As the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission visit to inspect Rio de Janeiro’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games ended Saturday, the IOC team said it was “very impressed” with Rio’s bid. IOC chairwoman Nawal el Moutawakel said at a press conference, “we have been most impressed to find what Rio has to offer to the Olympic movement. During our stay we witnessed the leadership of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the unity of all three levels of government”.
When asked to list the positive and negative aspects of the tour she said, “all I can say is that everything we saw was positive”.
El Moutawakel praised the plans for the Barra da Tijuca area, which is considered the heart of the city’s bid. The suburb would host the athletes’ and media villages and contain the biggest cluster of venues.
She said, “our work is to be the eyes and ears of the IOC members. And we have seen so many valuable venues that Brazilians can be proud of, such as the legacy of the Pan American Games” that Rio hosted in 2007.
She said the World Cup, which Brazil will host in 2014, could have a positive impact on Rio’s bid because it could “serve as a test”.
On Saturday the committee and local authorities addressed security issues which “for us is a top priority, and we were assured that all that can be done will be done to make Rio a safe city for the Games”.
Gilbert Felli, a member of the inspection commission told reporters Saturday, “the security and the safety are a top priority. We were surprised with the presentation about the new approach of the Brazilian government with the subject, that has already brought some success”.
Felli said that Rio would also benefit from hosting the 2014 World Cup. He said, “of course there are some challenges in some aspects of the preparation, but I would say the benefits are greater than the risk because most of the infrastructure for the Games would be prepared for the World Cup.