A fortnight ago we told of how FIFA had put the USA on standby to host the 2022 World Cup should Qatar end up losing hosting rights, and now the word is that the IOC have London on speed dial with a similar request should Rio di Janeiro continue to have delays with its preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach is putting a brave face on the situation in Brazil but recently described the delays due to construction, political, financial and industrial action as “critical.”
However should that phone call be made to London, former members of the Local Organising Committee of the Olympic Games have stated that it is not logistically or physically possible for London to re-stage the games. This is also not simply a matter of the costs having gone up.
London was very much aware of making sure that there were no white elephants at the end of the Games; although the main stadium has ironically appeared the biggest one of all. In other areas the post games formula has been a huge success. The Olympic village has been sold off. The stadium is being converted to a football stadium after much local wrangling.
The Basketball Arena was to be demolished late last year as the arena was only ever temporary for the Olympics. The materials of the arena were recyclable, and the arena as a whole and was put up for sale in January 2013, an was purchased and has already been relocated.
The Copper Box, has been adapted into a multi-sport arena for community use, athlete training and small-to-medium scale events. This is in fact the only permanent indoor sports arena retained in the Olympic Park.
It would appear that only Beijing would have the money and the wherewithal to come to the IOC’s rescue at such short notice should they opt for a Plan B; which they did with Athens when Munich was on standby.
Despite 18 sports federations concerns over the readiness of Rio there are many in the IOC putting on a brave face and assuring the doubters that the city will “deliver a good games.” Time will tell.