” in development of venues for the 2016 Games but warned of “very aggressive timelines” that need to be met for the equestrian cross-country and a handful of other venues.

The latest report by the IOC’s Coordination Commission came after its eighth visit to Rio and a year after several sports groups including the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) expressed serious concerns about delays in construction infrastructure for the first Olympics to be staged in South America.

“Sports venues are taking shape and numerous engagement initiatives like ticketing, volunteering and the Olympic Torch Relay are up and running,” the IOC said.

“These positive developments come at a time when the Rio organizers are entering the operational phase of the project. This stage of preparations will see Rio 2016 and its partners increase their activity significantly, as they reach a new level of detail in their Games planning, while simultaneously delivering 21 test events.

Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel said “that good progress has been made on the Rio 2016 Games” and cited the Barra and Deodoro Olympic parks that encompass the venues for the three Olympic equestrian disciplines–dressage. eventing and jumping.

“The advancements made on both the Barra and Deodoro Olympic Parks were very encouraging,” she said, “with both areas on track to leave fantastic legacies to the people of Rio and the athletes of Brazil. However, the Rio team is now entering the most intense phase in the preparation for the Games, as they reach a new level of detail while planning numerous test events.

“With 21 test events planned for this year and a significant number of the world’s best athletes coming to Rio to try the venues, Rio 2016 will have a lot to deliver while still preparing for the Games.

“We were pleased to see that Rio and its government partners have put in place structures that will allow them to deal with what will be an intense year ahead, filled with thousands of details that will need to be dealt with before the Games. They will also need to ensure that the venues are delivered in time to host the test events.

“The golf course, velodrome and equestrian cross-country venues all have very aggressive timelines that will need to be met over the coming months.”

The Commission will return to Rio de Janeiro in August this year.