Rio ready for the Olympics

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  • Rio de Janeiro is “ready to welcome the world” when the Olympics start in just over three weeks, the inspector from the International Olympic Committee said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

    Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC coordination committee, said a final pre-Games visit showed that sporting venues and the athletes’ Olympic Village are set for the starter’s gun.

    “From views of the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain to the new state-of-the-art facilities in Barra or Deodoro and the iconic Maracana stadium and Copacabana beach, I cannot imagine more spectacular backdrops for the world’s top sportsmen and women to showcase their talents to a watching world,” she said in a statement.

    The August 5-21 Games will be the first hosted by a South American city.

    Brazil is in the midst of a painful recession and a political crisis that could see the president, Dilma Rousseff, removed from office in an impeachment vote just days after the closing ceremony.

    Worries have been raised over serious pollution in the bay where sailing events will take place, the risk of catching the Zika virus from mosquitoes, high levels of violent crime, and the still unfinished extension to the metro system.

    However, the IOC statement said that all of these issues had been satisfactorily addressed, including a reduction of sewage pouring into Guanabara Bay where there is “much improved water quality levels.”

    Brazil’s Olympic chief Arthur Nuzman promised to “deliver great Games.”(mt)

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