SBD/February 16, 2017/Olympics

Rio's Olympic Legacy Decaying Rapidly With Some Competition Venues Already In Disrepair

Rio's legacy just six months after hosting the '16 Games is "decaying rapidly,” as empty facilities around the city are "puncturing any uplifting buzz from the competitions,” according to a front-page piece by Anna Jean Kaiser of the N.Y. TIMES. At Olympic Park, some stadium entrances are “boarded up, and screws are scattered on the ground.” The handball arena is “barricaded with metal bars,” and the broadcast center “remains half disassembled.” The 31 towers which comprised the athletes’ village were “supposed to be sold as luxury condominiums after the Games, but fewer than 10 percent of the units have been sold.” The field at Maracanã Stadium, which hosted soccer as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, has also “fallen into disrepair.” The field is brown and the electricity “has been shut off.” The decay of Olympic sites is “happening as a financial crisis engulfs federal, state and municipal governments.” Former Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who was in office during the Games, was “among the strongest evangelizers of an Olympic legacy.” Paes in an email wrote that it was “too soon to call any of the sites white elephants and that ‘the path to implementing a legacy has been given’” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/16).
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