Rio 2016 could start today, says organising committee president


Despite previous scheduling concerns, president of the Rio 2016 organising committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman says the Olympic Games could start immediately if required.

Several facets of the Brazilian bid have come under scrutiny amid timing worries, with the new purpose-built velodrome only inaugurated on June 26 while infrastructure improvements suffered lengthy delays.

Concerns over the Zika virus have led to several competitors withdrawing, while the country is enduring political and economic turmoil.

However, with one month remaining until the start of the Games, Nuzman insists everything is in place for the start of the event on August 5.

"We are happy to have reached the stage we are in. The Games could start today. All the venues are ready," he said at a media conference.

The organising committee president believes the event will have a positive effect not just in Rio, but across the globe.

"The first legacy was to be the hosts of the Olympic Games, a new region of the world - we understood that the world needed something new," continued Nuzman.

"The second was the transformation of the city of Rio, the biggest in the history of the Games. Rio has changed the whole picture of the Games for the future.

"We are celebrating one month until the Games and the fact Rio is opening its doors to the world.

"Everyone can organise the Games. I am an advocate that all continents can organise them. We are sure it will be an incredible party and everyone will love it."

Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio, claimed the improvements made to the city - including the allocation of new public parks, better transport networks and improved sporting facilities - would not have been possible without the presence of the Games.

"There is one month to go, but 2,468 days of work have passed," said Paes.

"Barcelona was an Olympics marked by the renovation of the city. The Rio 2016 Games are also transforming the city.

"If it were not for the Games we would not have all that is necessary for a change of this size."