Brazilian officials insist they will be ready for 2016 Olympics

Organizers of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics report that 38% of its venues are completed

The organizing committee for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics has released a construction update claiming that 38% of its venues are completed with more than two years remaining until the opening ceremony.

Of the 29 planned permanent venues, 11 are operational and eight more require only renovations, the update said. There will be eight temporary venues.

“We are advancing in the construction of competition venues for the Rio 2016 Games, with all of the basic and executive projects concluded or in the conclusion phase," Alexandre Techima, a Rio 2016 official, said in a statement. "Even though they may not be highly visible, the preparative groundwork and foundation construction, that occurs underground, are extremely important for the final structure."

Work delays, civil unrest and governmental disorganization have hindered preparations in Brazil. There have also been reports that the International Olympic Committee is quietly assessing alternative sites such as London and Moscow.

IOC officials have denied any plans for moving the Games.

On Thursday, the RIA Novosti news service quoted Russian Olympic Committee Chairman Alexander Zhukov as saying: “We hope that Rio will be able to make the preparations to the Olympics and the Games won’t have to be moved to London or Moscow."

Though Brazilian officials insist that no such move will be necessary, they acknowledged that construction on a large cluster of venues in Deodoro will not begin until the second half of 2014.

The update said work is advancing in other competition zones such as the Barra Olympic Park and the rowing and canoe site. The Olympic golf course is being irrigated so grass can be planted, it said.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World