Apr 29, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics are “the worst I have experienced,” International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates said Tuesday.
Coates, the president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), has been an IOC member since 2001 and involved in the Summer Games for more than 30 years. He has visited Rio de Janeiro six times as part of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Games.
“They are not ready in many many ways,” Coates said, according to the AOC, at an Olympic forum in Sydney. “The city also has social issues that need to be addressed.”
Coates said there is no plan B and that the Games are going to Rio in two years.
He repeated concerns the IOC has voices about delayed preparations and said the situation is worse than that of Athens 2004. Four years before the Athens Olympics, then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch gave Games organizers a warning for being in a “yellow phase” with “many problems.” A green phase meant everything was proceeding smoothly, and a red phase meant the Games were in danger.
Coates said the IOC’s measure to embed officials in Rio’s Organizing Committee is “unprecedented.”
“The situation is critical on the ground,” Coates said. “We have to make it happen, and that is the IOC approach. You can’t walk away from this.”
Coates detailed publicized issues at the forum, such as construction not yet starting on some venues. The resignation of a top official, political and communication issues and a worker strike have recently set back the organization of the first Olympics in South America. Water quality is a major concern, he said.
Rio 2016 posted a statement on its website later Tuesday.
“Rio will host excellent Games that will be delivered absolutely within the agreed timelines and budgets,” it read.
The IOC, which has sent executive director Gilbert Felli to Rio, also issued a statement.
“Mr. Felli has received a very positive response on the ground in the past few days, and a number of recent developments show that things are moving in the right direction,” the IOC said. “Now is a time to look forward to work together and to deliver great games for Rio, Brazil and for the world, and not to engage in discussion of the past. We continue to believe that Rio is capable of providing outstanding games.”
Apr 21, 2015, 11:11 AM EDT
Vonn also discussed her prize cows and Tiger Woods.
Apr 21, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
The inspirational Maickel Melamed needed 20 hours to finish.
Apr 21, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
Andrea Karl didn’t break the tape on marathon day because another runner jumped on the course late in the race.
Apr 21, 2015, 9:03 AM EDT
Leveaux said in a book that team members used cocaine.
Apr 20, 2015, 3:14 PM EDT
“To become one of greatest gymnasts of all time, you have to have a little bit more.”
Apr 20, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT
The top U.S. finisher was an Olympian in fourth.
Apr 20, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
Bolt picked two sprinters across history he would like to race against.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT
Leveaux details his claim in an upcoming autobiography.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT
Not even Michael Phelps has attempted this.
Apr 18, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT
Katie Ledecky also flirted with a world record.
Apr 18, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT
The U.S. appears to have a better shot in the women’s race.
Apr 18, 2015, 9:09 AM EDT
Phelps has raced against a record-breaking woman before.
Apr 17, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT
“I’m like, Michael, 2016, Rio, 50 free, 100 free, just a relay.”
Apr 17, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT
The finals are at 9 p.m. ET on Universal Sports.
Apr 17, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
Plushenko wants to compete in a fifth Olympics in 2018.
Apr 17, 2015, 10:29 AM EDT
It took organizers about 20 minutes to figure out what happened Sunday.
Apr 17, 2015, 9:09 AM EDT
“It doesn’t seem like she has served a ban.”
Apr 17, 2015, 8:42 AM EDT
Phelps outdueled Ryan Lochte, but he was slower than last year.
Apr 16, 2015, 3:16 PM EDT
If Phelps is added by FINA, the U.S. might be able to try for podium sweeps at the World Championships.
Apr 16, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
Phelps and Ryan Lochte appear headed for a showdown Thursday night.
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