April 29, 2014 7:12 pm

IOC vice-president says Rio preps are ‘worst’ ever

Watch above: It’s not unusual for critics to call out Olympic host cities on their preparedness, but it’s the source of this warning that has people taking concerns about Rio de Janeiro seriously. Christina Stevens reports.

In an unusually blunt public warning, a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday called the delayed preparations for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro “the worst I have experienced.”

READ MORE: IOC members grill head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee

John Coates, who has made six trips to Brazil as part of the IOC’s co-ordination commission for Rio, said the Brazilians are behind “in many, many ways” and are in worse shape than Greek organizers were in preparing for the 2004 Olympics.

Despite the critical delays, the Australian said there is no backup plan and the games will take place in Rio.

A man walks near the entrance to Olympic Park, the primary set of venues being built for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on April 16, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mario Tama /Getty Images

Coates noted that the IOC had taken the unprecedented step of embedding experts in the host city to help the local organizing committee deliver the games.

“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” Coates told an Olympic forum in Sydney, outlining that construction delays are just part of the problem. “The IOC has adopted a more hands-on role. It is unprecedented for the IOC, but there is no plan B. We are going to Rio.”

A sign advertising the Olympics stands near the entrance to Olympic Park, the primary set of venues being built for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on April 16, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Brazil has also come under fire from football’s world governing body, FIFA, for long delays in construction of stadiums and other infrastructure and the overdue delivery of venues for the World Cup, which kicks off in June. Two years out from the 2016 Olympics, the situation on the construction front is just as bleak.

WATCH: IOC Vice-President John Coates called the preparations for the 2016 Rio games “the worst I have experienced”

© The Canadian Press, 2014

Report an error

Comments