RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, April 29. EVERYONE keeps asking Michael Phelps whether he now has a “contract” to swim to Rio now that he’s officially back in the competitive waters. Hopefully, Rio will even be remotely ready to host him in just two short years.
According to the Agency France Presse, International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates smashed the hosts in Rio de Janeiro stating that the IOC has had to embed experts in Rio’s Organizing Committee – an unprecedented move – to make sure Rio is even ready in 2016.
“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” Coates told the AFP, adding it was “the worst I have experienced”. “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.”
The IOC has nearly had to assume full control of preparations in advance of the competition, including spearheading the creation of three task forces to handle multiple problems in the area.
“I think this is a worse situation than Athens (in 2004),” Coates told the AFP. “In Athens, we were dealing with one government and some city responsibilities. Here, there’s three. There is little co-ordination between the federal, the state government and the city — which is responsible for a lot of the construction. And this is against a city that’s got social issues that also have to be addressed; a country that’s also trying to deal with the FIFA World Cup coming up in a few months. It’s the worst that I’ve experienced.