(ATR) A bike path built as an Olympic legacy project in Rio de Janeiro collapsed killing two people.
The path, opened partially in January, connects Ipanema beach in Rio’s South Zone to Barra da Tijuca, the same area where the Olympic Park is located. Pedestrians could only use the path from Ipanema beach to Sao Conrado beach, with the rest expected to be open before the Olympics.
Rio’s municipal government told local media that strong waves from the Atlantic Ocean battered the bike path, which at parts overlooks a cliff, causing the collapse. Five bikers were on the path when it collapsed, and helicopters were quickly summoned to the scene in a rescue operation.
Mayor Eduardo Paes issued a statement saying technicians are already on site to determine the cause of the accident. The families of the victims will be provided for.Paes is currently returning from Olympia, Greece to Rio de Janeiro after attending the Olympic flame lighting ceremony and was not available for additional comment.
"It's unforgivable what happened," Paes said. "We have begun an immediate investigation of the facts and I'm coming to Brazil to follow closely."
This is not the first infrastructure to collapse in Brazil ahead of a mega-sporting event. During the 2014 World Cup an overpass, built for the event, collapsed in Belo Horizonte killing two people on July 3, 2014.
Olympic organizers are scrambling to make sure all projects are finished in the last 100 days until the Olympic Games. Test events have been taking place in partially-finished venuesand the IOC says they are increasing their monitoring efforts to ensure that the final details are completed for Aug. 5.
Selecao Secure Neymar
Brazilian football superstar Neymar will play in the 2016 Olympics.
The forward’s club FC Barcelona released the player to compete in the Rio Games to help Brazil win their first Olympic football gold. Barcelona was not required to release Neymar as the Olympic tournament falls outside of the FIFA international window.
Neymar will serve as one of three over-23-year-old players for the Brazilian national team in the tournament. He was on the 2012 squad that won silver at the London Games.
"FC Barcelona expresses its gratitude to the Brazilian Football Confederation and its president Marco Polo del Nero for accepting the Club’s proposal for Neymar Jr to only play at the Olympic Games this Summer," Barcelona said in a statement.
As part of the arrangement Brazil will not call Neymar into their squad for the 2016 Copa America Centenario, which is slated to take place in the United States.
Swimming Star Misses Rio Cut
The only Brazilian gold medalist in swimming did not qualify for the 2016 Games.
Cesar Cielo, gold medalist in the 50m freestyle at Beijing 2008, failed to qualify in either the 50m or 100m freestyle at the Brazilian national swimming championships.
"I want to ask for forgiveness, it was just too much for me," Cielo told local media after his final race. "Last year I had a difficult year and today I didn't swim well. I wish the team good luck."
In January, 19 percent of Rio citizens polled said they would want Cielo to be the flagbearer for the Brazilian delegation at the 2016 Olympics. He was the most popular candidate ahead of gymnast Arthur Zanetti.
Homepage photo: Getty Images
Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro
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