Rio 2016: With just days to go, Brazil still not ready for the Olympics – ABC News

    After seven years, nearly $12 billion, a litany of problems and with only days to go, Rio still isn’t ready to host the world’s biggest games.

    The weekend collapse of the main access ramp to Marina da Gloria, the Olympic sailing venue, was symbolic.

    Reading: Rio olympics not ready

    There is a depression in the mood and expectations ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.

    Previous Olympics have faced budget overflows, delays and mistakes, so Rio is not alone.

    but this one could win the gold medal.

    the president of the international olympic committee (ioc), thomas bach, said that all the olympic games faced challenges and assured the world that river will be ready.

    but again serious questions are being raised about the quality and safety of the construction.

    “there is a tendency in brazil to leave a lot to the last minute, improvise and ‘just’ do things,” said professor ricardo teixeira, a marketing specialist.

    Jose Cabral Gomes is a Brazilian who is worried about all the last minute improvisation.

    He controlled the flow of traffic at the massive construction site of Rio’s newest subway station.

    it forms part of the long-awaited metro line 4, a key legacy project.

    It is expected to face many thousands of commuters daily during the games and benefit 20,000 local residents.

    But on cloudy mornings in early July, concrete mixers and other trucks kept coming in and out of the site bringing construction materials and removing excavated debris.

    The station was originally scheduled to open on July 1 after a year of rigorous system testing.

    The station is now partially open, and spectators can travel on the day the games start.

    tourists will end up trying new metro line

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    but locals will be banned from using the train, and Olympic ticket holders will test the system effectively.

    “but we were in a hurry to finish.”

    daniel habib, director of operations for metro rio, dismissed the concerns.

    “Our team is very well trained and experienced, and the new trains to be used on Line 4 have been tested on our existing lines,” he said.

    Line 4 links the popular tourist meccas of Rio, Ipanema and Copacabana, with the Olympic Park, and is crucial to the success of the Games.

    rio’s bid for the olympic games promised a legacy of improvements, including the metro line.

    But from the still-polluted waters of Guanabara Bay, where sailing and rowing competitions will take place, to a much-heralded bike path that collapsed in April and killed two people, Rio has already failed on many fronts.

    dozens of sports facilities and public works were delayed due to financial and organizational problems.

    Organizers of the Rio Olympics were warned five years ago not to let construction companies take shortcuts.

    Public-private contracts promised developers real estate on the sites in exchange for building the places.

    But this would act as an incentive to maximize the value of the land and hand over the sites cheaply, the IOC warned in documents recently obtained by Reuters under freedom of information laws.

    ‘uninhabitable’ athlete village

    front and center of Australians’ minds is the anger and frustration felt by the national team when it arrived at the athletes’ village last week.

    They were greeted by exposed wires, blocked bathrooms, and rooms that smell of gas.

    water ran down the walls.

    chef of mission kitty chiller called the accommodation “uninhabitable”.

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    The town was declared “operational” in May, but the water and electricity had not been properly tested.

    rio de janeiro mayor eduardo paes initially responded by joking that he wanted Australians to feel at home.

    “I almost feel like putting a kangaroo to jump up and down in front of your building,” he joked.

    some laughed.

    complaints arose when other delegations arrived and found similar problems: short circuits in electrical wiring, leaking pipes and dirty apartments.

    an athlete from kenya had an unequivocal message for the organizers: please fix my toilet.

    An army of 600 plumbers and electricians was transferred to the Olympic village.

    last thursday, rio 2016 director of operations, rodrigo tostes, announced that emergency work had been completed and all 31 tower blocks were “operational”.

    Just two days later, the Australian team was evacuated from their units.

    a small fire in an underground parking garage filled the stairwell with smoke and the fire alarms did not sound.

    To add insult to injury, a laptop and some clothing were stolen from the athletes’ rooms while they were gathered outside.

    unpaid public servants angry with the expense of the olympic games

    The country is in the grip of a severe recession, overlaid by a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed President Dilma Rouseff, and is cutting the scythe through the business classes.

    Discontent is on the rise, and yesterday protesters called for the removal of the president from office.

    Millions of residents, including police officers, teachers, and hospital workers, have been paid late, paid in installments, or not paid at all, and there is simmering resentment over spending $12 billion dollars in the olympic games.

    and many are unhappy that legacy projects like the new subway line and bus corridors will do little to help the vast majority of the city’s poor.

    While international teams come and go, for most of Rio’s 12 million inhabitants, Friday’s opening ceremony will be the end of some long-cherished dreams.

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