Nuzman to lead Games organising committee

COPENHAGEN: Carlos Nuzman, leader of Rio de Janeiro’s successful bid to stage the 2016 Olympics, announced yesterday he would now head the organising committee for the Games.

Rio was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday to stage the first Olympics in South America. They beat off rival bids from Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago.

Nuzman, an International Olympic Committee member, said there would be a smooth transition between the bidding organisation and the committee organising the Games.

“We delivered a letter to the IOC from three levels of government that, with Rio winning on Oct 2, from Oct 3 it will be myself – and the secretary general will be Carlos Osorio,“ he said.

Osorio was also secretary general of the bid team.

“The team needs no transition from bid to organising committee. The IOC president (Jacques Rogge) was told on Oct 1,“ said Nuzman.

Rio won a record-equalling 66 IOC votes in the third and final elimination round of the ballot on Friday, beating their last opponent Madrid, who received 32.

Only Athens, who also polled 66 in the final round of voting in 1997 for the 2004 Games, have reached that figure.

Madrid had led the first round of the voting by 28 votes to 26 for Rio, with Tokyo on 22 and Chicago last on 18. After Chicago’s elimination, there was a strong switch to Rio in the second round, the Brazilians almost winning an outright majority, picking up 46 votes to 29 for Madrid and 20 for Tokyo.

“We already had the first meeting with the IOC. They told us to relax,” said Nuzman. “We will enter a period of relaxing and that will finish with the first meeting with the IOC in Rio in the middle of November.”

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a key figure in the bid victory, had said after Friday’s vote that Brazilians would have to “sleep less and work more” to produce a successful Games.

Osorio said concerns that preparations for the 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil could clash with plans for the Olympics just two years later were unfounded. — Reuters

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