2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Brazil's second largest city
Legacy was the name of the game and it was Rio who came up trumps as the city was joined by Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid at the Olympic showdown this week. While many thought the dazzle of Obama speaking of the spirit and diversity embodied within his hometown, Chicago, may win through, Rio spoke of practical issues involved and the economic, infrastructural and international legacy which the Olympics would bestow on their city. And while Chicago was knocked out first, Rio's strategy struck the right chord and in the final round beat Madrid's bid by a majority of two to one.
The tropical city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil joined the Olympic Games in 1914 and since then has taken home 59 gold medals, most of which have been won on the volleyball pitch. So it comes as little surprise that the 2016 Olympics will have an Olympic beach, on the idyllic shores of Guanabara Bay. With plans submitted by LUMO Arquitetos, the beach will be situated beside the main Olympic Village, the Media and Broadcasting centres and the Olympic Park in Barra, all of which are designed by Rio-based architects BCMF Arquitetos who designed the award winning Deodoro Sports Complex for the 2007 Pan-American Games. Capable of hosting Shooting, Equestrian, Archery, Hockey and Modern Pentathlon events the Deodoro will be adapted to become an essential element in the Rio Olympics.
Rio's success at hosting the Pan-American Games undoubtedly helped their Olympic bid showing the capability, capacity and eagerness to become one of the world's top sporting cities. These prior efforts proved vital in achieving the best technical evaluation from the Independent Olympic Committee last month ahead of the final bids. President of Rio's Olympic effort, Carlos Arthur Nuzman - himself a former Olympic Volleyball player, confirmed as much in his homecoming speech: “The IOC showed its trust in our ability to carry it off. For them, Rio 2007 was an exceptional achievement in terms of quality and gave us a track record, vital to the Rio 2016 victory."
Far from the bold iconic structures designed for Beijing and London, Rio's design effort is much more subtle focussing on integration and that winning legacy line. While the Games will be centred around Barra, development will continue throughout the city with several venues in Maracanã , Copacabana and Deodoro and with redevelopment at the Port. Signalled by the announcement that 1,830 brand new hotel rooms are to be provided by Windsor hotels, the award of the Olympics will help to boost Brazil's economy encouraging great investment and elevating the first South American country to ever host the Games, into a celebrated international stage and tourist destination - a well deserved legacy.
Niki May Young