Is Rio le­gacy full of ‘bro­ken prom­ises’?

The Hockey Paper - - FEATURE -

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

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