The Summer Olympics are only five months away, but host city Rio de Janeiro does not seem to quite have itself together yet.
The latest report comes from Brazilian newspaper Estadão, which obtained internal documents suggesting the International Olympic Committee considers Brazil to be in “deep crisis.”
The biggest concern appears to center on budget cuts to the Olympic games and how they will impact power supplies to the venues hosting events.
The IOC documents call the power-supply problem “high risk.” It appears that the timeline for ensuring extra power is diverted to Olympic venues has been pushed back closer to the start of the games due to budget cuts.
“The deadlines to ensure temporary power supply from July 2016 are very tight,” the IOC document reads, according to Estadão (via Google Translate). This deadline has been compounded by resources that have been cut. The IOC wants to closely monitor the situation.
Psh, so there won’t be any electricity at the Olympics, so what? But actually, Brazil appears to be in a sticky situation. It seems like usually at this time in the Olympic cycle, the host nation announces it is running wildly over budget, so the idea of Brazil cutting its spending could be simultaneously prudent and dangerous.
Brazil has had kind of a rocky road in its Olympic preparation. Over the past year or so, concerns have surfaced that the water in Rio is not fit to swim or sail in, and several venues have been downsized or scrapped due to budget constraints. And then there’s the outrage over the demolition of favelas and the question of whether a country with serious poverty and health-care issues should be opening its pockets to host major sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup at all.
Of course, it seems like every Olympics come with questions about infrastructure and fears everything will fall apart, but things usually go off just fine. Even the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which looked at first like a certain disaster, ended up going off largely without a hitch.
Then again, the presumption that everything will be all right isn’t going to help Rio figure out these power supply issues.