Coates impressed with positive progress for Rio 2016
7 May 2016
RIO: With 90 days to go until the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, IOC Vice President and AOC President John Coates has told the AOC Annual General Meeting in Sydney that he is impressed with the progress in Rio “against a background of unprecedented domestic challenges, politically and economically.”
Coates was in Brazil in early April for the last IOC Coordination Commission and 2016 Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller was also there last month.
“We were both impressed with the positive progress made over recent months, particularly in the two main clusters of Barra Olympic Park and Deodoro Olympic Park,” Coates said.
“Our conclusion following the recent Coordination Commission meeting was, and remains, that the Rio 2016 OCOG and its partners are ready to rise to the challenges and deliver Olympic and Paralympic Games that will reflect the Brazilians warmth, hospitality and passion for sport.
The core building blocks are in place.
“The construction of permanent venues is 98% finished but with overlay installations and many field of play items (installation of equipment) to complete and maintain. A lot of hard work in these areas remains before the Games can be delivered.
“The support for the Games in Rio remains very high, with only one in eight persons having a negative perception of the Games. The local population see the Games as a positive element in the development of their city and country.”
The legacy that will be left for the people of Rio and Brazil has been a priority for the organising committee and the IOC.
“A legacy for the people of Rio that includes significant improvements to the city’s antiquated and heavily congested public transport network that will give 63% of Rio’s 12 million population access to public transport compared to just 18% seven years ago; better waste management; better city operations; job training opportunities; state of the art sports facilities; and, new schools, to name but a few.
“We are anticipating around 440 athletes with representation across 26 of the 28 Olympic sports. That will make the Australian Team one of the largest at the Games and our second largest away Team ever.
"We have good cause to maintain our top 5 gold and overall medal targets. We continue to punch above our weight in our traditional medal winning sports but with an overweight reliance on swimming.
"With results likely to be so close, Kitty Chiller and her Team Executive are dedicated to creating a high performance environment for our athletes in Rio.
"Our Team leadership has worked hard on developing a united team - ‘One Team’ that understands and respects the honour of being an Olympian. The IGNITE and ASPIRE roadshows for prospective and selected Team members have proven very successful with Olympians sharing their experiences with these aspiring 2016 Olympians.
“I have a very good feel about this Team,” Coates, who was the Chef de Mission of Olympic Teams from 1988 to 2008, concluded.
Tony Cole awarded Order of Merit
Tony Cole AO received the award of the Order of Merit at the 2016 AGM for his significant contribution to the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF).
As the National Practice Leader of William M Mercer before his recent retirement, Cole led the Mercer team in providing export advice on investment strategy for the AOF.
It is with his help that the AOF’s, and in turn the AOC’s, capital base has been significantly boosted since first adopting the investment strategy under Cole’s advisory back in 2001.