“Real mess”: a report from the Olympic Rio de Janeiro

“The horror!” — Anastasia Myskina, the captain of female Russian national team on tennis, briefly responds to a request to describe their first impressions of the Olympics. Tennis players in Rio de Janeiro since the beginning of the week. “In the Olympic village can live, but the courts — like located in construction”, — complains Myskina.

Indeed, captain we’re talking under a wafting noise of the construction works. The day before the start of play, it is obvious that the Olympic Park is ready not completely. Here and there — scaffolding, debris. Not far from us working slowly paint the railings. The leader of the Russian tennis national team Svetlana Kuznetsova in solidarity with Myskina: “to put it Mildly, a real mess. Courts are not completed, dusty and dirty.

Russian tennis players are not the only one who does not hesitate to Express dissatisfaction with the conditions in Rio. Especially have something to share athletes from Denmark and Australia. The numbers of Australians were robbed in the beginning of the week, the Danes — just this morning.

But the International Olympic Committee to remain calm. Assure that the opening will function. Press Secretary of the IOC mark Adams offers to remember the Sochi experience. “Remember the winter Olympics in Sochi. A few weeks before its launch was also a lot of talk that the city is not ready for Games. But the world saw a terrific contest, “a La Rus”. Now would be a fantastic Olympic games “a La Brazil”, claims Adams.

Director of communications of the organizing Committee Rio 2016, Mario Andrada is not so optimistic. A daily basis for several months he had to fend off criticism. To the question about problems with Olympic Park he throws up his hands: “Sorry, we don’t have time for the arrival of athletes, and ask them forgiveness of the IOC. But it’s clear that we are faced with the objective problem. Preparing for the Olympics was in unprecedented political and economic conditions. Although I don’t want to complain.”

Over the last few months before the Olympics, Brazil was rocked by a scandal involving President Dilma Rousseff, which the opposition accuses of concealing the budget deficit of Brazil during the presidential election campaign in 2014, as well as in participation in corruption schemes involving state oil company Petrobras. Removed from office by the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff announced that it intends to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio. The opening has not come and the former President Luis Lula da Silva, accused of involvement in corruption, although it was his presentation of the IOC in Brazil in 2010 made Rio the capital of the 2016 Games.

Due to economic problems (national debt of Brazil in 2015 reached 66% of GDP, the volume of which amounted to $1.8 trillion), the organizers had to seriously cut the budget in October 2015, it was announced about the reduction of a third. The Olympics will be spent, according to experts, from $10 billion (Goldman Sachs) to $11 billion (Oxford University). Of them spending only $3.6 billion.

We became known details of the opening ceremony: save on it. No big fireworks, laser show and special effects, if you don’t count the span of the fixed ropes of the plane under the roof of the stadium. “We’ve reduced costs. Refused a large number of printers and televisions in the press center, reduced the number of volunteers. We are, for example, not happy with that treat for journalists we have only coffee. But he at least hot and tasty” — said Andrada.

In recent years, this is the second major sports project in which is invested Brazil: in 2014, the country held the football world Cup, it cost, according to various estimates, from $11 billion to $15 billion In the air felt some fatigue from the large expenditures which at one time agreed the country’s authorities. According to recent polls, more than 50% of the country’s citizens are not happy that Brazil has to hold the Olympics.


Transport problem is another pain of the current Olympics.
The Barra da Tijuca district of Rio, where the Olympic village, part of the sports venues and the main media center, is choking in traffic. Local residents without special warmth looking at guests. Last Monday authorities entered the Olympic schedule and the functioning of roads and the total length of traffic jams in Rio stretched to 120 km.

With other areas, such as Copacabana, Barra connect the two highways, but one of them was sent to Olympic vehicles and tuples honored guests, and there was only one trail. Also on many roads, the Rio created a dedicated lane for Olympic vehicles. The already difficult situation with traffic now, during the Olympics, turned into disastrous. Main roads almost 24 hours a day are in a state of collapse. In the morning the average speed of vehicle flow — 10 km/h.


At Copacabana is always crowded, and on the eve of the Games especially. Local crime misses the point: already recorded attempt to Rob the Russian members of national teams and journalists.

Security Brazilian authorities invited the military, but soldiers armed to the teeth, which in Rio more than the Olympic symbols, not interfering in the life of the district, preferring to contemplate what is happening around and to be photographed with tourists. The police are more passionate about local merchants, a business of miniature statues of Jesus, and at the same time “pushing” drugs.

“We all need to buckle up — the road is bumpy — says Andrada. — We can’t guarantee, including the health of athletes, especially those who take part in competitions in open water”.

The Rio 2016 organizing Committee, acknowledged: “it’s Important for us that a country like Brazil can host such a Grand event and not to be bankrupt. We are the first country in Latin America to host the Olympics, and it’s extremely important. It’s a tough road, but it needs to go and not fall. We’re in the home stretch,” says Andrada and goes towards the Olympic Shuttle. But even special late — tube.