Rio Organizers Look To IOC For Help Settling $40 Million Debt

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher- USA TODAY Sports

Brazilian organizers are seeking help from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the form of financial assistance to settle millions of dollars in loans. In an article that appeared in the The New York Times from the Associated Press, creditors are reportedly still owed 130 million reals, or $40 million, from the Olympic Games that were hosted last summer.

Carlos Nuzman, the Brazilian Olympic Committee President, will be traveling to Switzerland next week to meet with the IOC in person. Organizers are hoping that the IOC’s involvement will help them gain some advantage in settling their debts from hosting the Olympics.

However, the Brazilian Committee’s efforts may not end up bringing much in the way of assistance. In an official statement released from IOC, the organization reiterated that host cities are contractually obligated to pay for the Games, and in order for the IOC to step in they would need “reliable and understandable information from those charge, something which regrettably at the present time we do not have.”

Mario Andrada, a spokesperson for the Rio Organizing Committee, was hopeful that the IOC may be able to help the organizers with “dialogue with the government,” but was also realistic that the IOC could not be used as a “silver bullet” to solve their problems.

The Rio Olympics were notably plagued by organizational problems, political corruption, and a recession in the face of an ever-growing price tag. The Games reportedly cost Brazil $13.1 billion dollars, and many of the most costly infrastructure projects are currently vacant or struggling to take advantage of their capacity.

Andrada stated that negotiations with the government are at “a crucial point,” as Rio de Janeiro is already late paying government employees and maintaining public services and their current President Michel Temer is facing charges of corruption.

11 Comments

11 comments

  1. Mary C Thompson

    They shouldn’t be allowed to host games if they are not prepared to financially support their bid

    • Jenn Rivera Carvajal

      If the games were profitable for anyone other than IOC, other countries might be able to survive financially. As it stands IOC, television networks, and corporate sponsors make all the profits while city governments are supposed to foot the bill and people are forced out of their homes for new construction of athletic facilities that will then be left unused. There are few exceptions to this rule. The same is true for the World Cup.

    • Shawn Nowak

      Nobody forced Rio to make the bid. This happens each time but yet countries still place bids to host.

  2. Betsy Luminais

    The IOC accepted Rio’s bid. This was predictable! They should help with this debt!

    • Mary C Thompson

      Yes, maybe…. but their government hasn’t paid their employees and their president is being investigated for corruption. If the government squandered the money, then they shouldn’t get debt relief

    • avatar
      Sara

      I mean, except that is not how Olympic bids work. The host countries are responsible for the monetary obligations of hosting the games.

    • avatar
      Sara

      Also, at the time that Rio was rewarded with the opportunity to host the games, Brazil was not in the financial crisis it is in now. They had a pretty good economy when they were awarded the games. It crashed soon after though.

    • Betsy Luminais

      But it’s the employees and the general population who will suffer in the end. You really have to wonder with all the corruption what the IOC officials got out of it too!

  3. Money went to everyone except where it was supposed to go. Politicians, business leaders and I’m sure the IOC all got their share

  4. avatar
    Leander

    The way this works is that you have to bribe the IOC to get the Olympics, not the other way around.

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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