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Six months on, Rio Olympic venues lie derelict


Brazil

Six months on, Rio Olympic venues lie derelict

Organisers promised the Rio de Janeiro Olympics would bring long-term benefits to the Brazilian city and its residents.

Yet six months on, the famed Maracanã stadium lies abandoned and the Olympic pool is empty apart from puddles of stagnant water.

The roar of the crowd, gold medal winning glory…It is all but a distant memory.

The mythical Maracanã, site of the opening and closing ceremonies, is inaccessible to tourists, its iconic pitch giving way to dirt and scrub.

Electricity was cut recently amid a dispute between those in charge.



“It is a waste,” said one man outside the stadium.

“A lot of money was invested and it is not benefitting the population.”

Another man said he felt sadness and disappointment, accusing the government of corruption.

Officials blame delays and disrepair on a series of factors, from Brazil’s continuing recession to disagreements with contractors and a change in mayors after elections in October.

“What really happened was that the local government changed, there were agreements with private entities that did not work out, promises that never came to pass but they will,” said Patricia Amorim, the Under Secretary for Sport of Rio’s city government,

In the meantime, the multi-billion euro legacy of South America’s first ever Olympics remains distinctly bitter sweet.


with Reuters