A lot has changed in Rio in six months.
FOX’s Chris Hoenig reports:
Six short months ago, the sporting world was focused on Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympics were into their second-half schedule… Track was in full swing, beach volleyball was down to the semifinals…
All seemed to be going well, minus a few athletes getting robbed, one athlete ‘over-exaggerating’ a story about getting robbed. Oh, and that green water…
(Andrada) “There is absolutely no risk whatsoever for the health of anybody, especially for the athletes and anybody. The independent group confirmed that it should go back to its classic blue colors.”
Olympic spokesman Mario Andrada during the games.
Today, the water, or what’s left of it, is more like an orange sludge in what had been a practice swimming pool in Olympic Park. The swimming arena, which was due to be torn down, still stands. Its fabric exterior left in tatters.
The handball arena was supposed to be taken apart and reconstructed as a public school. It hasn’t been touched.
One Olympic Park venue that has been torn down, the press center, though the rubble hasn’t been hauled away and has been deemed a health hazard.
The park is closed during the week and even when it opens on weekends, it’s largely a ghost town.
The tennis stadium, one of the few venues the government agreed to operate after the games, has been used to host beach volleyball. This in a city known for its beaches.
Next door, the 31 towers of the Olympic village, meant to be sold as luxury condominiums, are virtually abandoned. Less than 10-percent were sold, and some of those were returned.
Across town at the second largest site cluster, the Canoe Slalom course was a legacy project, intended to become a giant public swimming pool. It closed in December and now sits empty.
But perhaps the city’s biggest sports cathedral, the Maracana, once the largest stadium in the world, is now a field of brown, burnt grass. Thousands of seats, ripped from the stands, power, shut off.
Six months after millions of tourists and their money descended on the region, Rio’s new mayor calls it a city in crisis. The hope I personally saw while there, gone.
Chris Hoenig, FOX News.
Follow Chris Hoenig on Twitter: @Chris_Hoenig