Bach cites 'great dynamism' in Rio preparations

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 9, 2014 at 9:14 am •  Published: July 9, 2014
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Brazilian Olympic organizers are benefiting from the successful hosting of the World Cup and showing "great dynamism" to overcome the delays that have plagued the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

A day after Brazil's humbling 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals, Bach also said he is confident Brazilians will get over their "day of mourning" and fully embrace the first Olympics to be held in South America.

Bach and the IOC executive board received an update from Rio organizers, whose preparations have been dogged by severe construction holdups. In April, the International Olympic Committee enacted emergency measures to get the games on track, assigning a senior troubleshooter to work with local organizers and setting up a special task force.

Since then, Bach said, the Brazilians have heeded the message.

"We can really see there is a great dynamism in their preparations," he said at a news conference at the close of the three-day board meeting. "In particular, the city of Rio and the mayor and the governor have taken action on the government side and are making progress with regard to different venues."

However, Bach again warned that Rio is facing extremely tight deadlines.

"We have to stay vigilant and there is still no time to lose," he said. "But you really feel the determination and the enthusiasm of the organizing committee and their partners."

Bach cited the start of construction last week on the Deodoro site, a complex for 11 Olympic sports, as well as progress on the main media center and anti-doping lab.

"It's now about the venues," he said. "We need to keep this dynamism. It's about getting the venues ready in time for the test events."

Bach was flying later Wednesday to Rio, where he will attend Sunday's World Cup final. On Friday, he will meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to discuss the Olympic preparations.

"We are very confident we will have a great games in Rio and the sports-loving Brazilians with all their enthusiasm will be wonderful hosts," Bach said.

Brazil's World Cup preparations were marred by severe delays, with some stadiums finished at the last minute. But the tournament has run smoothly without major organizational problems.