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2014-08-05

Rio 2016 celebrates two years until the Olympic Games by stepping up the pace

Progress made in venue construction, test events and education programme, with volunteers, tickets and mascots on the horizon

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Rio 2016 and Municipal Olympic Company staff mark the occasion at Sambódromo, which will host the marathon and archery (Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro)

With exactly two years to go before the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, preparations for the world’s greatest sporting event are moving forwards at full steam. The Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 has fired the starting pistol for a series of 45 test events, and a host of other initiatives are in the pipeline for this year, such as the launch of the volunteer programme, an announcement on ticketing and the unveiling of the Games’ most-loved personalities: the mascots. Meanwhile, construction across the four competition zones is progressing, with 55 per cent of venues now ready.

“With two years to go until the Games, we have concluded the planning phase and are now entering the operational preparation phase, when the competition structures begin to take shape and we get closer to the population,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman.

Reaching the two-year milestone is being celebrated in style, with the launch of the ‘Look of the Games’ revealing the visual identity that will colour the Rio 2016 venues, tickets, uniforms and entire city in two years’ time.

As Rio prepares to host the world’s best athletes, the Olympic and Paralympic Village is taking shape and more than half of the competition venues are ready. At Barra Olympic Park, the foundations and underground infrastructure have been laid and the first buildings are rising out of the ground. Work in Deodoro, the second largest venue cluster, started in July, while in the Copacabana zone, Marina da Glória is currently hosting the first Rio 2016 test event, with more 300 of the world’s top sailors competing. In the fourth Games zone, the Maracanã Stadium passed the test of hosting FIFA World Cup matches, including the final, with flying colours earlier this year.

Infrastructure works in the city are also well underway, with transport projects such as the metro extension and new BRT lines progressing well, and the redevelopment of the port area is changing the face of a historic part of the city.

To mark two years to go until the Games, Christ the Redeemer was illuminated in the Rio 2016 colours (Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro) 

In addition to construction, the Games are also striving to make a difference socially. The Rio 2016 Education Programme was officially launched in July, in partnership with the Rio city government, and will reach out to 162 schools.

“Rio 2016 is intensifying its relationship with society, in order to disseminate the principles of sport and the importance of sport practice, especially among young people, in Rio and throughout the country,” said Nuzman. “The Games will leave a huge legacy for both Rio and Brazil, that is starting to take shape. No other host city will have had such a big transformation from the Games as Rio.”

The release on Monday (4 August) of the draft test event calendar increased excitement about the high-level sports that Rio will host in the coming years, with more than 8,000 top athletes expected for 45 competitions, before the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in South America even begin.

“We have intensified contacts with the international sports community in order to keep them continuously updated on the progress, in a joint effort with the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” Nuzman added.

Sidney Levy, the Rio 2016 CEO, confirmed that the committee would remain on the right path. “We remain firmly committed to putting on fantastic Olympic Games, meeting our deadlines and within budget,” he said.

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