Rio Faces Olympic-Size Doubts About Its Preparations for the 2016 Games

By: Samantha Finch

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As the days countdown to the 2016 Olympics, everyone is watching to see if Rio will be ready. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

As our countdown continues to the release the Pace Brazil Documentary “Green vs. Gold,” so does the timer in Brazil. With Brazil struggling just to finish preparations for the 2014 World Cup next month, is it even possible to consider that the country will be ready for the Olympics?

In a recent New York Times article, John Coates, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said that Rio’s effort to prepare for the 2016 Olympics is the “worst I have experienced.”

When it was announced on October 2, 2009 that Rio de Janeiro, a city that has risen through the power ranks over the past few decades, was selected by the Olympic Committee to host the 2016 summer games — beating out Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid — the country erupted with joy.

But concerns have built for months, both inside and outside Brazil, about the status and of Rio’s sprawling, multi-billion-dollar Olympic plan.

The stakes are huge, given that this will be the first time that the Olympics will be held in South America.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, stated that part of the reason Rio was selected was how they responded when they did not win the 2012 bid.

“Rio remained humble,” he said at a 2009 news conference. “They wanted to listen, to repair their shortcomings.”

Now, more than two years after the announcement, Rio is continuing to struggle toward the finish line. As doubts grow, Rio is working to balance finishing preparations for the World Cup, which will kickoff on June 10th, and the array of projects that must be completed in the city for the Olympic games.

You will hear from Olympics planners and critics in our film.

But only time will tell if Brazil will be ready for the games and the influx of tourism that they bring.

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