The Washington Post

Forget the World Cup. Brazil’s Olympic preparations are ‘the worst.’

Earlier this month, FIFA’s secretary general Jerome Valcke was bracingly candid about Brazil’s readiness to host the World Cup, which begins June 12.

“If you want me to summarise, we are not ready,” the Frenchman told the BBC, continuing: “We have two stadiums where there is still work to do. Maybe there will be things which will not be totally ready at the beginning of the World Cup.”

Brazilians have responded to FIFA in kind. (Link includes profanity, if you worry about such things.)

Combine that with the outbreaks of violence and a spike in crime and and the fact that there probably won’t be enough hotels to accommodate everyone when the world descends on Brazil in June, and the stage is set for a pretty chaotic scene.

Brazil is also hosting the 2016 Olympics, so one would think the extra time would give the country ample opportunity to get things in order.

Um, no.

Here’s the Associated Press:

In an unusually blunt public warning, a vice president of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday called the delayed preparations for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro “the worst I have experienced.”

John Coates, who has made six trips to Brazil as part of the IOC’s coordination commission for Rio, said the Brazilians are behind “in many, many ways” and are in worse shape than Greek organizers were in preparing for the 2004 Olympics.

Despite the critical delays, the Australian said there is no backup plan and the games will take place in Rio.

Coates noted that the IOC had taken the unprecedented step of embedding experts in the host city to help the local organizing committee deliver the games.

“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” Coates told an Olympic forum in Sydney, outlining that construction delays are just part of the problem. “The IOC has adopted a more hands-on role. It is unprecedented for the IOC, but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio.”
Among the problems: Construction at Deodoro, which will host eight events, hasn’t begun yet; the Olympic Golf course doesn’t have grass; and the sailing venues are all polluted, the AP reports.
After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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