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Olympic Games Off To Rough Start

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Olympic Games Off To Rough Start

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Olympic Games Off To Rough Start

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The Rio de Janeiro Olympics got off to a shambolic start on Saturday with fans queuing for hours to enter the stadium and some missing their events as many athletes competed in front of eerily empty stands.

Games organizers apologized for dropping the ball on the first day of full competition, the morning after a dazzling opening ceremony, as iconic venues such as beach volleyball on the famed Copacabana beach saw only a few hundred spectators.

Outside, lines stretched for several blocks as angry fans stood in the scorching sun, waiting as security staff struggled.

“Indeed we have problems in some (security checkpoints) in the Olympic Park and we apologize for everybody standing in line outside the venues,” Games spokesman Mario Andrada told reporters.

“We need to upgrade that part of the Games. We moved people from Rio 2016 (organization) to speed up the mag and bag (security checks) and within the next hours we will be in much better shape.”

He said he hoped no fan had missed competitions they had bought tickets for, but many Brazilians were left fuming.

“I don’t believe it. It’s absurd, ridiculous,” said Rio resident Natalia Carvalho, 28, who had wanted to see Brazilian gymnast and medal hopeful Arthur Zanetti compete.

Instead she entered the stadium only after he had finished his rings presentation with thousands more waiting to enter the Olympic park, site of several venues.

“I always said that what I most wanted to see was Zanetti in the rings. It’s a lack of respect for the fan that bought tickets. It’s a shame,” she said.

Games organizers blamed the snafu on a lack of coordination between various groups of security personnel, including the police, Games staff and private security firms.

What should have been a celebration of the start of South America’s first Olympics instead turned into a damage-control operation, with Andrada vowing an immediate improvement.

“It is the first morning of the Olympic crowd and some of the systems did not talk to each other. It was a problem of coordination. We need to explain to the public. We owe them an explanation and we owe them an excuse.”

Only a few hundred spectators made it into the gymnastics arena, which can seat 13,500 people. The boxing venue also had many empty seats on Saturday morning as the first professionals in Olympics history entered the ring.

Handball matches also saw far from full stands as did the hockey tournament.

“We hope to clear the lines in the Olympic park,” Andrada said, admitting some people had waited as long as 90 minutes.

“We feel sorry for the people who are there. Some time in line is acceptable but there needs to be a balance.”

(Additional reporting Pritha Sarkar, Liana Baker, Caroline Stauffer and Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Mark Bendeich)

Photo: 2016 Rio Olympics – Olympic Park – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 06/08/2016. Ticket holders line up to enter the Olympic Park at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. REUTERS/Laura Saravia

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6 Comments

  1. AgLander August 6, 2016

    “Olympics Off To Rough Start”…….substitute “Democrat Convention” in place of “Olympics” in that phrase for an even more accurate description.

    Reply
    1. King of America August 6, 2016

      Haha yeah that makes no sense, and is a perfect example of why you should avoid trying to tell jokes and just stick to reposting whatever dumb racist drivel you’re parroting from the Kochs this week.

      1. Ruthbjames August 7, 2016

        <<rw. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir124m:….,……

    2. Independent1 August 6, 2016

      Given that your post are virtually all reversed from reality, it’s no wonder you’re also reversed with respect to the RNC and DNC conventions.

      Since you brought it up, the RNC actually made people less likely to vote for Trump, See this from NPR:

      The GOP Convention Made People Less Likely To Vote For Trump

      The below chart shows the share of Americans who said a party’s
      convention made them more likely to vote for the candidate, minus the
      share who said less likely. This year, 36 percent of Americans said the
      Republican convention made them more likely to vote for Donald Trump,
      while 51 percent — 15 points more — said the convention made them less likely to vote for him.

      While in contrast, after the DNC, more people ended up saying it encouraged them to vote for Hillary than not vote for her.

      See this from NPR:

      Gallup reported this week that 45 percent of Americans said they were
      more likely to vote for her, compared to 41 percent who said less
      likely (meaning a +4).

      So it’s a Plus 4 against a Minus 15. Of course, the fact that Gallup also says Trumps speech had the worst results they’d ever seen, didn’t help.

      1. King of America August 7, 2016

        It wasn’t just a disaster – it was a HISTORIC disaster.

        1. Independent1 August 7, 2016

          Yes. And that goes along with the fact that the candidate who was leading the convention and had it create a vision of darkness in America, is also himself a HISTORIC disaster.

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