- Title: BRAZIL: Rio begins first stage of works for 2016 Olympics
- Date: 10th December 2010
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (DECEMBER 9, 2010) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF CEREMONY WHERE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE OLYMPIC PARK RIO DE JANEIRO MAYOR, EDUARDO PAES, DURING CEREMONY VARIOUS OF CLOSE VIEWS OF CORNERSTONE CAMERAMEN PAES AND PRESIDENT OF RIO'S OLYMPICS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, CARLOS ARTHUR NUZMAN, IN CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PRESIDENT OF RIO'S OLYMPICS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, CARLOS ARTHUR NUZMAN, SAYING: "The more important is that works are beginning, actions are bringing results and the government's commitments exist for real." VARIOUS OF EXTERIORS OF BUILDING WHERE TRAINING CENTER WAS INAUGURATED VARIOUS OF TRAINING ROOMS WITH TATAMIS AND PUNCHING BAGS BRAZILIAN ATHLETES DURING INAUGURATION CEREMONY AUTHORITIES UNVEILING PLAQUE VARIOUS OF WORKOUT ROOMS GENERAL VIEW OF PAES AND NUZMAN IN FRONT OF SCALE MODEL OF OLYMPIC VILLAGE NUZMAN SIGNING CONTRACT TO BUILD OLYMPIC VILLAGE CLOSE OF SCALE MODEL OF OLYMPIC VILLAGE PAES SIGNING CONTRACT TO BUILD OLYMPIC VILLAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) RIO DE JANEIRO MAYOR, EDUARDO PAES, SAYING: "Today is a joyful day for the Olympics. We started the first works, the deal of the athletes village was closed and (we inaugurated) the training center that enables athletes to take care of their performances, to train with comfort and with better conditions to represent our country." PAES FIGHTING TAEKWONDO WITH BRAZILIAN BRONZE MEDALIST NATALIA FALAVIGNA SIGN OUTSIDE SWIMMING ARENAS VARIOUS OF SWIMMING ARENAS
- Embargoed: 25th December 2010 12:00
- Location: Brazil, Brazil
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVACP5BFP4N8I26AXXIH3CM3HJMU
- Story Text: Rio de Janeiro's authorities laid the cornerstone for the Olympic park on Thursday (December 9) as the beachside city prepares to host the major sports event in 2016.
Rio's Olympic Organizing Committee inaugurated construction works at a 250,000-square-meter site in the wealthy neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, where bike paths, exercising areas, a harbor and other facilities will be built for the leisure of athletes during the Games.
The park is expected to be delivered in nine months, when it will be used to host the fourth edition of Rock in Rio in the city. The festival that was founded in 1985 will be held in Rio in 2011, after several editions were staged in Madrid and Lisbon.
Some 37 million reais (21.7 million dollars) will be invested in the park which is part of the first stage of preparations for the 2016 Games.
President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who is also in charge of Rio's Organizing Committee, attended the ceremony along with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.
Nuzman said plans were being put into action for the event.
"The more important is that works are beginning, actions are bringing results and the government's commitments exist for real," he told reporters.
The city's Olympic authorities also unveiled a training center for taekwondo athletes, in the same building that swimming arenas are used by swimmers and divers for practices. Until 2011, other training facilities will be added to the complex.
During the inauguration ceremony, Paes, and Nuzman, also signed a deal with a construction company to build the Olympic Village, where all athletes and delegations will be lodged.
Thirty four buildings with roughly 2,500 apartments will be erected in a 75-acre plot, near most of the training centers and venue clusters.
Paes said important steps were taken on Thursday.
"Today is a joyful day for the Olympics. We started the first works, the deal of the athletes village was closed and (we inaugurated) the training center that enables athletes to take care of their performances, to train with comfort and with better conditions to represent our country," he said.
Rio will use its natural landmarks for competitions such as beach volleyball matches and sailing and rowing competitions, but it has yet to build four venue clusters.
The city will benefit from several facilities that were set for the 2007 Pan American Games and those that are yet to be updated for the 2014 World Cup. But even with these legacies, it will need to inject billions into infrastructure projects.
Rio also faces concerns over a high crime rate and its transport system, which would need a $5 billion upgrade to be ready for the Olympics according to organizers. A recent wave of violence has raised a red flag over the city's ability to host the event, but sports authorities have expressed their faith in the government's security measures.
Rio was awarded the Olympics last year and will be the first South American city to host the event.
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