SBD/June 19, 2014/Olympics
Despite World Cup Glow, Rio Remains Way Behind In Preparations For '16 Games
World Cup fever "has gripped" Rio de Janeiro since the start of the event last week, but "not everything here is going well" regarding preperations for the '16 Games, according to NBC's Bill Neely. Work "has stalled" on various fronts, and strikes at the main site "mean construction is way behind schedule." Olympic execs claim preparations "are the worst ever." At the "second-biggest site for eight sports, including equestrian, work hasn't even begun." Meanwhile, a "different problem" is popping up on the bay, "where sailing and wind surfing will be held." Trash in the water led some Olympic sailors "to call it the worst place they have ever trained in." Environmental activist Leona Deckelbaum said the bay "can just be described as a pool of sewage." She added it is "not possible" the water will be clean by the time the Olympics begin. Neely reported city authorities "admit delays, but insist everything, like the athletes' village, will be ready." However, they are "still battling to make the city safe, using troops to fight drug gangs." Brazil authorities indicated that the troops "will stay on Rio's streets for the next two years and during the Games themselves." Neely: "Rio is struggling to deliver. It's been criticized by sports federations and warned by Olympic chiefs. Time isn't on its side" ("Nightly News," NBC, 6/18).
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