Int'l Olympic Committee Official Denies Plans To Move 2016 Rio Games To London
The IOC said that London has not been approached about the possibility of staging the 2016 Olympics due to delays in Rio de Janeiro, "pouring cold water on English media reports that the Games could be moved," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. An IOC official said, "There is not a shred of truth in that." Rio "has fallen behind schedule with the IOC urging organizers to speed up work" and recently set up a system to monitor progress more closely (REUTERS, 5/9). The AAP's Ben Horne reported at the Australian Olympic Committee annual general meeting in Sydney on Saturday, IOC VP John Coates said that "there were no contingency plans in place." Coates two weeks ago described Rio's preparations as the worst he has experienced, but regardless of how "shambolic the circumstances might be," the IOC is adamant there is "no alternative." Coates said, "That's (London) a nonsense. There's absolutely no plan for London as an alternative. Absolutely no plan B. There's no alternative of going back to another city. The villages are sold. Same as saying come back to Sydney. Our village is gone. But we will work through this and get to Brazil" (AAP, 5/10).
SECRET TALKS: In London, Benedict Moore-Bridger wrote "London has been secretly asked if it would be able to take over the 2016 Olympics because Brazil is so far behind on preparations." A source said, "At a comparable planning stage in 2004 Athens had done 40 percent of preparations on infrastructure, stadiums and so on. London had done 60 percent. Brazil has done 10 percent -- and they have just two years left. So the IOC is thinking, 'What’s our plan B?' Obviously, the answer would be to come back to London. It’s very unlikely but it would be the logical thing to do" (EVENING STANDARD, 5/9). In London, British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe wrote "two years out, with or without a World Cup, is just plain tough for an organising committee and their delivery partners." Clocks "seem to go faster than at any other time in that seven-year delivery." Some decisions "need to be reversed, changed or speeded up." The delivery of a Games "is often the art of hour-by-hour refinement" (TELEGRAPH, 5/10).