The catalyst for my story on Time.com today was the closure of Rio’s 2016 Olympic games stadium because it is in danger of collapse.
The Joao Havelange stadium was inaugurated just six years ago but was so poorly done it is already in an advanced state of disrepair.
My editors at Time made tweaks to my story on the grounds it was too opinionated.
What I wanted to say loud and clear, and have been saying in conversation for years, is this: The people who ran Rio’s 2007 Pan American Games and who are organising the next Olympics are guilty of either deceit or bad planning or both.
For the Pan Ams they promised the city of Rio 54km of new metro, a light railway line and a new highway.
They did none of it.
The games were at least six times over budget and the justification was that the venues and facilities were expensive because they were of Olympic standard.
They are not.
The track and field stadium is in danger of collapse. The aquatics park is not big enough to be used for the Olympics and a new one must be built. The brand new cycle track can’t be used because it is not good enough. The Maracana is undergoing its third reform since 2000 at a total cost exceeding 1 billion reais.
Rio’s Pan Am experience is more about how not to prepare for a major sporting event than how to.
It is nothing short of scandalous that the organizers are being given a second chance.