Brazil crisis will not affect Rio games, says IOC

Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:30pm EDT
 
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By Pedro Fonseca

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The political and economic crisis engulfing Brazil will not affect preparations for Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Games in August as venues are being completed on time, organizers said on Wednesday.

The lower house of Congress votes on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday, in the latest chapter of a crisis that has divided the South American nation and plunged its economy into the deepest recession in decades.

Despite political turmoil, venues are on schedule and organization has been good so far, the chairwoman of the International Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission, Nawal El Moutawakel, told reporters.

"We are advanced with our own work in spite of the complicated political and economic atmosphere and that has not had an impact because the preparations are on schedule," El Moutawakel said after a three-day visit to the host city.

She said there was still last-minute work to do but was confident the games, in one of the world's most picturesque cities, will be a success.

"The last stretch is always the hardest," she said. "We believe that Rio 2016 will make the host nation proud."

The relative calm contrasts with the last-minute rush before Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup. Several stadiums were finished late, and many of the promised infrastructure projects have still not been finished two years later.

(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

 
Nawal El Moutawakel (2nd L), chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission, gestures, accompanied by Rio 2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee President Carlos Arthur Nuzman (2nd R) and Rio 2016 Committee Chief Executive Officer Sidney Levy (R), after a news conference during the IOC Coordination Commission's 10th visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares