IOC plays down Rio problems, says Games deliver on promises

Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:17pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Organizers for the Rio Olympics have delivered on their promises, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday, playing down persistent problems that have plagued the first South American Games since the start.

Games organizers have had to deal with a seemingly endless list of issues affecting venues and infrastructure alike as the country grapples with its worst recession since the 1930s.

From the day of the opening ceremony on Aug. 5, thousands of empty seats have been visible at many venues despite assurances from organizers they would be filled eventually.

Transportation in the traffic-clogged and crime-ridden city has also proved to be a permanent headache while signage around the stadiums and outside venues has been virtually non-existent.

"We still have an issue with look of the Games and signage," said the IOC's Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi. "What they have faced is a very unfortunate situation."

According to organizers, contractors failed to deliver the banners on time with only a fraction of them displayed across the city, stadiums and other Olympic areas.

They were equally absent along the route of the women's marathon on Sunday.

"They (banners, signs) could not be delivered on time and they had to change providers. Many things should have been installed and could not," Dubi said.   Continued...

A general view of the Olympic diving pool and the pool for the waterpolo and synchronized swimming. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic