Final month, Tokyo handed over the Olympic flame to Paris after the end result of the rearranged 2020 Olympics.
Watching proceedings have been individuals in Rio – which hosted the Video games in 2016 – who’re nonetheless ready for the fulfilment of a number of guarantees from greater than 5 years in the past.
Rio 2016 was anticipated to not solely enhance tourism numbers and the development of the nation’s picture outdoors Brazil, but in addition go away a legacy on public security, create new job alternatives, an built-in public transport system and concrete tasks, from which the inhabitants may benefit long run.
The general public coverage plan for the legacy of the Rio 2016 Video games acknowledged that “legacy is a set of infrastructure works (together with sports activities) and public insurance policies within the areas of mobility, atmosphere, urbanization, schooling and tradition which might be underneath manner and have been accelerated or made doable by the very fact the town of Rio de Janeiro hosted the Video games in 2016”.
There have been 27 tasks within the legacy plan – set in 2014 by municipal, state and federal governments – with little connection to the Video games however which might be facilitated by it, such because the growth of transport strains.
The thought was to go away practical installations behind and “no white elephants”, as Eduardo Paes, Rio mayor on the time, promised through the preparations for the Video games.
The principle tasks in Rio comprised the Olympic Boulevard (the world between the port and downtown), the Metro Line 4, the Olympic Park and the Bus Speedy Transit (BRT).
However none of these tasks reached completion.
The works on the Gavea part of the metro – that might hyperlink the south zone to the west one – haven’t made any progress since 2015.
The Olympic Park has hosted just a few sporting occasions and even Rock in Rio, the preliminary mission plan to construct 4 faculties from the dismantling of the Area of the Future – the place the handball competitions occurred – has not been delivered and the venue continues to be standing.
Whereas the Brazilian Olympic Committee used among the amenities as coaching bases for nationwide workforce athletes, not one turned a everlasting coaching centre.
The Cidade Olímpica Museum, inaugurated in 2016 at Engenhao Stadium, displays the historical past of the Olympics. By way of the usage of expertise, guests can fly over Rio utilizing digital actuality to go to sights.
However the museum was shut down in 2019. The Municipal Division of Science and Expertise, chargeable for the venue, has not given a purpose however declared it was already out of service through the earlier administration however a reopening is anticipated later this 12 months.
A Metropolis Corridor administrator advised Al Jazeera that “the earlier mayor of Rio, within the final 4 years, has left every little thing deserted”.
The Rio 2016 Organising Committee and several other of its representatives didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s repeated requests for an interview.
The Olympic Legacy Governance Authority (AGLO), chargeable for supervising and selling the actions within the sports activities buildings that remained after the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Video games, was dissolved by President Jair Bolsonaro in 2019.
Which means there exists no particular organisation in command of overseeing the legacy.
The Olympic Public Authority (APO) says formally the entire quantity spent on Rio 2016 was just a little over 39 billion Brazilian actual (round $7.4bn at the moment).
Along with that quantity, more cash was put apart, together with the indemnification provided to residents of Vila Autodromo who have been faraway from their houses to make room for the development of the Olympic Park.
The municipal authorities, in 2013, began to evict about 650 households who lived on the Vila as a result of, in keeping with the administration, they have been blocking the entry street to the park.
The residents of the improvised group have been offered with two choices: monetary compensation or relocation to a condominium not too removed from the place they have been.
Sandra Maria Souza was a part of certainly one of 20 households who resisted fiercely and didn’t settle for both of the gives.
She arrived on the favela in 1991 and raised her 4 youngsters there. The acupuncturist remembers that when she came upon about Rio de Janeiro being the Olympics host, she was hopeful the occasion would offer a chance to enhance the standard of public areas, but it surely had by no means crossed her thoughts she could be so negatively affected.
She describes the federal government’s angle as being harsh – “Bodily violence, threats and psychological stress”.
When the elimination course of started, Souza described the dwelling circumstances in the neighborhood as being “subhuman” as a result of, she mentioned, the Rio authorities suspended fundamental providers like mail supply, garbage assortment and road lighting.
This was along with different issues: rubble was left behind from the demolished homes, there was a rat infestation as a result of garbage accumulation, and stray cats and canines have been left behind by the households who had opted for relocation.
She needed to transfer homes so all of the remaining households could be based mostly in the identical road the place new residences have been constructed. Nonetheless, she added that that the administration had additionally promised to rebuild the kids’s playground, the cultural centre and different frequent amenities that have been destroyed whereas additionally offering regularisation of the present homes.
The settlement was not fulfilled.
In Could 2016, Souza, alongside along with her neighbours, based the Evictions Museum on the Vila, as a way to safeguard the reminiscence of what as soon as was the world and to advocate towards different pressured evictions world wide.
Seven sculptures created from rubble are exhibited there with every representing a big place that had been eliminated.
To Souza, the patrimony left by Rio 2016 is the injury.
“The destruction of lives, that’s the legacy to me,” she mentioned.
‘No concrete objectives’
Renata Latuf de Oliveira Sanchez wrote her PhD thesis entitled Drawing the City: The Legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympics in Barra da Tijuca.
She additionally sees the Video games in Brazil leaving extra issues than options. The problem, she advised Al Jazeera, was that it lacked planning from the choice makers.
“Every part was performed with no joint long-term legacy plan,” mentioned Sanchez. “The plan must set concrete objectives for 5, 10, 20 and even 50 years. In any other case, different tasks and supposed priorities find yourself taking up and the prevailing constructed set is left apart by those that assume workplace subsequent.”
Paes, re-elected as Rio mayor final 12 months, has in the meantime defended the work carried out for the Olympics.
“Relating to mobility, we achieved an actual transformation by developing three BRT strains and increasing the subway,” the town corridor states.
“Rio was left an intangible legacy much like that of Barcelona 1992.”
Souza, although, doesn’t agree. A public transport person, she claims the BRTs have been an excuse to take away varied bus strains, which have been very helpful to the inhabitants.
“To go to sure locations, we used to take just one bus, now there are occasions we’re pressured to take three, growing the price of the ticket and the commute time.”
The Federal Public Ministry and the Courtroom of Accounts of the Union have identified suspicions of overbilling within the building works throughout Rio 2016, in addition to reporting a scarcity of strong plans to handle the amenities.
The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) for 22 years, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, was arrested in 2017 for corruption and prison organisation after allegedly buying votes of administrators of the Worldwide Olympic Committee for the selection of Rio because the venue for the Video games.
Environmental preservation was additionally a side that lacked implementation.
Among the many commitments that weren’t fulfilled have been the clean-up of the lagoon and Guanabara Bay, the place the crusing competitions have been held.
The sewage and garbage flowing into the bay ought to have been lowered by 80 p.c by 2016. The dedication was made by the Sergio Cabral authorities through the marketing campaign to decide on Rio as host metropolis.
It’s estimated by the State Water and Sewage Firm (CEDAE) that lower than 40 p.c of wastewater is at the moment handled.
Not all was unfavourable, although. Flood management for many who reside close to the Maracana was lastly began.
As well as, English was taught to roughly 10,000 taxi drivers and 70,000 volunteers by means of free on-line language lessons.
However simply earlier than the beginning of the Tokyo Video games earlier this 12 months, Mayor Paes determined to resume his unfulfilled guarantees.
On July 22, he mentioned the preliminary legacy’s tasks would resume after some variations.
The 4 sport-oriented faculties to be constructed on the Area of the Future ought to be inaugurated originally of 2023 and different venues for enjoying sports activities ought to be on the group’s disposal, plus a suggestion of free actions and programs.
However the plan comes with a worth. Simply the dismantling of the Area and the Aquatic Heart will price an additional 78 million actual ($15m).
Sanchez says there was a scarcity of promotion, funding and partnership within the initiatives related to Rio 2016. However regardless of that, she believes the state of affairs can change.
“There may be nonetheless time to vary the mindset, however continued organisation, funding and planning is required regardless of the change in authorities at every election.”