London Olympics 2012: What are the lessons for next host, Brazil?
With the London Games wrapping up today, the spotlight moves to Rio, the host city of the 2016 Olympics.
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In spite of these experiences, Rio officials assured the international media that steps are being taken to avoid similar problems. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said infrastructure projects would increase the city's public transport capacity from 18 percent of the population to 60 percent. He also said the city didn't intend to waste money on stadiums that would only be used for the Olympics, like China's now infrequently-used bird nest stadium.Skip to next paragraph
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Leonardo Gryner, director general of Rio 2016, said empty seats wouldn't be a problem, and that the city would use a text message alert system to announce last-minute available seats. He assured that unlike London, Rio wouldn't be empty during the games. Questioned about security, he went as far to say that Rio is one of the safest parts of Brazil. He also said all construction would be ready in time. But if London came under scrutiny for the Olympics, one can only imagine what South America's first Olympics host can expect.
Because of the upcoming World Cup and Olympics, Brazilian authorities are under much more pressure to make improvements to Rio, particularly in security and infrastructure. Such investments have potential to bring the city important long-term benefits. But with one of the worst public health systems of all of Brazil's state capitals, one of the cities with the largest number of dengue cases in the country, the state with the second-highest incidence of tuberculosis in Brazil, and the third-worst performing high school system of the country's state capitals, investments in health and education are critical. What matters for Rio, after all, is far beyond a two-week stretch of sporting events.
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