Troubled Rio Games coming together, says IOC

Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:13pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro will deliver a successful Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday, despite delays in preparations, lack of funds and the country suffering from its biggest political and economic turmoil in decades.

The first Games on the South American continent are due to start on Aug. 5 and organizers are still frantically rushing to prepare venues.

A metro extension to the Olympic park opened only on Saturday as Brazil grapples with its worst recession since the 1930s.

The $3.1 billion expansion of the metro to Barra, the area housing the Olympic park and athletes' village, is key to the smooth transport of tens of thousands of fans and athletes between the Games' different competition zones.

But workers are still busy putting the finishing touches to the venues and dealing with problems in some Olympic accommodation.

The main ramp at the sailing center collapsed on Saturday, adding another headache to last-minute preparations.

"There are some last-minute challenges but our Brazilian friends are addressing them," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "It is all coming together. We are looking forward to great Games."

"We are more confident than ever that we will have great Olympic Games in Rio in five days from now. Olympic Games a la Brazil."   Continued...

Jul 30, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; Workers on a lift prepare lighting and wiring in the Olympic Park prior to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports