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Rio 2016, Delhi 2010, and the Shooting World Cup

"An ongoing program of citywide investment will continue to result in further improvements, in areas such as security and transport. The long-term physical transformation of the city will be fully integrated with initiatives to deliver social inclusion, with new homes, training and jobs; to engage young people and promote education; and to invest in sport. [...]

Almost 50,000 people will undergo an extensive Rio 2016-funded program of skills training, in areas needed for the Games. Approximately 65,000 jobs will be created in events, sport management, tourism and venue operations. In addition, a significant number of jobs in construction-related industries will be generated as a result of the substantial infrastructure investments. Young people will be targeted with education initiatives that will build on the Federal Government’s commitment to bring the powerful combination of education and sport to all Brazilians. [...]

The Games will also accelerate the implementation of major sustainability projects, including those related to environmentally sensitive sites, air quality and waterways. One of the most important projects will be work to preserve the largest urban forest in the world, located in the heart of the city, including the planting of 24 million trees by 2016."

- extracts from the executive summary of the Rio2016 bid document submitted to the IOC.

In addition to the claims made in the bid document, the Rio 2016 organisation announced on September 22 that they were planting 3580 trees "to neutralize all of the carbon emitted during the city’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games". I presume the fifty thousand people who will undergo "skills training" are the Games Volunteers.

I must go back and watch my DVD of "City of God".

Even with seven years' lead time, preparing for an Olympic Games is a massive feat, as it is for any major world sports event.

The 19th Commonwealth Games are scheduled to open in Delhi on October 3, 2010. A large proportion of the promised infrastructure is not complete, nor even close to completion. Construction of the athlete's village was only approved two months ago following a protracted court battle.

The final design of the main stadium has yet to be settled, transport projects are way behind schedule. The assurance is that everything will be ready in time for the opening ceremony. But what of all the test events?

The ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup, scheduled for Delhi's Commonwealth Games shooting range next March, was cancelled last month. The statement from the ISSF is very euphemistic and technical in the reasons for the cancellation, and remarks by the National Rifle Association of India even cast blame onto the International Olympic Commission. But with an announcement of a rescheduled World Cup still to come, it is clear that all this is beating around the bush of an unbuilt world-class rifle range.

Delhi 2010 is not the only major sports carnival next year that is in trouble, of course. Stadium construction in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup is behind schedule. Isn't it time we abandoned the fantasy that the awarding of major sports events provides a trickle-down effect to underprivileged communities?

How's about more direct targeting of poverty-elimination projects, reduction in the scope of world cups and multi-sports "Games" and, for the really big events such as summer olympiads, create a permanent home, say a Vatican-style Olympic state city?