Concerns that Rio won’t be ready in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics have lately been eclipsed by Brazil’s so-far successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup. The future host city showed they’re still looking ahead by beginning construction on the second largest cluster of venues.
Deodoro Olympic Park is already home to three venues built for the 2007 Pan-American Games and the 2011 World Military Games: the National Shooting Centre, National Equestrian Centre and Modern Pentathlon Aquatics Centre. They will be renovated for the Rio Olympics.
These three venues will be be joined by four new permanent structures that will host fencing, field hockey, BMX racing and canoe slalom events. After the Games, the Olympic BMX Centre and Olympic Whitewater Stadium will be transformed into an action sports complex open to the general public as well as top athletes.
Two temporary structures, the Rugby and Modern Pentathlon Arena and the Olympic Mountain Bike Park, will complete the cluster. In total, Deodoro will host 11 Olympic and four Paralympic sports.
Carlos Nuzman, the president of Rio 2016, stated on Friday:
This is a very important day. We are very proud to see work start on Deodoro Olympic Park. It underlines the important legacy that the Pan-American Games left to Rio, and the new confidence in the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today, Brazil has a highly positive image due to the FIFA World Cup, and I’m certain that our Games will be no different.
In April the International Olympic Committee organized a task force to help ensure Rio will be able to overcome construction problems and other delays to be ready in time. Work is already underway on the main Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca.
The Summer Olympics in Rio will open on August 5th, 2016.