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Rio says it can't relax despite World Cup success

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm •  Published: August 7, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The success of the World Cup in Brazil doesn't mean that organizers of the 2016 Olympics can afford to relax, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said Thursday.

Paes said the football tournament eased some of the concerns of both the International Olympic Committee and the media about the preparations, but said the city will keep working at full speed to make sure the games are delivered successfully.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done, both in infrastructure projects and venues, the mayor said "we are on budget and on time" to have everything ready.

"We are very proud of the World Cup we delivered, but we are not relaxing because we delivered a great World Cup," Paes said in a speech to international journalists at the Maracana Stadium. "Obviously it helped us send a message to those who were concerned about our capability of delivering these big events, but we are perfectly aware of the differences."

Paes said that although the Olympics take place mostly in a single city instead of the 12 used in the World Cup, Rio will have several additional challenges.

He noted that while about 700 players from 32 countries came for the World Cup, there will be nearly 15,000 athletes from more than 100 nations at the Olympics. The number of volunteers will also be significantly higher, and having all fans in the city at the same time will create mobility difficulties.

"We know we are talking about something completely different," Paes said. "I know there will be a lot of pressure in the next few years, but we are looking a little bit better because we delivered the World Cup."

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