Olympics: Damaged ramp will not disrupt competition, says IOC

Repairs being carried out on the collapsed ramp at the Marina da Gloria sailing venue for the Games.
Repairs being carried out on the collapsed ramp at the Marina da Gloria sailing venue for the Games.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO • The collapse of a temporary ramp at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic sailing venue is not expected to affect competition or training during the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday.

The main ramp at the Marina da Gloria, which provides access to the water, was damaged by high tides and big waves on Saturday afternoon, the organisers said.

The IOC said it is confident the damage would not affect preparations for the sailing competition, with repairs to be completed in a few days.

"In the run-up to the Games things happen," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

"But it won't affect training or competition. They've got a 25-person team working on it now."

Brazilian sailing team chief Daniel Santiago said repairs should be completed by Friday, the day of the Games' opening ceremony.

There was, however, more damage on Sunday caused by big waves as they pounded television studios along Copacabana.

Workers stacked sandbags around the studios and tractors shovelled sand into protective heaps around the ramp.

"This is the season of high tides," said Rio mayor Eduardo Paes.

"These are problems that can happen and we have the ability to react. Thank God it happened five, six days before the Games. We will be able to recover."

Brazil has suffered repeated stumbles in the run-up to hosting the Olympics, including having less than a week to test the extended metro's operations and racing to complete venues.

The US$3.1 billion (S$4.2 billion) expansion of the metro to Barra, the area housing the Olympic park and Games Village, is key to the smooth transport for tens of thousands of fans and athletes between the Games' different locations.

Workers are still busy putting the finishing touches to the venues and dealing with problems in some Olympic accommodation.

However, the IOC maintained Rio will deliver a successful Olympic Games.

"There are some last-minute challenges but our Brazilian friends are addressing them. It is all coming together. We are confident we will have a great (Olympics) in Rio," IOC president Thomas Bach said.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2016, with the headline 'Damaged ramp will not disrupt competition: IOC'. Print Edition | Subscribe