The Olympic world is looking at Buenos Aires, Argentina, this week, but International Olympic Committee inspectors had a close eye on Rio de Janieiro on Sunday and Monday.
An IOC coordination commission led by 1984 Olympic 400-meter hurdles champion Nawal El Moutawakel wrapped a visit on Labor Day, tracking the progress of Rio, which will be the first South American host of the Olympics in 2016. The IOC has made five visits to Rio, according to The Associated Press.
“A lot of work has been done, but a large amount still remains across the entire project and some timelines remain very, very tight,” El Moutawakel said, according to the AP. “Rio must therefore continue to focus on its priorities such as meeting the matrix of responsibility and delivering the venues and associated infrastructure.”
Brazilian cities were in worldwide news during this summer’s Confederations Cup, where protests were held, some against the government and its decisions on spending ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used by police.
“We’d like also to protect our athletes,” El Moutawakel said. “We’d like to make sure that the Olympics Games are run in a peaceful way.”
IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said the IOC asked Great Britain and Australia to share crowd control techniques with Brazil.
In addition to the timeline of venue construction, organizers’ engaging with the public is a concern.
“We believe the organizing committee didn’t do enough,” Felli said, according to Bloomberg. “The authorities need to engage and explain more to the population.”