The Economist, 8/18/2012
SO NOW it is Rio de Janeiro’s turn. Brazil’s photogenic, chaotic and traffic-choked former capital has just four years left as it prepares to match London’s happy and well-organised Olympic games. A large number of Brazilian officials, starting with President Dilma Rousseff, visited the London games to pick up tips. But they stress that Rio faces different challenges.
The International Olympic Committee has expressed mild concern that work has not yet started on building the main Olympic Park. It has been delayed by arguments over where to resite a motor-racing track, and opposition from residents of a favela who don’t want to be uprooted. But city officials insist the stadiums will all be ready by 2015.
Rio is also committed to building a new metro line and three bus rapid-transit (BRT) links. The federal government plans to use private investors to improve the city’s airports. One BRT line began operating in June. “The hardware will be ready,” says Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor. But the city will have less time than London had to get it operating smoothly, he adds. The Olympic effort also involves private investors building 10,000 new hotel rooms and boosting telecoms capacity.