Rio ready to welcome world: IOC
Brasilia, July 12 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is ready to welcome people from all across the globe for the upcoming Rio Olympic Games slated to begin from August 5.
Nawal El Moutawakel, chairwoman of the IOC's Rio 2016 coordination commission, on Monday said she was impressed by the city's preparations after visiting venues and meeting with local officials for the final time before the games begin, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Brazilians are a very warm and hospitable people who know how to welcome guests and how to live life to the fullest," Moutawakel said in a statement, adding "Spectators visiting Rio this August will be able to fully experience that spirit."
Moutawakel, who won the 400m women's hurdles at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, added: "The Olympians of 2016 can look forward to living in an outstanding Olympic Village and competing in absolutely stunning venues.
"From views of the Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountain to the new state-of-the-art facilities in Barra or Deodoro and the iconic Maracana Stadium and Copacabana beach, I cannot imagine more spectacular backdrops for the world' s top sportsmen and women to showcase their talents to a watching world."
The IOC praised the newly finished infrastructure projects that it said would leave a lasting legacy on the city.
Among them is a subway line, a light rail service, a multibillion-dollar revamp of the once derelict port district and express bus lines.
"Brazilians have transformed the city through a legacy vision that they have made a reality... by creating a legacy that will benefit local citizens and the whole country for decades," the chairwoman added.
Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman said: "We are obviously very proud that we are ready to welcome the world and we can also see the transformation of Rio everywhere we go. A lot of work lies ahead of us but we have plenty of energy. We will deliver a great Games."
The Olympics will be held from August 5 to 21 and the Paralympics from September 7 to 18.