LONDON, England, May 9. PREPARATIONS in Rio de Janeiro continue to fall behind schedule with 28 months until the Opening Ceremony, and the International Olympic Committee is reportedly looking into a backup plan to make sure the biggest sporting event has a city that can host the event.
A report in the London Evening Standard mentions London as the primary city that the IOC is discussing as the potential host of the 2016 Games. London just put on the 2012 Games with much success, but many of the venues used two years ago have been scaled down for daily public use, or retrofitted to not be a viable place to hold competition.
The London Aquatic Center, for example, has greatly reduced the amount of seating, taking out half of the spectator area and replacing it with windows. The deck area and the pool, however, are still intact and the venue is used for national championships and other major swimming events.
One hitch to London being the backup host, the Evening Standard reports, is the athletes’ village. The dormitories have been remodeled into private apartment homes.
The Evening Standard says the discussions are “informal” and the chances being “infinitesimally small” that London would break precedent and take over. But IOC Vice President John Coates said things are getting “critical” in terms of making a decision on what to do about the 2016 Olympics.
Many of the venues in Rio are nowhere near completion, according to various media reports, and very few of those reports mention that the planned aquatic center is among those on the positive side of completion. A source tells the Evening Standard that “Brazil has done 10 percent” of venue construction. That’s compared to the 40 percent done at this point for the 2004 Games in Athens. Construction for those Games was widely criticized, but the Greeks got the essential building completed just in time for the event.