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Aerial view of Barra Olympic Park in May 2016, looking southward.

The Barra Olympic Park (Brazilian Portuguese: Parque Olímpico da Barra), originally the City of Sports Complex, is a cluster of nine sporting venues in Barra da Tijuca, in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The park, which served as the Olympic Park for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, was originally built for the 2007 Pan American Games, consisting of three venues. The complex was later expanded to nine venues for the Olympics, two of which are temporary structures. The complex will later become the site of the Olympic Training Center, after the games conclude.

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Exterior view of the Rio Olympic Arena during the 2007 Pan American Games.

The site of the Barra Olympic Park was formerly occupied by the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, also known as Jacarepaguá.[1][2] It was a former Formula One circuit that hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix on a number of occasions throughout the 1980s, before the Grand Prix went back to its original home at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagos, in 1990. Jacarepaguá was partly demolished to make way for the City of Sports Complex, a cluster of three venues constructed for the 2007 Pan American Games, held in Rio de Janeiro. The venues consisted the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, which held diving, swimming and synchronized swimming events, the Rio Olympic Arena, which held basketball and artistic gymnastics events, and the Barra Velodrome, which held track cycling and speed roller skating events. Construction of the City of Sports was not without setbacks – the original plan for the complex called for a large-scale entertainment complex, valued at R$ 500 million and contracted to private firms for construction. These plans, however, fell through, and a smaller-scale plan for the complex was adopted instead.[3] Opposition efforts by preservationists of the Jacarepaguá, the unsuitable soil at the construction site and numerous strike actions by workers delayed the venue's construction, which initially planned to begin in 2005, but was delayed until mid-2006.[3] Despite these challenges, the venues were completed in time for the games in July 2007, and cost a relatively cheaper R$ 205 million to construct, with venues smaller than originally planned.[3]

In 2009, Rio de Janeiro successfully bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Plans for a new array of venues at the City of Sports, rebranded the Barra Olympic Park, along with the complete demolition of the Jacarepaguá, was in the works. The Barra Velodrome, however, was not approved by the International Cycling Union as an appropriate venue for track cycling events at the Olympics. It was decided that costs to upgrade the velodrome would be equally as expensive as building a new venue,[4] thus the Rio Olympic Velodrome, built immediately west of the Rio Olympic Arena, was conceived, with the Barra Velodrome being demolished in 2013. Other new venues constructed for the Olympics include the Carioca Arenas, the Olympic Tennis Center, and the temporary Olympic Aquatics Stadium, built on the site of the former Barra Velodrome, and Future Arena venues.

Domestic broadcaster Rede Globo constructed a studio for its coverage of the Games in Barra Olympic Park.[5]

VenuesEdit

 
Ground-level view of the surrounding environment outside the Carioca Arenas.
Current[6][7]
Former

Future and legacyEdit

After the conclusion of the games, the site was intended to be repurposed to become the Olympic Training Center, a sports training facility operated by the Brazilian Ministry of Sports.[8][9] The Olympic Aquatics Stadium will be dismantled and its parts to be used in the construction of two new swimming venues on the site - both 50m pools with capacities for 6,000 and 3,000 spectators, respectively.[10] Carioca Arena 3 will become a sports school, with space for 850 full-time students, while Future Arena will be dismantled for its materials to be used in the construction of public schools across Rio de Janeiro.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lewis, Peter (15 September 2013). "Rio Olympics 2016: Brazilian city in a race against time to be ready to play host to the Games". ABC News Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Watts, Jonathan (5 August 2015). "The Rio property developer hoping for a $1bn Olympic legacy of his own". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Universo Online staff (2007). "Pan 2007 - Complexo do Autódromo [Portuguese]". Universo Online. Grupo Folha. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Barra Region - Portal Brasil 2016". Brasil 2016. Federal government of Brazil. 2015. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "An Olympic Wrap-Up Show That Doesn’t Quite Translate". New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Introducing Carioca Arena 1… the new home of Olympic basketball". Rio 2016. Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Barra Region". Portal Brasil 2016. Governo Federal do Brasil. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues to leave sporting, educational and social legacy to city". Rio 2016. 29 July 2015. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Barra Olympic Park, heart of the Rio 2016 Games, 95 per cent complete". Rio 2016. 29 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  10. ^ World Build 365 staff (5 August 2016). "Sustainable Olympic aquatics stadium unveiled ready for Rio 2016 Games". World Build 365. ITE Group. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  11. ^ Rio 2016 staff (29 July 2016). "Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues to leave sporting, educational and social legacy to city". Rio 2016. Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 / Comitê Organizador dos Jogos Olímpicos e Paralímpicos Rio 2016 (COJOPR). Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 

Coordinates: 22°58′37″S 43°23′38″W / 22.977°S 43.394°W / -22.977; -43.394