Is Rio legacy full of ‘broken promises’?
SIX months on from the Rio Olympics and hockey’s legacy looks in disarray. The closed signs have been in place at the Deodoro Olympic Park since December and the venue needs a management company to take hold of the situation, writes ROD GILMOUR.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had hoped that the distinctive blue and green pitches would become a hockey hub for Brazil and South America.
Even the International Olympic Committee said last July that venues in the Deodoro cluster, including hockey, would be transformed into what would be Brazil’s first Olympic Training Centre (OTC) and paving the way for future Team Brazil athletes.
A broken promise? Given the current plight at Deodoro and the country’s crumbling recession, it certainly seems to be heading that way,
However, the FIH remains hopeful that a solution can be found to keep hockey’s legacy in tact in the north-west district of Rio.
“We understand that negotiations over the future use of the Deodoro Olympic Park, across all sports, are ongoing between the military and the ministry of sport,” an FIH spokesperson told The Hockey Paper.
“The viable legacy of Olympic facilities postGames is an important consideration for FIH, and we hope that a resolution is found that enables access to the former competition turfs.
“It is worth noting that the two hockey turfs that were used as the training venue in Rio, at the Federal University, are being used regularly by the national teams, local clubs and the university students which shows that there is a strong appetite for the sport in the city following the success of the Games.”
Meanwhile, at Deodoro, where Brazil men fielded a hockey team for the first time at an Olympics, officials are seeking a company to take over the previous incumbent after its contract was terminated late last year.
The Brazil Hockey Federation has twice been asked for comment on the issue in the last few weeks but failed to respond to THP.
Better days: Deodoro Olympic Park