Construction at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park. (Getty
(ATR) Claudia Bokel said in an interview she is starting to hear
some concerns about the pace of preparation, but “not that
Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizers have come under fire for the
perceived slow pace of work on the Games. IOC vice president John
Coates said Rio’s Olympic work was the “worst” he
Bokel declined to specify what athletes are saying, but she pointed
out that she has heard many of the same issues before.
“I remember myself in the lead up to Athens, where people
said it’s never going to be finished,” the three-time
Olympian fencer said.
“You hear it, but you’re focused on your sport and you
have to trust people. You have to trust the organizing committee
and the IOC. I think it’s similar.”
She expressed faith in Rio’s ability to deliver the Games and
reinforced previous IOC statements that time is running out for
After the last IOC Executive Board meeting, a plan was devised in
conjunction with the international federations to ensure a
successful 2016 Olympics.
“It really is time to put that in place and get there so that
everything will be ready in time,” she said.
“I think it’s going to need a lot of hard work, but I
am still convinced they can manage it.”
Bokel also expressed support for a 2024 German Olympic bid. Both
Berlin and Hamburg have expressed interest in a bid. She said she
likes both cities and has no preference for either city to bid at
“I think the Olympics would be great for Germany. I’d
love to go for it.
“[The German Olympic Committee] sent out a questionnaire to
both cities and I’m looking forward to reading
A referendum killed Munich’s 2022 ambitions - and those of
Krakow and Switzerland - and Bokel said it is possible a 2024
German bid would not need the voters’ approval.
“We haven’t looked at that,” she said.
“Once you do a referendum, I guess at a certain point it is
difficult to go without it.
“It is always difficult to have the people standing behind
it. It’s now up to us to convince people the Olympics are
Ed Hula III
Homepage photo: Getty Images
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