International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates has described the preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics as the “worst I’ve ever scene”, with the “situation critical on the ground”.
The Australian, who has been involved in the IOC for 40 years, said that the committee has taken the “unprecedented” step of placing experts in the local Rio organising committee to ensure the Games will go ahead, as there is no “Plan B” for another host city at this late stage.
He went on to say:
“We have become very concerned. They are not ready in many, many ways. We have to make it happen and that is the IOC approach. You can’t walk away from this.”
There are always fears that a host city will be unable to meet the deadlines for building stadiums and the infrastructure needed to host the games, with many under the impression that London could not host the games with its already crowded transport system. However, so far Olympic cities have stepped up to the challenge when needed.
However, Coates says that the Rio team is inexperienced and construction has not even started yet at some Olympic venues, with infrastructure delayed because of the “social issues” that Brazil has experienced in recent months.