Construction of the stadiums – Before the games
For 16 action packed days of Olympic events athletes from around the world will be scattered around the 32 different venues in Rio de Janeiro. 17 of these sites are brand new stadiums, freshly built in the years prior to the games. Rio used it’s already existing national soccer stadium for the opening/closing ceremonies but had to build additional stadiums and venues for the games. Displacing 80,000 residents in the construction process.
As a result from the games, the city’s budget has been stretched to its limit forcing Rio to make cutbacks in other sections of the state. For example, the police force has had such significant cutbacks that crime is running rampid. There was a 39% spike in homicides over 2015 with more robberies and violent crimes to follow. This forced The Armed Forces to commit 15,000 soldiers to guarantee safety during the Olympic games.
In the weeks just before the games many people didn’t think the stadiums would be complete before the athletes arrived. The Rio 2016 Committee said the delays were caused by “specific problems that occur in any work, anywhere in the world,” but anyone who saw the construction sites told a different story.
Volleyball player Shelia Tavares de Castro was quoted saying “It’s a mess. It still has a lot of work that seems to need to be done, and we are just missing a few days until the Games,” she complained to Fox News Latino. “ I wonder what the Japanese think, since they actually are ready for 2020.”
The stadiums were finished and last minute building and repair operations were started when the first of 10,000 athletes began to arrive in Rio.
What happens after the Olympics Games?
Long after the last torch goes out and the last medal awarded, structures that held the 2016 games will remain. 10 of those new sites are said to be used after the Olympics for sports and 7 will be repurposed for various things. Along with the Future Arena, which will be taken apart and used to build four schools around the city, many of the other venues will be used to help the community.
If everything goes according to plan, the city will turn the aquatics stadiums into two community swimming centers; the media center will become a high school dorm; and all 300 acres of Barra Olympic Park will be turned over for public parks and private development.
The benefits of repurposing the stadiums can both be good for the planet, as well as the people living in Rio. Jeff Keas, an architect who has worked on seven different Olympic games, said that “temporary buildings have half the carbon footprint of conventional buildings and can cost up to 80% less.”
4 years and 14.4 billion dollars later, the Rio games have come to a close. Juliana Almeida, a not so optimistic biologist said, “I’m hoping that theses Games will actually be relevant to us after the competition, not like the World Cup with all of those stadiums that became white elephants.”
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