Carlos Nuzman - President Rio 2016 Olympic Games Share PDF Print E-mail
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Carlos Nuzman has been the President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) since 1995 and is also the head of the Rio de Janeiro Organising Committee.

He is a Brazilian lawyer and a former volleyball player who competed professionally from 1957 to 197, representing his country between 1962 and 1968.

Nuzman was President of the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation for twenty years, between 1975 and1995, in a period of success for the national team.

He has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2000 to 2013 and is now an Honorary Member of the IOC.

By Steve Moorhouse

How did you become involved in the Brazilian Olympic Committee and what were the biggest challenges you faced at the time?

I was part of the first Brazilian male volleyball team at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, when the sport made its Olympic debut. Following the end of my playing career I served as President of the Brazilian Volleyball Federation from 1975–1996 and became President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee in 1995, and a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2000.

There have been many great challenges and achievements during this time, but perhaps the greatest of all was successfully achieving the honour of bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to South America for the first time in 2016. We are very proud to host the Games and are working hard every day to deliver great Games and memorable celebrations for the world to enjoy.

With three years until Rio 2016, how are the preparations coming along and what are the biggest tasks left to complete?

We are making strong progress towards delivering unique Games with memorable celebrations in 2016. We are on track against our project timelines and are working in close cooperation with the three levels of government (federal, state and city) to deliver the project on time, on budget and with a unique Brazilian spirit.

Almost half of our sports venues are existing, and construction on the new and temporary venues is going well. Three condominiums are already rising in the Athletes Village, In April work on the golf course began and construction of the Sports Halls in the Barra Olympic Park is under way.

Many city transformations are already happening: Security is improving, the port is being renovated, new hotels are being built, the Metro Line 4 is under construction, and the new Transoeste Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is already operational.

Our sponsorship programme is going well and has already surpassed the bid targets.The committee is now formed of more than 500 dedicated, experienced personnel and we have recently moved to a new, purpose built headquarters. Of course a project of this magnitude will have many challenges along the journey and key tasks we are focused on during the remainder of this year are moving forward with the Deodoro Olympic Park project and continuing the success of our commercial programme.

What was the original budget for the Games and are you expecting to remain within those boundaries?

Both the organizing committee (OCOG) and the non-OCOG budgets are currently being reviewed with the relevant stakeholders and will be updated in the near future. We are fully committed to delivering our project in a rational, frugal and transparent manner.

The figures included in the bid are $2.8 billion USD (OCOG budget) and $11.6 billion USD (non-OCOG budget). As per the London model, the OCOG is a private, not-for-profit entity responsible for organizing the Games themselves, and the budget will primarily consist of private funding raised from sponsors, ticket sales, merchandising and IOC contribution.

The Rio 2016 project includes a large proportion of private investment, therefore reducing the public funds required; Barra Olympic Park, Olympic Village, BRT TransOlympica, IPC & MPC, Golf Course and Porto Maravilha renovation are all private or private-public-partnership (PPP) projects.

How will the Rio Games capture the city’s unique personality?

The Rio 2016 Games will be held in four zones across the city: Barra, Deodoro, Maracana and the world famous Copacabana. 

Celebration is the hallmark of Rio and Brazil has one of the most passionate populations on Earth. Every aspect of the Games will be infused with the unique and contagious ´Carioca´ spirit and convey the famous Brazilian passion, energy and warmth. Rio is also one of the most picturesque cities on the planet and we are working together with the international broadcasters and photographers to ensure we are able to bring the magic of Rio to the worldwide audience in 2016. 

The Olympics can be a catalyst for development in the host city, how will the venues that are being built for Rio 2016 be used once the Games have finished?

The core purpose of the Rio 2016 Games is ´Transformation through sport´. The Games are serving as a catalyst to accelerate the positive transformation of Rio in terms of transport, infrastructure, security, education, accommodation, sustainability, accessibility, economic and of course, sport.

In a first for the Games, we are introducing nomadic architecture for some of our temporary venues. This will allow them to be easily deconstructed and reused after the Games. For example, the handball arena will become four schools in legacy mode.

How many tourists are you anticipating and how will their presence benefit Rio?

With a worldwide television audience of over 4 billion, we hope that the 2016 Games will act as a great platform to enhance the global image of Rio and Brazil and that increased tourism will be one of the key legacies of the Games.

Brazil is a very welcoming country and we look forward to receiving the 500,000 expected visitors at Games time with open arms. The city has a lot of experience of receiving large numbers of people with the annual carnival attracting around 2 million and successfully hosting over 3 million during the recent visit of Pope Francis.

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