The three-year countdown has begun until the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and fans of the tennis event will be pleased to hear that the project is well on track.
The games, which are expected to play host to around 10,500 athletes from more than 200 countries, will kick off in colourful fashion at the newly refurbished Maracana stadium as South America holds its first Olympic Games in the 'Marvellous City'.
The Rio 2016 Games will take place with venues in clusters across four Olympic zones; Barra, Deodoro, Copacabana and Maracana. Uniquely, the 2016 Games will include two Olympic Parks, with Barra Olympic Park hosting nine Olympic sports, including tennis, and the Deodoro OIympic Park staging eight.
The organising committee is working in a fully integrated manner with the three levels of government (Federal, State and City) and other stakeholders to deliver on the promises made when Rio was awarded the honour of hosting the Games in Copenhagen in October 2009.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “In Copenhagen in 2009, the Rio 2016 bid team promised to deliver Games of celebration and transformation. Four years on and using the Games as a catalyst, that transformation is taking shape, with new sporting and transport infrastructure already in use, new hotels under construction, the port area being renovated, and social projects helping to improve security and life for local communities through sport.
"As we reach the three-years-to-go mark, Rio 2016 is working hard to deliver on its vision and its commitments to the athletes of the world and to the people of Brazil. I am confident that Rio’s transformation will continue apace and that athletes, fans, and citizens will celebrate great Olympic Games together in Rio in 2016.”
Due to the legacy of hosting the 2007 Pan American Games, almost half of the Rio 2016 venues are already built. Meanwhile construction projects for the new permanent and temporary venues are on schedule to host the test events programme, which is planned to run from August 2015 to April 2016.
In April, work began on the Olympic golf course, which will become the first public course in Rio de Janeiro in legacy mode. Meanwhile the construction of Barra Olympic Park’s three sports hall arenas, which will host basketball, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, is also underway on schedule.
The new venues, along with the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, the Rio Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Tennis Centre, will become Brazil and South America’s first Olympic Training Centre following the Games and form the central part of the Rio 2016 Games sports legacy.
The Athletes Village construction is also well under way with the first three condominiums already rising out of the ground. The Organising Committee is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the interests of the athletes and sport are kept at the heart of Games planning.
To date Rio 2016 has welcomed representatives from 36 National Olympic Committees, from all five continents, and received 24 visits from 18 International Federations in order to develop the detailed operational planning for the Games.
During June the organising committee initiated the “Model Venue Exercise” at the Rio Olympic Arena, which will host gymnastics during the 2016 Games. During the exercise, employees from various functional areas of the Committee attend presentations about the Games and perform integration activities.
This important exercise is aimed at building an efficient operational plan to form the basis
for the planning of resources - space, staff and equipment - required for all venues during Games time.
The ambitious Rio 2016 commercial programme is making strong progress, having already surpassed the initial estimates set in the bid. Rio 2016 is now aiming to raise the largest amount of Games sponsorship to date and 50 per cent of this target has already been achieved.
The Rio 2016 project includes a large proportion of private investment, therefore reducing the amount of public funds required; The Barra Olympic Park, Athletes Village, Bus Rapid Transit Transolimpica, International Broadcast Centre, Main Press Centre, Golf Course and the Porto Maravilha renovation are all private or private-public-partnership (PPP) projects.
In May, the supporters in the packaged food and dairy products categories were announced, while partners in the beer, logistics, operating system software and network infrastructure sectors will be added soon.
The licencing programme is also advancing as planned, with nine contracts signed and 17 in negotiation. This month Rio 2016 will also launch the procurement portal – a highly transparent online one-stop-shop for all companies, both domestic and international, interested in becoming suppliers to the Rio 2016 Games.
In March the organising committee moved to headquarters in the Cidade Nova area of Rio de Janeiro. The new headquarters have been built with full commitment to sustainability and accessibility using an innovative construction technique which enables the structure to be dismantled and reused elsewhere following the completion of the Rio 2016 project.
Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said: “Thanks to the dedicated and experienced team
of Rio 2016, we are keeping up with commitments, and working rationally to stage excellent Games in 2016.
"The partnership with the three levels of government has also been fundamental to successfully delivering these first stages of the great challenge that is organising the Olympic Games.
“In three years’ time history will be made as the first Games to be hosted on South American soil are officially opened. It will be a proud moment for Rio, Brazil and everyone involved in the project, and we look forward to welcoming the world with open arms.”