Brazil announces plan to prevent abandonment of Olympic facilities

The South American country now intends to present its candidacy to organize a World Cycling Championship and make use of the modern velodrome.

The agency responsible for the legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games plans to combine sports and social events on the premises, many of them abandoned for several months, to prevent them from becoming “white elephants.”

“Everyone is eager to see the Olympic Park run full steam” and for this “it will be necessary to involve the entire population,” said on Wednesday the president of the Olympic Legacy Management Authority (AGLO), Paulo Marcio Dias Mello, in a press conference at the Olympic Velodrome.

The Olympic Park was to be administered by a public-private consortium, but the bidding had no bidders and in December its management was in the hands of the Mayor of Rio and the Brazilian Ministry of Sports, which increased uncertainties about its future.

The AGLO was created last March to coordinate projects of the government orbit and already organized five events, including a stage of the World Beach Volleyball Circuit on a sand-covered tennis court.

“When I arrived here, I saw nothing in a state of abandonment, but only some difficulties,” said Dias Mello.

There will be a period of “natural transition” to adapt the spaces, but I am sure that we will be able to close a calendar that addresses high performance sports and educational sports, of social inclusion, “said the executive.

That process took “more than two years” in the case of London 2012, but in Rio, AGLO expects that all facilities have already served again in the coming weeks.

The velodrome hosted its first post-Olympic competition at the end of May and for two months the athletes train their daily, despite the controversy caused by the need to leave the air conditioning on day and night, to preserve the Siberian wood of the track.

The South American country now intends to present its candidacy to organize a Track Cycling World Championship there.

In parallel, numerous activities are planned with children from the slums of the area.

Many projects were hitherto relegated, mainly because of the budget cuts imposed by the severe economic crisis that had plunged Brazil into recession for two years and left the state of Rio on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Arena of the Future built with prefabricated ones, where the games of handball of the games were played, had to be transformed into four schools for the poor neighborhoods of Rio, but the mayor’s office abandoned the project, due to lack of resources.

“We have preferred to prioritize the renovation of existing schools,” said the city’s deputy secretary of sports, Patrícia Amor.

Jerry Rolon

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