Brazil can’t catch a break: Environmental concerns could halt construction of Rio’s Olympic golf course


Rio’s 2016 Olympic golf course is under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Felipe Dana/AP)

Brazil just can’t win these days. Along with a backlog of construction when it comes to some of its World Cup soccer stadiums, the country is now facing possible delays in completing a golf course for the 2016 Olympics. The Associated Press reports:

“Rio organizers confirmed that a state prosecutor could halt work on the course unless the developer shows it is following environmental regulations and other requirements under Brazilian law.”

“The state prosecutor is asking for the papers to show the work is proceeding according to the law,” Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada told AP. “We believe all the rules are being followed.”

That latest reason for delays comes on the heels of other delays that have plagued the construction of the privately developed course that’s located near Rio’s famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. An on-going legal dispute over land ownership, protests by environmentalists centered on the loss of a wetland area, teething problems for a sport new to Brazil and actual teeth from caimans who wandered onto the course, have all presented themselves, the AP reports.

As far as the latest possible setback, Ty Votaw, the vice president of the International Golf Federation, told Golfweek.com that it could  be 10 days before the Brazilian government determines whether the environmental rules have been met.

Meanwhile, course designer Gil Hanse remains optimistic that the course will be ready on time. Hanse reiterated his hopes that all the grassing would be complete by October of this year, which would leave two full seasons for growth before golf makes it’s first reappearance in the Olympics in 112 years. He told GolfWeek.com:

“Work was being done on the course today. I have no knowledge of any issues about halting construction or environmental issues.”

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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